BUTTERWORTH: Voters must decide in the general election if they are willing to tolerate politicians and public personalities who defected from either side of the political fray, said an Umno leader.
In Malaysian politics, there is a long line of those who can be classified as “katak” (frog).
It starts with Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim, who joined forces with Umno’s arch rivals just days after suffering a fallout with the Umno leadership, said state Umno liaison committee deputy chairman Musa Sheikh Fadzir.
He said such leaders have selfish aims and survived politically based on public empathy and Malaysia’s inclination to often support the underdog.
“They made their names and earned a fortune through the goodwill of Umno or the federal government. After losing positions or a degree of wealth, they became angry,” Musa said in an interview.
He said they vented their frustration on Umno or Barisan Nasional and when they were no longer entertained, they defect to the other side.
Nothing which they have done or plan to do has the interest of the people at heart.
It is just all about their own selfish aims and an undying thirst for power until they become consummate political animals, he said.
Rubbishing the opposition’s contention about mooting an anti-party hopping law, he said PAS was pinching any personality willing to join them even if they could be tainted with issues.
Musa said those who defect to either side politically should look at the common villagers who stayed loyal to Umno or BN, despite remaining poor or continue to struggle in life.
“That is the measure of loyalty. We should have such attitude ingrained in the hearts and minds of every politician before they began on this endeavour of service to the community,” he added.
He said the most effective way to overcome defections, which is an outright betrayal, is for the voters to reject such persons.
Musa was responding to reports that the former long-serving Penang Malay Chamber of Commerce president Abdul Rahman Maidin has handed over a membership form to join PAS.
Abdul Rahman made the pledge to PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang last month in a brief ceremony in Johor.
The Penang-born businessman is considered a heavyweight in the corporate circles, having once helmed the government-linked company-Malaysian Resources Corporation Bhd (MRCB).
Musa also took a dig at his elder brother Abdul Kadir Sheikh Fadzir, an ex-senior Umno leader and former Cabinet minister, who has been seen at various PAS gatherings.
It is believed that Abdul Kadir is trying to warm up to the Islamist party but so far, there is nothing formal about him joining them.
To this, Musa said Abdul Kadir is behaving like a spoilt brat, who is angry with the family and decides to rebel.
The Umno man said that his brother was once a minister, criticising PAS at every opportunity and now, he is seen with them.
“Can the people accept this? It is up to the voters to decide,” he added.
It is learnt from a PAS leader that the Islamist party is on a recruitment drive of potential candidates ahead of the general election, expected within the next three to five months.
After fishing for senior police officers, among them – Fauzi Shaari, a former number three in the Bukit Aman hierarchy rank, who is expected to be fielded as a candidate in Perak – PAS has turned its attention towards corporate leaders.
Abdul Rahman is one of them.
His entry into PAS is bound to raise eyebrows since he was a former corporate leader with vast understanding of Umno’s business empire.
Musa said voters are likely to place emphasis on candidates now after they were dismayed by the political turmoil in BN and Pakatan Rakyat.-fmt