KUALA LUMPUR: Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia is preparing to embark on a new chapter to be a multiracial party that embraces all Malaysians, says the Prime Minister.
Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the move was to strengthen the party with the entrance of Malaysians from all races and religions, as the party’s membership was now only open to bumiputra.
He said Bersatu already had a non-bumiputra MP in Segambut MP Datuk Seri Santhara Kumar.
(Presently, the party constitution accepts non-Malays as associate members but they are not allowed to hold leadership positions.)
Muhyiddin, who is Bersatu president, made the announcement at the launch of the National Congress – Bersatu for Malaysia even, that was attended by 3,000 participants from four non-governmental organisations yesterday.
In his speech, Muhyiddin said a committee headed by Tan Sri Rais Yatim was formed to look into accepting non-bumiputra members.
“It will be brought to the supreme council and if it is accepted, we will conduct an extraordinary general meeting to amend the constitution of Bersatu,” he said.
Muhyiddin said he had floated the idea at a recent Bersatu supreme council meeting, acknowledging there were challenges ahead in turning the party into a multiracial body.
He also made known that about 200,000 members of the four NGOs – Penggerak Komuniti Negara, Nation of Women, Pemuda Negara and Wanita Muda Negara – had applied to join Bersatu en masse.
Their membership, he said, would be expedited. If all of them were accepted, he said this would be the biggest group to join the party since its inception in 2016.
Muhyiddin also said that he was well aware that unemployment was the biggest worry among the youth.
He assured them that this was “a working, functional government”.
“It is about the livelihood of the people and what they want,” he said.
Senior Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali, who is also the International Trade and Industry Minister, said the membership forms had been handed over to Bersatu organising secretary Shuhaimi Yahya.
Ministers and leaders from Bersatu, PAS, MIC, Gabungan Parti Sarawak, Perikatan MPs and state representatives also attended.