PUTRAJAYA: Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) Armada chief Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman warned party members against bringing the culture of seeking business contracts and positions into the party.
He reprimanded several representatives who often raised the issue of contracts and positions, as if they were the main focus of the Annual General Assembly this year.
"Look back to when we started to conceive Bersatu. Recall where we were at that time - we had no posts, no property, no contract, what we had were all relieved off us and blocked.
"Now, some can even say where is the GLC (government-linked companies) appointment, I am waiting. Friends, we are not UMNO. Reevaluate. Look in the mirror," he said when winding up the debate on the party's assembly.
Syed Saddiq, who appeared worked up at the urgings of the delegates, regarded the matter as illogical.
‘’Imagine, that can be a MACC case (Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission). Use the right channel, if qualified. Go and see PKR, DAP, Amanah (assemblies). UMNO also was not this brave to discuss this issue publicly. Where is our dignity?’’ he asked.
However, his exhortations were not agreed to by Bersatu vice-president Ab Rashid Ab Rahman, who was of the opinion that all division heads must get activities and opportunities so that they can afford financially to defend the party position.
‘’We must win by hook or by crook in the general election. I see, in the current condition, we cannot defend our position as the government. Division heads are left just like that,’’ he said in his winding up speech.
Meanwhile, Armada Information chief Ulya Aqamah Husamubin, in a media conference, in defense of his chief’s stand, said Ab Rashid’s statement was his personal view and Armada would adamantly reject such things.
‘’Armada will give its support if contracts are given to those qualified, but we disagree with abuse of power involving anyone via direct negotiations and will combat such an agenda in the party. We will not hesitate to report such offences to the authorities,’’ he said.
In his winding up speech, Syed Saddiq also warned his party members not to be hostile to members of other parties.
He said Bersatu members must not be so obsessed with being hostile to members of other parties to the point they are not able to be friends.
‘’Just now, two delegates said the opposition should not be given space or face at all. Cannot, they are our enemies. Indeed they are our political enemies. But we must realise and remember what we have promised to the people prior to this. Why did the people pick us?
‘’The people picked us not because they want to see the Bersatu chairman as Pilgrims Fund Board chairman. They are not bothered if the chairman is Bersatu, UMNO or PKR but they want someone authoritative,’’ he said.
Syed Saddiq said that most importantly they should not be obsessed with hostilities to a point they forget the national agenda.
‘’If we want to punish the four million existing UMNO members, when I want to conduct business I must ask ‘What is your membership? Are your an UMNO member? Don’t want lah. They are our Muslim brothers, they are also Malaysians who are willing to stand tall when singing Negaraku,’’ he said.
Meanwhile, Bersatu Srikandi (women wing) chief, Rina Harun, who is also Rural and Regional Development Minister, said increasing rural development, especially involving the people’s basic facilities such as water and electricity supplies and roads, would continue to be the main core in the new government.
‘’When inheriting the kleptocratic government which had ruled for 60 years, there will be surely defects and leakages. As such, in the first two months in the new Cabinet I have reviewed the past policies.
‘’We see there were many requests from the people over building of homes. Some states applied to build houses in excess of the permitted construction quota,’’ he said.
As such, Rina said the government was in the process of preparing a prototype house at a cheaper price without affecting the quality and size, so that the people will benefit.