KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 13 — DAP national legal bureau chairman Ramkarpal Singh today said that the recent inclusion of seven former Umno MPs into Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) was not what the people voted for during the 14th general election (GE14).
He said nearly half of PPBM lawmakers currently are post-GE14 Umno MPs.
“The possibility now that such Umno MPs will soon form the majority of PPBM is frightening.
“While Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in justifying such inclusion had said, ‘It’s what they are now that counts.’
“With the greatest of respect, what are they now?” he asked in a statement.
Ramkarpal said there is no evidence that any of these former Umno MPs have repented from being complicit in the previous regime and none of them has publicly condemned the kleptocratic former government.
“To me, they are no different today than what they were before.
“Accepting a person who once said he is open to the idea of a woman marrying her rapist into a coalition committed to reform is mind-boggling as such action reflects a complete disregard of such reforms,” he said.
Ramkarpal was referring to Tasek Gelugor MP Datuk Shabudin Yahaya who had in April 2017 suggested in Parliament that rapists should be allowed to marry their child victims as a solution to social problems.
He said while it is high time that anti-hopping laws are enacted, the acceptance of former Umno MPs into Pakatan Harapan (PH) with open arms of late suggests this will always remain a distant hope.
“I note the prime minister’s assurance that all of the said Umno MPs have been vetted,” he continued.
“Again, with respect, how much ‘vetting’ of such MPs would gain the confidence of the people that they are somehow cleansed today as compared to nine months ago?”
Ramkarpal added that crossovers are deplorable in any democracy as it betrays the will of the people.
Earlier today, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said the 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 former Umno parliamentarians into the party.
Lim said party chairman Dr Mahathir had agreed to hold the meeting at an earlier date to discuss the matter.
Yesterday, seven former Umno parliamentarians were officially accepted into PPBM, among them are Tasek Gelugor MP Datuk Shabudin Yahaya, Larut MP Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin, Mersing MP Datuk Abdul Latiff Ahmad and Sabak Bernam MP Datuk Mohd Fasiah Mohd Fakeh.