PKR to take ‘prudent approach’ on ex-Umno members joining

PETALING JAYA: Any application by former and current Umno members will be vetted by PKR on a case-by-case basis, says party communications director Lee Chean Chung.

He said the party has not received any application from those affiliated with Umno seeking to join PKR.

“If they are interested, it will be evaluated case by case.

“For high-profile people, it will be vetted at the central committee level.

“It is (a) delicate (matter), so it’s better to take a prudent approach,” Lee said in an interview yesterday.

He added that PKR is neutral on the prospects of accepting leaders affiliated with Umno.

He was commenting on former Umno supreme council member Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin who has stated his intentions to join PKR.

Earlier yesterday, Zahidi, who was sacked from Umno last year, said he will apply to join PKR in February along with 100 Padang Besar Umno division members.

He also said some Umno leaders were contemplating joining Perikatan Nasional due to their unhappiness over the recent purge of Umno leaders.

Perlis PKR state leadership council deputy chairman Noor Amin Ahmad claimed that Zahidi had reached out to him on his interest in joining PKR.

“Zahidi contacted me more than a month ago and said he was keen to join.

“People can apply online for membership and it is up to the leadership at the federal level to decide whether the party wants to accept them or not,” he said.

Noor Amin also said he did not speak much to Zahidi when the former Padang Besar MP reached out to him.

“I told him the procedure for applying. It is not my prerogative to admit him as a member.

“As a former leader from Barisan Nasional, it might create some issues, so it is up to the PKR federal leadership to manage it,” he added.

Noor Amin stressed that there must be mechanisms to ensure that those joining PKR aren’t opportunists, given that the party is now in government.

“They must be tested about loyalty as well as understanding PKR’s mission and objectives,” he said.

Pasir Gudang PKR MP Hassan Karim said he is open to receiving Umno members into the party.

“Personally, I welcome them,” he said, however adding that it should be up to the central leadership to vet applications by Zahidi and other former Umno members.

PKR central committee member Datuk Abdullah Sani Abdul Hamid said there has been no discussions about Umno members joining the party so far.

“Nobody is discussing this. I think this is hearsay,” he said when contacted.

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