PUTRAJAYA (BERNAMA) - The committee set up by Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) to assess and examine membership applications from former Umno members will take into account the views of the grassroots in its decision, said party deputy president Mukhriz Mahathir.
Datuk Seri Mukhriz, who chairs the committee, said it would first get feedback from the divisions concerned on the intention by any former opposition elected representatives to join PPBM, also known as Bersatu.
"Some (divisions) can accept because they think they will have an elected representative in the division although during the 14th general election (GE14), they were at logger-heads because (then) they were from rival parties," he told Bernama in an interview at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre where the party held its second annual general meeting.
He said some divisions, however, were against having former Umno parliamentary members or assemblymen into Bersatu because of the wrongdoings committed by the former opposition members.
"Although there is no official report (on the wrongdoings), this kind of people cannot be accepted for fear of bringing the bad culture into Bersatu," he added.
The PPBM or Bersatu, is part of the ruling Pakatan Harapan alliance that also comprises the Parti Keadilan Rakyat; the Parti Amanah Negara; and the Democratic Action Party.
In addition to the screening by the committee, Mukhriz said former Umno leaders in Bersatu, like him and president Muhyiddin Yassin, would also have known the political habits of those elected representatives who have quit Umno. He said Bersatu would ensure that the migration of opposition members into Bersatu would not affect the party s reputation and image.
There was also no need for the grassroots leaders in Bersatu to fear that the migration would reduce their chances of becoming party candidates in the next general election, Mukhriz said.
He added that former the opposition elected representatives should also realise the mistakes done by their former party, and make a public apology for it. "I see that some of those who expressed their desire to jump party do not realise this, like they don't feel guilty," he added. An apology from the former Umno members would also reduce the discomfort among Bersatu members of accepting them into the party.
Asked about the opinion of other component parties in the PH alliance on the matter, Mukhriz said he had explained to the PH Presidential Council that Bersatu took seriously the process of filtering the former opposition members before they could be accepted into the party.
Mukhriz said he believed there were elected representatives from the opposition who were keen to join other PH component parties and regarded it as strengthening the government in Parliament.