Dr M: PPBM isn't a 'cash is king' party

Veena Babulal and Nadia Hamid

KUALA LUMPUR: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad warned those seeking to join Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) that it is not interested in taking in opportunity-seekers.

He said Umno members seeking entry into PPBM should know that it is not a ‘cash is king’ party.

“This party is not about ‘cash is king’. We struggle for religion, race and the country. That’s all we aspire for and we will not accept those who think joining a political party is about getting opportunities,” said the PPBM chairman in a Facebook video on Friday.

Dr Mahathir, who is also prime minister, sought to allay fears by PPBM members the party will be overrun by ex-Umno members.

“They can come in from Umno as a big group to control Bersatu (but) it cannot be controlled by anyone. It is controlled only by its struggle,” he said.

He said Umno members have to prove that they are no longer tied to their previous party and are genuinely interested in the work that PPBM has done.

“We will only accept them when we are comfortable with their actions,” he said.

He also took a swipe at Umno members who pleaded ignorance over the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) scandal and those who had defended ex-prime minister and former Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak over the issue.

“If they really did not know, that means they did not care about their party’s struggle and were just comfortable with the treatment they received,” he said.

“These individuals will ruin Umno if they remain, and ruin Bersatu if they join us,” he added.

Dr Mahathir also addressed claims that the grouses voiced by PPBM’s grassroots are not being heard by the leadership.

The party’s leaders, he said, are trying to help the country recover and fix its finances.

“We have many leaders but they are busy trying to help the nation and its financial situation. If we take time to hear their views and complaints and we hear things such as ‘I can’t work with such leaders; they should be booted out or dropped’.. if that is their struggle, then it’s hard for us to give them the time.”

He said there were also PPBM leaders who did not like having new members and were content with the status quo. These people, he said, perceived those who are more talented as being threats.

“If we only think about ourselves and our position, this party will become like Umno and will be rejected by the people.” © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd