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Harapan’s acceptance of Umno defectors is a betrayal of the rakyat

MP SPEAKS | The recent exodus of Umno representatives switching their allegiance to Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, is a dangerous development and completely against the will of the people who convincingly voted the Barisan Nasional government out in GE14.

To accept them into Pakatan Harapan now would be a betrayal of the rakyat who wanted a real change, not merely a cosmetic one where many old faces are a part of the new government.

I wonder if Harapan were to lose in the next elections, would our MPs do the same and so easily jump over to the other side?

The issue here is not so much whether these Umno representatives deserve to be a part of Harapan in the event they were to join one of our component parties, but how such crossovers would reflect on Harapan ’s commitment to reform and change.

These Umno MPs were a part of a system that Harapan has committed to change. In order to do so, we have to first clear the decks and allowing them into Harapan would be the complete opposite of this.

The reason given by these representatives for their departure – that Umno today lacks direction – is laughable as just as recently as eight months ago, Umno to them was their one and only direction.

The more Harapan entertains these crossovers, the more disillusioned the rakyat will become with Harapan.

Change does not only mean prosecuting the former premier and his deputy for alleged offences on their parts but more importantly, the dismantling of policies and eradication of corruption that has become rampant under Umno rule for decades.

Harapan does not need these former Umno representatives. It needs more men and women of principle to further its noble agenda of reform.

It is hoped the prime minister takes heed of the dissatisfaction of the rakyat in Harapan’s entertaining these former Umno representatives as it would be a great betrayal to them not to.

RAMKARPAL SINGH is MP Bukit Gelugor, chairperson for DAP’s National Legal Bureau.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

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