PUTRAJAYA: The Youth and Women chiefs of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia have urged the party to do more to uplift the bumiputra to prevent them from lagging behind in the economy.
It was not enough to shout “Hidup Melayu!” while partying in posh hotels when Malays were still languishing in poverty, said Bersatu Youth (Armada) chief Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman.
Syed Saddiq, who turned up at the AGM with a bandage on his cheek after falling from his motorcycle several days ago, also warned those who were out to oust him and his team.
He said he knew of division chiefs who wanted to rid the Armada team from their divisions.
If they wanted to do this, he said, they must do it the right way.
“Do not stab us from the back. The rise of Bersatu is because of Armada. If Armada falls, Bersatu will die,” he claimed.
He warned party leaders not to turn Bersatu into another Umno and “sell” the country for their political survival.
“If Bersatu wants to be Umno, step over Armada first.
“Umno fell because it neglected its youths. Don’t say that we did not remind Bersatu leaders (not to do as Umno did),” he said.
He said Bersatu was not a party guided by riches.
“It is a party for the poor, for those who have been sidelined and for those who have been victimised,” he said.
Syed Saddiq also said it was time Bersatu recognised the role of young women in the party as was done by fellow Pakatan Harapan parties – DAP and PKR.
He said although almost 16,000 young women joined the party, their presence had yet to be felt.
“The young women are the ones working behind the scenes. Yet, how many young Bersatu women were fielded during the elections?
“Where is the Yeo Bee Yin of Bersatu? Where is the Juwairiya (Zulkifli) of Bersatu?” he asked, referring to female DAP and PKR elected representatives.
Datuk Seri Rina Mohd Harun, who is the women’s wing (Srikandi) chief, spoke on promoting entrepreneurship among the bumiputra to reduce the economic gap between races.
She said Bersatu was defending the bumiputra agenda due to its importance to the “stability and prosperity” of the country.
“Under the New Economic Policy, the Malays have been given opportunities and assistance so they could achieve success in business.
“However, that does not mean we can feel comfortable. The need to reduce the economic gap between races must continue. As such, entrepreneurship is seen as the solution to end poverty,” she said.
Rina also spoke of the challenges of Bersatu being in the ruling party.
The government, she said, had to face criticism from enemies and allies.
“In the past seven months since Pakatan was in government, there has not been a moment which went by when we were not under attack (ditembak).
“It wasn’t just shots from enemies outside; friends on the inside were shooting (at us) as well.
“Sometimes we are confused as to who our enemies are and who our friends are,” she said.
However, she maintained that those who came under fire had “forgiven” their critics.
Syed Saddiq and Rina were speaking at the AGM of Armada and Srikandi attended by about 1,200 delegates nationwide.
This is the first AGM of the wings.