Academic joins Mahathir's Pribumi

PETALING JAYA • Academic Wan Saiful Wan Jan (above), the former chief executive officer of the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (Ideas) think-tank, has officially joined the Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia opposition party.

The announcement was made by party president Muhyiddin Yassin yesterday.

The Malay-based Pribumi, led by former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, is part of the Pakatan Harapan opposition alliance, which includes the Democratic Action Party, the Parti Keadilan Rakyat and the Parti Amanah Negara.

Tan Sri Muhyiddin said Mr Wan Saiful will be deputy chairman of the policy and strategy bureau. "He will be able to help us strengthen the bureau and provide ideas to address several key issues the country faces."

Mr Wan Saiful, who was previously a member of another opposition party, Parti Islam SeMalaysia, said he joined Pribumi because it was the only way to address national issues.

He also said he was expecting a public backlash for joining a race-based party, adding: "We must choose an existing platform that has the best potential to achieve our goals. People will only take a party seriously if it is able to shape the perspective and thinking of the people, and only Pribumi is able to do this at a national level."

Mr Wan Saiful's last day with Ideas was on Wednesday.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 02, 2018, with the headline 'Academic joins Mahathir's Pribumi'. Subscribe