Malaysian academic Wan Saiful Wan Jan officially joins Mahathir's Pribumi party as strategy deputy chief

Malaysian academic Wan Saiful Wan Jan, previously a member of  Parti Islam SeMalaysia, said he has joined Pribumi because it was the only way to address national issues.
Malaysian academic Wan Saiful Wan Jan, previously a member of Parti Islam SeMalaysia, said he has joined Pribumi because it was the only way to address national issues.PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysian academic Wan Saiful Wan Jan, the former chief executive officer of the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (Ideas) think-tank, has officially joined Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia as a lifetime member.

The announcement was made by the opposition party's president Muhyiddin Yassin at a press conference on Thursday (March 1).

Tan Sri Muhyiddin said that Wan Saiful would take on the policy and strategy bureau deputy chairman position, assisting Datuk Rais Hussin.

"He will be able to help us strengthen the bureau and provide ideas to address several key issues the country faces," Muhyiddin said.

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.

"We need a solution at a political level. Our country needs an administration with a political will to change," he said.

He also said he was expecting public backlash for joining a race-based party.

"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," he said.

When asked which constituency he would be contesting in the coming general election, Wan Saiful said that was up to the party.

"It is up to the party to decide. I just only joined five minutes ago. Otherwise, I would be sacked," he quipped.

Also present at the press conference were Pribumi deputy president Mukhriz Mahathir, its Youth chief Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, supreme council member Datuk Rais Hussin, and Democratic Action Party (DAP) Member of Parliament Liew Chin Tong.

Pribumi is part of the four-party Pakatan Harapan opposition alliance, which includes the DAP, the Parti Keadilan Rakyat and the Parti Amanah Negara.

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

He had been the CEO of Ideas since 2009 when he led the process to launch the think-tank in February 2010.