PUTRAJAYA, Jan 19 — Religion, race and the nation, and not party positions and public office candidacy must form the basis of Bersatu members’ struggles when they sign up to contest in the party’s inaugural elections.
Bersatu secretary-general Datuk Marzuki Yahya stressed that Bersatu has no place for party members who intend the use the party polls as a platform to pursue positions and riches.
“Bersatu was formed not for party positions or for individual interests. There is little point in a fray for positions when the party is not respected and end up losing in public office elections.
“Family principles emphasise harmony and not factions to topple one another for positions. Positions are never permanent, what is permanent is the wellbeing and prosperity of the nation through unity,” he said when speaking to Bernama in his office recently.
Bersatu will hold its annual general meeting and assembly from June 25 to 28, in which its maiden elections will be held.
A total 189 divisions are qualified to hold their meetings, while 363,167 Bersatu members are eligible to take part in the assembly.
The election process will start with nominations beginning Jan 26, branch-level meetings from February 15 to March 29 followed by division-level meetings nationwide on April 4.
Marzuki, who is also Deputy Foreign Minister, said as Bersatu was still new and in its infancy, the party would be hard-pressed to rectify matters should there be cracks within as a result of a power struggle in the run-up to the party elections.
In this regard, he advised party members to use the opportunity given to elect a strong and competent leadership capable of playing the role of the ‘defender’ when the government is tested, attacked and criticised by various parties.
He said this was because the people will be able to gauge the party’s resilience and current standing in its effort to champion their struggles, especially when it comes to narrowing the socio-economic gap and boosting the economy.
“There will always be critics. We must use the opportunities given to get behind Dr Mahathir (Prime Minister and Bersatu chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad) to improve the nation’s fortunes.
“We need to leave a legacy for the younger generation by working on our weaknesses and to stop racial discord to the point of destroying the nation,” he said.
Marzuki also brushed off talk that Bersatu’s lifespan would be a short one once Dr Mahathir is no more in the picture, stressing that leaders come and go but a party’s struggles remain constant.
“What is gone, will be replaced. What Tun (Dr Mahathir) has instilled in us is the spirit to champion our struggles, to set aside personal interests and to fight for the nation’s interests,” he said.
Formed on June 24, 2016, Bersatu to date has 377,057 members from 2,946 branches nationwide. — Bernama