Are we still on track?

The leader of the Peoples Progressive Party (PPP) also initially called for ISA to be abolished, and on December 1 said PPP would withdraw from BN unless if the ISA were not amended before the next election.  In response, Prime Minister Abdullah called PPP’s bluff and said the small party, which holds no seats in Parliament, could leave BN if it wished. — US Embassy, KL


Raja Petra Kamarudin

Ali Rustam: PPP can leave BN – now

(Malaysiakini, 20 Oct 2007) — People’s Progressive Party (PPP) members are left reeling after receiving a political blow from Umno’s third most powerful leader during the Malacca PPP annual general assembly early this week.

At the assembly on Monday, Umno vice-president Mohd Ali Rustam delivered a scathing speech which chided the PPP for “threatening” Barisan Nasional for more seats to contest in the coming general election

He also repeatedly stressed that PPP could leave the BN fold if it was unhappy.

This left many party members in a daze at how Mohd Ali – who was the guest of honour as Malacca chief minister – could utter such remarks.

“He came to our house, seemingly with the intention to humiliate us,” said a PPP source who attended the event.

Eyewitnesses said a handful of party members stormed out of the venue in protest, but that did not deter Mohd Ali.

“PPP can leave BN,” said Mohd Ali.

He then pointed at the stunned delegates and added: “All of you can leave. Either today or tomorrow. Why wait until the general election? What’s there to wait for?”

Show of hands

Mohd Ali also claimed that the Umno supreme council was unhappy with PPP for accepting former Umno members as their members.

He even asked if any of the delegates formerly with Umno, MCA, Gerakan and MIC to put up their hands.

Mohd Ali also took a dig at Pahang Menteri Besar Adnan Yaakob for suggesting that PPP should ask every state for a seat to contest in.

“That’s his business. As far as I am concerned – no seat in Malacca (for PPP),” he added.

When Mohd Ali wrapped up his tirade and declared the assembly open, PPP delegates refused to applaud.

Eyewitnesses reported that PPP president M Kayveas maintained his composure throughout the hour-long speech and was seen vigorously taking down notes.

Funeral-like atmosphere

When contacted, Kayveas said delegates were “disappointed and dejected” by the “unwarranted and undiplomatic” remarks uttered by Mohd Ali.

Kayveas said delegates were expecting inspiring speeches from Mohd Ali in order to prepare the party for the upcoming general election.

“(Instead) the chief minister’s speech made the entire assembly feel like a funeral. As the third highest ranking in Umno, the consequences of his speech worries me,” he said.

He added that some remarks which Mohd Ali made regarding other BN component parties and Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi were also uncalled for.

According to media sources, Mohd Ali had asked journalists to exclude the hard-hitting part of his speech in their reports. He claimed these were only meant for the delegates.

It is uncertain if Mohd Ali’s speech would lead to souring ties between PPP and Umno.

However, there is already talks within PPP rank-and-file that the party may silently boycott Umno programmes and functions.


PPP says it will leave BN if ISA is not amended

(The Malaysian Insider, 1 Dec 2008) — The PPP, a minor party in the Barisan Nasional (BN), has threatened to pull out of the ruling coalition if the Internal Security Act (ISA) is not amended before the next general election.

It is the latest party to join the bandwagon calling for reforms to prevent the abuse of the legislature which allows detention without trial.

Party president Datuk M Kayveas said today: “I ask for amendments to the law so that it does not become a draconian law imposed on innocent citizens.”

While Pakatan Rakyat (PR) parties PKR, DAP and Pas have always adopted an anti-ISA position, BN parties have always staunchly defended the law as necessary until recently.

Datuk Zaid Ibrahim resigned from the Cabinet recently in protest against the use of the ISA on a journalist, blogger and a senior Selangor PR government official.

There has even been growing calls from the MCA, the second biggest party in BN after Umno, urging for either reform or repeal of the ISA.

Speaking at his party’s youth and women’s wing congress today, Kayveas said BN should amend the ISA if it was serious about rebranding itself.

“BN has to make changes before the next general elections. It is suicidal if we do not plan.

“The problem with BN is its success. Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they cannot lose,” he said.

Kayveas added the March election results have shown that multi-racialism and good governance is what the voters are looking for.

“The solution has always been multi-racialism but we are caught in our own political racial configuration,” he said.


PM to PPP: Go if you want to

(The Star, 10 Dec 2008) — PPP is free to quit the Barisan Nasional coalition if it wants to, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said.

The government has no plans to amend the Internal Security Act (ISA), said Abdullah, also the coalition chairman, after a Barisan supreme council meeting here on Tuesday.

Recently, party president Datuk M. Kayveas said the PPP would pull out of Barisan Nasional if the ISA was not amended before the next general election.

He said PPP’s Youth and Wanita divisions wanted the ISA abolished, and he had to follow their proposals.

He also said Barisan had to make changes before the next general election, adding that “it would be suicidal if we did not.”

When asked whether this meant that PPP was free to leave the Barisan, Abdullah said: “If that is their choice, what can we do?”

Kayveas’ statement was slammed by many Barisan leaders, largely members of the largest component party Umno, who said it reflected badly on the coalition’s unity.

However, MCA central committee member Wong Nai Chee said his party supported PPP’s call to amend the ISA.


Don’t push us, Gerakan Youth tells BN leaders

(Malaysiakini, 7 Sep 2011) — Telling BN leaders not to “push Gerakan to the edge”, Ang said the party “will fight back with dignity”.

“We will not be a punching bag of Umno and we will no longer keep quiet when you shout. Gerakan is now 43 years old and we are old enough and experienced enough to decide our own destiny and direction that we do not need Umno or any other party to tell us where we should contest.

“We will decide where we should contest and we will let them know when (the) time is right,” said Ang in his tersely-worded statement.

Ang was responding to remarks by Umno supreme council member Mohd Ali Rustam that the state BN would field a “winnable candidate” from either Umno or MCA – instead of Gerakan – for the Bachang state constituency in the next general election.