IPOH: PKR vice president Chang Lih Kang has slammed Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad for welcoming the seven Umno MPs into its fold, calling it a betrayal of the people.
The Tanjung Malim MP said he was disappointed as Dr Mahathir had turned back on his words of not accepting Umno deserters into Pakatan Harapan component parties.
“Dr Mahathir had firmly stated in May 2018, that Pakatan would not accept Umno turncoats into Pakatan parties.
“It is rather disappointing that in less than a year, Dr Mahathir has gone back on his words,” he said in a statement on Tuesday (Jan 12).
“As a Pakatan lawmaker, I would like to urge all component parties to stop accepting former Barisan Nasional MPs, as it reflects badly on the image of the ruling government.
“The people had made up their mind to oust Barisan in the 14th General Election and we should not go against their will to reinstate MPs from the former regime into the new government,” Chang added.
It was reported that the seven MPs who left Umno in December have joined Bersatu.
They are Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin (Larut), Datuk Seri Ikmal Hisham Abdul Aziz (Tanah Merah), Datuk Dr Latiff Ahmad (Mersing), Datuk Rosol Wahid (Hulu Terengganu), Datuk Mohd Fasiah Mohd Fakeh (Sabak Bernam), Datuk Shahbudin Yahya (Tasik Gelugor) and Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin (Masjid Tanah).
Chang said all seven did not join Bersatu because of principles.
He said most of them had served in senior positions in the previous administration, with some even having been ministers and deputy ministers in former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s cabinet.
“They did not speak up for the people and the country when they were in power, but instead were accomplices of the corrupt regime.
“Even if some Barisan MPs are innocent angels, they should remain in the opposition as democracy can only flourish with the presence of strong and able opposition,” he said.
Chang said the acceptance of the seven former Umno members would not strengthen the support of the Malays in rural areas.
“Felda settlers, peasants, fishermen, rubber tappers, plantation workers and the people in general merely want their lives to be improved.
“If the government could ease their hardship and grant them secure livelihoods, rural folks will support Pakatan, regardless of race,” he said.
“I urge the Pakatan Presidential Council to make a firm decision to reject Barisan MPs from joining any Pakatan component parties,” he added.
PH’s voice getting louder now