Pakatan to meet earlier to discuss status of seven ex-Umno MPs

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng speaks during a press conference in Putrajaya February 13, 2019. ― Picture by Mukhriz Hazim
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng speaks during a press conference in Putrajaya February 13, 2019. ― Picture by Mukhriz Hazim

PUTRAJAYA, Feb 13 — The Pakatan Harapan (PH) presidential council meeting, which is held on a monthly basis, will be convened at an earlier date to discuss whether the coalition will accept the seven former Umno Parliamentarians into the party.

DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said party chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had agreed to hold the meeting at an earlier date to discuss the matter in spirit of the party.

“We feel that the matter has to be discussed in the PH presidential council meeting. I have raised the matter to Dr Mahathir and he had agreed to hold a meeting earlier than usual,” said Lim at a press conference, here, today.

He, however, was unable to confirm when the meeting will be held.

The last meeting was held on February 1 and is not expected to be called until the following month.

When asked about his apparent acceptance of Tasek Gelugor MP Datuk Shabudin Yahaya as a new Parti Pribumi Bersatu (PPBM) member, Lim said he still stood by his stance that he did not accept the statement that was made by Shabudin when Barisan Nasional was still in power.

Shabudin had in April 2017 suggested in Parliament that rapists should be allowed to marry their child victims as a solution to social problems.

In response, Lim, who was at the time the Penang chief minister, said Shabudin was unfit for office and said the latter’s suggestion showed a “depraved and sick” mind.

“I condemned the statement then, and I still condemn it now. However, I do not know if he still holds that stance. Maybe the question should be answered by him,” said the PH deputy president.

Meanwhile, Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) vice-president Datuk Seri Mujahid Yusof Rawa said that PH had set clear ground rules on taking in members from other parties.

He said among them is that new members must accept the party’s struggle and do not have a hidden motive for joining PH.

“Joining PH also does not mean they are cleared by any wrongdoing if they have had in the past.

“We are very consistent. Whatever they have done in the past, even when they have joined PH, they still have to bear the brunt of their past wrongdoings,” he said.

Yesterday, seven former Umno parliamentarians were officially accepted into PPBM, including Shabudin, Larut MP Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin, Mersing MP Datuk Abdul Latiff Ahmad and Sabak Bernam MP Datuk Mohd Fasiah Mohd Fakeh.

*A previous version of this story contained errors which have since been corrected.