PETALING JAYA: Despite not having the full support of his family, Tariq Ismail, the grandson of former deputy prime minister Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman, has declared his intent to join Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia.
When contacted, Tariq (pic) said that his wife and parents supported his decision.
"My parents are supportive, my sister asked me to be careful, and my uncle (former Umno member Taufiq Ismail) may not like it.
"But it really doesn't matter because our own political affiliation does not interfere with family. Family is family, whatever else is to put out of the door," he said.
Tariq’s grandfather, Tun Dr Ismail, was appointed deputy prime minister in 1970 by then prime minister Tun Abdul Razak Hussein.
He died three years later due to a heart attack.
On his reasons for wanting to join Parti Pribumi, Tariq said it was the only party that best represented progress at this point in time.
"It’s always been about progression. I do not agree with what is happening in Umno as they have currently lost their way. They are regressing.
"There was never a voice that could tell Malays that progression is not a bad thing. It is about emancipating the Malay mind," he said, adding that he had spoken to party president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin who explained that Parti Pribumi was about institutional change and going back to the spirit of the Constitution.
Tariq also stressed that although Parti Pribumi has been labelled as a race-based party, it is about promoting multiculturalism and pluralism.
"The thing is, everyone (in the party) wanted it to be a multi racial party, but when we did our research, we found that 80 seats are hardcore Umno seats.
"About PKR and Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah), they do not get it. When we spoke to the people about it, we found that 'reformasi' is dead and spaced out, but when it came to Bersatu, it is viewed as another voice for Malay people within the coalition.
"There wasn't one anyways," he said.
Tariq added that he does not have any personal grudge against the present Umno leadership.
"I am not against them individually, but their policies and what they stand for," he said.