PENAMPANG: Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak’s status as a loyalist to the previous Barisan Nasional government is among the factors that PKR needs to consider before deciding on his membership application into the party.
PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said this while reiterating that the former Umno stalwart's application status was still pending as it has to go through a process, including getting feedback from the state party members.
"I have personally informed him (Salleh) that the process has to be respected. So, we are not in a rush.
"Of course people will ask why he is an exception as we have accepted many ex-Umno members into the party.
"However, as we all know, this is prominent name in the past. We need to take that into consideration, so give us a bit of time," he told reporters after attending the Sabah PKR convention here today.
Also present were party vice-president Chang Lih Kang, supervising secretary Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, and Sabah PKR chief Datuk Christina Liew.
Anwar took note of concern that Salleh's entry into PKR might affect confidence among party members as he was known to be loyal to the previous government.
"I take that into consideration. Christina Liew has also voiced it out. (Salleh) was a stalwart in defence of (Datuk Seri) Najib (Razak) in the past. Now, he is committed to the party’s (PKR) struggle, so we just have to consider.
"I was also quite a committed Umno member in the past, but to me, what is not negotiable and not compromisable is the fact that you must adhere to the reform agenda and accept the fact that this is a party for reform," he stressed.
When asked to clarify whether Salleh is a confirmed PKR member, Anwar said that anyone can become a member and that membership is automatic once registered.
But he said that if the names registered are known names, such as a prominent leader in the case of Salleh, the party will get back to the state and divisions for advice.
"That's the process. It's not that we are withdrawing (Salleh's application). I told him personally that as a party we don't have a problem accepting (him), but we have to take into account the sentiment of members on the ground and state.
"So, the process is underway, which I don't foresee to be a problem at all," he said.
On Oct 5, PKR confirmed that it received an online membership application from Salleh, who is an ex-Communications and Multimedia Minister.