KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 28 — Amid rumours, Parti Bangsa Malaysia (PBM) confirmed that it has invited PKR-turned-Bersatu minister Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin to join the party, but has yet to receive any official response.
In a recent interview with Malay Mail, its Youth chief Muhammad Na’im Brundage — a former PKR man — also suggested the possibility of a mass exodus of PKR members into the party.
“We could not wait for any leaders before we move along with our party and that is why we already started with the convention and that is also why we have already announced the leadership [line-up].
“So we are basically moving forward as a party with or without her,” he said, referring to the minister of plantation industries and commodities.
Na’im, formerly the Federal Territories PKR Youth chief, said the party keeps its doors open to anyone willing to uphold its size pillars: safeguarding multiracial values, youth empowerment, women representation, improving education, strengthening the economy, as well as science and technology.
“I do not discount the possibility that there will be a mass immigration of leaders and members from PKR to join our party.
“But if they do join us, they need to ensure that they ascribe to our agenda and understand that PBM and PKR were both multiracial party but they are two radically different parties in terms of ideology,” he said.
He claimed that “quite a number” of leaders from both government and Opposition parties are interested in joining PBM, but refused to disclose names.
“I can’t speak for sure whoever might join the party but I believe there is a lot of potential [that] leaders might join, but whether they are in the Cabinet or not, I’m not too sure about that at this moment,” he added.
Other PKR defectors currently in PBM top leadership include Lembah Jaya state assemblyman Haniza Mohamed Talha (deputy president I), Tebrau MP Steven Choong (senior vice-president), Rahimah Majid who was former Sabah PKR Women chief (vice-president I), and a few others.
Declaring the party’s stance on supporting the government, Na’im said PBM needs more time to decide which coalition within the current administration it wants to cooperate with in the next general election.
Commenting on PBM’s inclination towards Barisan Nasional, he said the matter was brought up by one of the delegates during the party’s convention.
“I believe he was echoing the sentiment that was during the general meeting where there was a motion to join BN,” he said, referring to party president Larry Sng.
“And it was made by one of the delegates in the previous general meeting. And the decision whether we can join BN is up to BN and also up to us whether we are able to come to terms in the seat arrangement.”
Na’im also mentioned that the party has started to lay the groundwork and already has recognised a few “winnable” seats for the next general election.
“We are more than ready to contest for GE15 or any other subsequent general election after this and we are actually laying out the groundwork already.
“We either contest in a coalition, if the negotiation to join any ‘government-friendly’ coalition goes according to plan.
“However, if that does not work out we will still be contesting, but probably on a smaller scale and will be focusing more on seats we believe are more winnable,” he added.
PBM was formerly known as Sarawak Workers’ Party and its rebranding was approved by the Registrar of Societies on October 27 last year.
On January 8, Larry Sng was elected as the president of the party in a special general assembly in Sibu, Sarawak, with other top leaders also announced that day.