Azmin: Former Umno MPs have repented

(FMT) -PKR deputy president Azmin Ali today dismissed criticisms over PPBM’s acceptance of seven former Umno MPs, saying that the MPs have already repented.

Azmin said although he respected the criticism voiced by several DAP leaders, he said people by nature were bound to make mistakes.

“They have already repented. You see, people make mistakes. People are bound to make mistakes. But as I mentioned earlier, they have to show their commitment to Pakatan Harapan first.

“These are individuals who have come to the realisation that Umno is not a party that can guarantee the future. The party is still playing up racial issues, so these MPs feel that it is not the way forward.

“For me, we will accept any individual who will accept the struggles of PH,” he told reporters after a closed-door meeting with the Hulu Langat PKR division chief and members here tonight.

Azmin said, as explained previously by Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, MPs outside of the PH fold will not be allowed to enter the pact en bloc.

“They must leave their party and they must understand and appreciate the struggles of PH.

“They must be convinced about the ideology and idealism of PH. They must accept the policies of PH before we can accept them into any party.

“As far as I know, they left Umno many months ago. They have shown commitment to the cause of PH for PPBM to accept them,” he said.

The economic affairs minister also said many of the top leaders in PH had come from Umno, stating that what was more important now was that PH was much stronger and is getting more support.

“These new members are responsible for going to the ground, to convince Umno members that they must leave the party as it is so rotten and corruption is so endemic in the party.

“They must leave the party and support the reform agenda. That is the role of these MPs.

“I invite them here to help in the by-election campaign,” he said.

Yesterday, Mahathir, who is also PPBM chairman, announced the acceptance of seven former Umno members into his party.

They were MPs Shabudin Yahaya (Tasek Gelugor), Hamzah Zainuddin (Larut), Ikmal Hisham Abdul Aziz (Tanah Merah), Mohamad Fasiah Mohd Fakeh (Sabak Bernam), Rosol Wahid (Hulu Terengganu), Abdul Latiff Ahmad (Mersing) and Mas Ermieyati Samsudin (Tanah Merah). These leaders applied to join PPBM last December.

However, their acceptance into PPBM has been met with criticisms by several DAP leaders, including party secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, DAP Bukit Gelugor MP Ramkarpal Singh, Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh and Sungai Pelek assemblyman Ronnie Liu.

Meanwhile, when asked why PKR had decided to give way to PPBM to contest the Semenyih seat, Azmin said the decision was made even before the 14th general election.

“The consensus was that whichever party won the seat previously, other parties will not claim that seat.

“The important thing is, we are entering the by-election as Pakatan Harapan and not as individual parties.

“Dr Mahathir has reminded us on this many times, that we must work together as a coalition,” he added.