PUTRAJAYA: Seven former Umno leaders joined Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) today.
They were former Barisan Nasional (BN) parlimentarians - Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin (Larut), Datuk Seri Ikmal Hisham Abdul Aziz (Tanah Merah), Datuk Dr Latiff Ahmad (Mersing), Datuk Rosol Wahid (Hulu Terengganu), Datuk Mohd Fasiah Mohd Fakeh (Sabak Bernam), Datuk Shahbudin Yahya (Tasik Gelugor) and Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin (Masjid Tanah).
They received their membership cards from Bersatu chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
At a special conference held to announce their entry to the party earlier, Dr Mahathir said their applications were vetted before being approved.
He, however, noted that their new membership with Bersatu does not give them protection against past doings.
“We will not protect them against whatever they have done in the past.
“We have accepted them as only regular members now. Therefore they are not allowed to hold any position in the party.
“But we will use them for specific tasks like campaigning for the party and the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition, and also (ask for) ttheir opinion on certain matters.”
He said he had briefed them about the membership requirements and responsibilities and they have pledged their loyalty to the party and PH.
Dr Mahathir also noted that apparently there were efforts to revive Umno back to its former glory with a new leader and strengthened with cooperation with Pas.
“Now this is the phenomenon that we are witnessing in Umno where Pas which once called Umno kafir’ (infidel) party and rejected Umno.
“But Pas if it is going to benefit, it is willing to work with anyone who is ‘kafir’. This is atrocious because Pas has no right to claim that those who are not Pas members are not Islam,” he said.
Umno and Pas are working together now only because of their own political interests, not for the race, religion or the country, he added.
Admitting that Bersatu was a race-based party, Dr Mahathir said the party plays a role rendering support to the people who feels there is no representation for the Bumiputera in the country and feel they are not safe.
“We will make sure that their fate and future is protected while working together with the other coalition parties,” he added.