KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 22 — Former PKR leader Zuraida Kamaruddin claimed Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) will be the strongest party in Perikatan Nasional (PN), after defectors from PKR officially crossed over and became new members today.
The Ampang MP said the newcomers — comprising the faction that supports former PKR deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali — will strengthen Bersatu for the coming 15th general election and increase the ruling party’s chances to garner more seats.
“Today, we must choose a political platform to enter the ring to help the Bersatu to become the party with the largest component of MPs.
“With the Chinese, Indian, Malay, Iban and Kadazan... this opportunity allows for increased MP seats in Bersatu when general elections come,” she said in her speech at the Kongres Negara, the National Congress organised by four NGO linked with the former PKR leaders.
A total of 11 former PKR MPs — supporters of Azmin are expected to officially join Bersatu this evening including eight cabinet members as well as a number of state assemblymen.
Zuraida, who is the housing and local government minister, said that the group had attempted to form a new platform but due to mutual agreement it could not be realised.
“We are on the right track. We are very enthusiastic to forge a new platform, but on muafakat (cooperation), we all agreed a deal with Bersatu, including the non-Malays,” she said.
Zuraida also hopes that Azmin will be given a place and position in Bersatu, following their participation.
At today’s event the Bersatu application form was distributed to 3,000 delegation from the four NGOs — Penggerak Komuniti Negara together with Pemuda Negara, Nations of Women (NOW), and Penggerak Wanita Muda Negara ― all civil societies with links to Azmin and his faction, which left PKR to support Perikatan Nasional.
Bersatu President and Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin accepted 11 MPs from the block to join Bersatu, making the numbers of their MPs to 32.
Also present in the Congress are PAS Secretary-General Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan, his counterpart in Bersatu Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin as well as Sarawak Parties Coalition (GPS) Secretary-General Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi.
*Editor’s note: An earlier version described Bersatu as the party with the most number of MPs and has since been amended to more accurately reflect what Zuraida Kamaruddin said.
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