PETALING JAYA: Barisan Nasional members who want to defect to Pakatan Harapan will not be accepted as registered members of parties in the coalition, said Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (pic).
Responding to an outcry from civil society not to accept "party hoppers" from Umno and Barisan Nasional, Dr Mahathir said they will respect the public's wishes and will not accept such membership applications.
"We feel that the people cannot accept Umno and other parties, thus they should not be accepted as party members," he said.
"It will not sit well with the rakyat who do not want the old government to influence the new government, their participation will not be accepted," Dr Mahathir said during a press conference on Wednesday (May 16).
He said these members can quit Umno and individually voice their support for Pakatan Harapan, but they cannot become party members.
On what Dr Mahathir had said earlier about redefining the Anti-Fake News Act 2018, he clarified that there is no intention to retain the controversial law.
He said the Government will also study the abolishment of other laws that are supressing press freedom and freedom of speech, and restructure these laws to ensure the rakyat's freedom.
"The first phase is to set up the 10 core ministries to immediately start carrying out the responsibilities of the government," he said, adding that with these 10 Ministers, Cabinet meetings can start.
"We will also add 15 more Ministries to have a full Cabinet of 25 Ministries," he said.
He admitted that it will take time, but he hopes to convene parliament as soon as possible to start forming government policies.
On Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's release, Dr Mahathir said Anwar will not be involved in the Cabinet.
"His role would be in the party (PKR). I hope to have a meeting with the Pakatan Harapan Presidential Council tomorrow where the council will decide whether there will be any changes to Anwar's role in the coalition.