Pakatan parties given freedom to decide members, says Saifuddin

Minister of Foreign Affairs Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah speaks during a discussion at the Institute of Diplomacy and Foreign Relations, Kuala Lumpur February 14, 2019. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
Minister of Foreign Affairs Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah speaks during a discussion at the Institute of Diplomacy and Foreign Relations, Kuala Lumpur February 14, 2019. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 14 — Pakatan Harapan (PH) component parties have the liberty to decide the criteria for their membership, Datuk Safidudin Abdullah said today.

Saifuddin, who is PH chief secretary, was asked to respond to uneasiness displayed by DAP arising from the intake of former Umno lawmakers into Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) on Tuesday.

“If there are concerns pertaining to the intake process, then it will be discussed during the PH presidential council meeting which is usually held on the first Friday of every month.

“That is the platform which they (parties) will voice their views,” he told reporters after attending a roundtable discussion with youths at the Institute of Diplomacy and Foreign Relations here.

Earlier this week, Larut MP Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin, Mersing MP Datuk Abdul Latif Ahmad, Tasek Gelugor MP Datuk Shabudin Yahaya, Sabak Bernam MP Datuk Mohd Fasiah Mohd Fakeh, Hulu Terengganu MP Datuk Rosol Wahid and Tanah Merah MP Datuk Seri Ikhmal Hisham Abdul Aziz all received their PPBM membership cards after quitting Umno in December last year.

Saifuddin also confirmed that there was a general understanding between PH component parties to convene the meeting at an earlier date.

“The meeting was supposed to be held on March 1. However, since March 2 is the voting day for the Semenyih by-election, maybe the meeting will be postponed or a new date will be set,” he said.

Asked if it will be too late to discuss the former Umno lawmakers’ intake if the meeting convened in March, Saifuddin pointed out that such matters have already been discussed previously.

“Should there be any issues related to that exercise, we have a monthly meeting. Surely we can discuss this in the next meeting on any issues arising from the most current recruitment of new members,” he said.

Earlier this week, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said Prime Minister and PPBM chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had agreed to hold the meeting at an earlier date to discuss the matter in spirit of the party.

Saifuddin said it was not difficult to change the date of the PH presidential council’s meeting.

“One thing we observed is that everyone is now a minister. So if the meeting is held monthly, it is quite easy since it is already in their diary.

“But if you want to change date, then it is not difficult but we are still looking at possible dates. So yes there is a possibility we may find another date before March 1 or delay it,” he said.

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

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