PETALING JAYA: The move by Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia to accept seven former Umno MPs into its fold is “completely wrong” and a betrayal of the people’s mandate, says Pakatan Harapan lawmaker Ramkarpal Singh.
“Nearly half of Bersatu today are, in fact, post-GE14 Umno MPs. The very real possibility that such Umno MPs will soon form the majority of Bersatu is indeed frightening.
“It matters not what these former Umno MPs call themselves today, as it’s the substance that counts, and not the label,” he said in a statement on Wednesday (Feb 13).
The Bukit Gelugor MP also said there was absolutely no proof that any of these ex-Umno MPs had repented since leaving the party.
“To me, they are no different today then what they were before.
“There is absolutely no evidence that any of these former Umno MPs have repented from being complicit in the previous Umno regime nor have any of them publicly condemned the kleptocratic former government,” he said.
He was commenting on the latest move by Bersatu to accept 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 Shabudin Yahaya (Tasik Gelugor), and Datuk Seri Mas Ermieyati Samsuddin (Masjid Tanah).
He also questioned Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s defence of Bersatu’s decision to accept Shabudin into the party.
In 2017, Shabudin came under fire for suggesting that it was okay for rape victims to marry their aggressors.
It was reported that Dr Mahathir had defended Shabudin joining Bersatu, saying that “It is what they are now that counts”.
“With the greatest of respect, what are they now?
“Accepting a person who once said he is open to the idea of a woman marrying her rapist into a coalition committed to reform is mind-boggling, as such an action reflects a complete disregard of such reforms,” said Ramkarpal in response.
He also said that despite Dr Mahathir’s assurances that all the ex-Umno MPs had been vetted, people remained sceptical as these lawmakers once stood for exactly the opposite of what Pakatan stood for today.
“Again, with respect, how much ‘vetting’ of such MPs would gain the confidence of the people that they are somehow cleansed today as compared to nine months ago?” he said.
Ramkarpal, who is also DAP national legal bureau chairman, added that the acceptance of “frogs” into Pakatan suggested that anti-hopping laws, which he had previously lobbied for, would always remain a distant hope.
“Crossovers are deplorable in any democracy, as it betrays the will of the people.
“This, surely, must be the most important of considerations in accepting such frogs,” he said.
Bersatu, which had 13 seats after the May 9 general election last year, now has 22 MPs, following the crossovers of the seven former Umno MPs.