The trend of Umno members quitting their party and later joining Bersatu is not a tactic to strengthen the party with additional seats in Parliament, says its deputy president Mukhriz Mahathir.
Mukhriz clarified that it is a practice of democracy for the people to join the party they like, but it depends on whether the party leadership accepts or rejects their applications.
“This was what I told my component partners, that in the practice of democracy we do not need to reject any parties wishing to join Pakatan Harapan, as it is not certain that they (former Umno leaders) will join Bersatu, as some may joing Parti Warisan Sabah, or maybe PKR, Amanah or DAP.
“So we should be open, I understand the concerns of component partners, and we have explained to them that there is no desire to strengthen the position of Bersatu with more MPs,” he told reporters after a Back to School Uniform contribution programme in Jerlun today.
'Harapan need not fret'
Mukhriz was commenting on the moves of several Umno leaders in quitting the party to join Bersatu, which had sparked concerns among Harapan component members.
He said Harapan partners need not fret over the situation, as Bersatu would be holding to the cooperation agreement signed earlier and would not take actions which could adversely affect the coalition.
He also stressed that Bersatu is also not a party for former Umno leaders to seek protection from investigations by police or the MACC for their wrongdoings.
“We will seriously vet any quarters wishing to be members and even after becoming members, such leaders would not be protected from police or MACC, we will allow the legal course of action to take place,” he said.
On the six Umno MPs who quit the party yesterday, he said Bersatu had yet to receive any applications from them to join Bersatu.
In the programme, about 1,000 poor primary school pupils in the state constituencies of Ayer Hitam and Kota Siputeh were presented with school uniform, socks and shoes.