Saifuddin stands by his claim


(Rakyat Post) – Datuk Saifuddin Nasution today stood by his statement made last week on Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) being a Malay-based party.

Speaking to media after a press conference at PKR’s headquarters this afternoon, the party’s secretary-general said his comments and fellow party member Azmin Ali’s rebuttal were a clash of ideology.

“As far as I see it, PKR’s composition is made up of 50% Malays, 12% Chinese, 20% Indians and 18% Sabah and Sarawak ethnicities.

“Azmin gave a more direct interpretation, that the party is multiracial.”

Saifuddin said he saw it from a perspective that it is a party with half the voices being that from Malay Muslims that supported multiracial and Malaysian agendas.

“The reality is that over the last 15 years, the leadership was helmed by Malays.

“In the future, it is open to support and participation by other races. The other half will be made up of other races.

“The party also supports the royal institution and recognises Islam as the official religion,” he added.

The deputy president hopeful also noted that these had been accepted by the party’s non-Malay members, just as how non-Malay members accepted the multiracial agenda.

According to Saifuddin, even all affirmative action plans were based on needs and not skin colour.

“It’s all about looking at it from a different angle. While Azmin’s interpretation is limited to reference of the composition, it’s truly a multiracial party,” he said.

Saifuddin was commenting on Azmin’s rebuttal made yesterday, saying that the principle guiding PKR was one that aimed to bring a new dimension in the nation’s political landscape that transcends religious and racial differences, at the same time rejecting Saifuddin’s earlier statement made to the New Straits Times that PKR was based on the Malay race.

“PKR was never based on the Malay race. I have made it clear that PKR has a huge responsibility to ensure that a new political culture can be introduced into the Malaysian political system, and it is one that embraces all races and religions.

“It wasn’t easy at first, but after 15 years, we have proven that the new generation has accepted that we must reject race-based politics,” Azmin told reporters at a press conference at the party’s headquarters yesterday.