PUTRAJAYA, April 15 — Perikatan Nasional can take in anyone who wishes to join it, its secretary-general Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin said today amid a remark by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad over its membership.
Asked to weigh in on the Langkawi MP’s indication that his refusal to join Perikatan Nasional was due to its “court clusters” or leaders involved in criminal trials and that the situation would have been different otherwise, Hamzah noted that the Federal Constitution guarantees the freedom to join political parties.
“Everyone can have feelings, give views and opinions, and I tell you, everyone has got the rights to join any parties that they wish to,” he told reporters at the Le Meridien Hotel after his roundtable discussion with non-Muslim faith leaders on the use of the word “Allah”.
“And Perikatan Nasional is also a party that can also accept anyone who wishes to follow all matters in the Constitution without any conditions, so it is the freedom for anyone to say, have views, enter or exit.
“That is a matter that is given freedom in the Constitution,” he added.
He was asked to comment on Dr Mahathir’s interview with news portal Malaysiakini, where the former prime minister had claimed that there were ongoing attempts to pull him into joining Perikatan Nasional.
Dr Mahathir was reported saying however that such attempts to have him join Perikatan Nasional had failed as it contained those involved in ongoing criminal matters in court, and that the situation may be different if such individuals are no longer part of Perikatan Nasional.
Dr Mahathir is now chairman of the Parti Pejuang Tanah Air, an opposition party that is awaiting registration by the government as a political party.
Prior to setting up his new party, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia had removed Dr Mahathir from the party.
Bersatu is now part of the Perikatan Nasional administration.
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