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Sunday, August 30, 2020

'Azmin's longing for PKR has made Umno-Bersatu reunification unlikely'


Any hopes for Umno to reunite with its splinter party Bersatu is now slim, said Ahmad Shabery Cheek.
The Umno supreme council member said that in a bid to accommodate Gombak MP Azmin Ali and his supporters, who include non-bumiputera, Bersatu has adopted what he likened as the "PKR model".
Shabery (above) said Semangat 46, another Umno splinter party in the 1980s, was able to eventually reunite with Umno as their membership base was the same - Malays and bumiputera.
"However, if Bersatu has become like PKR by opening its membership to all members, reunification will be difficult.
"PKR is originally Parti Keadilan Nasional. They merged with Parti Rakyat Malaysia to become Parti Keadilan Rakyat.
"They could merge as their members were similar. It is impossible for PKR to merge with Umno as their members are different.
"It is also impossible for Bersatu to merge with Umno if they have adopted the PKR model," he said in a statement.
Instead, Shabery said Bersatu is now more suited to merge with PKR.
"Perhaps this is what Azmin and his friends wanted when they joined Bersatu. They miss PKR," said Shabery, who was previously part of Semangat 46 before rejoining Umno.
Azmin Ali
A faction within Umno that is opposed to cooperation with Bersatu has played up the membership issue to paint Bersatu as "no longer" a Malay party.
Bersatu secretary-general Hamzah Zainudin had said the criticism was inaccurate as the party had from the onset accepted non-Malays, but as associate members and not ordinary members. 
Instead, he added, what Bersatu is considering now is to set up an associate members' wing for non-Malays.
The model is similar to that of PAS which has a PAS supporters' wing comprising non-Muslims.
In contrast, PKR does not differentiate between Malay and non-Malay, or Muslim and non-Muslim members.
Azmin, who defected from PKR, formally joined Bersatu on Aug 22. 
He had led nine other MPs to defect from PKR in late February, which was instrumental in bringing down the Pakatan Harapan government and the formation of the Perikatan Nasional government led by Bersatu.
BN, PAS, GPS, PBS and STAR are also part of the new coalition government.
However, as Azmin's allies include non-Muslims and non-Malays, they also had to be accommodated.
On the same day of Azmin's entry, Bersatu had mulled setting up an associate members' wing. - Mkini

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