KUALA LUMPUR – April 20, 2017: Pribumi Bersatu is blaming what it calls the Umno culture of cronyism and nepotism for the recent desertions by its members.
Information chief Datuk Kamaruddin Md. Noor sounds sure that some party members who were previously with Umno are finding it difficult to completely detach themselves from the ways of their former party.
“The bulk of our leaders and members are formerly with Umno. So of course there are those who are still attached to the ways of Umno. Changing one’s behaviour is not as easy as changing clothes,” said Kamaruddin.
The first to have explicitly pointed out the existence of the Umno culture in Pribumi Bersatu was Datuk Seri Khairuddin Abu Hassan, one of the early birds to join the party but who left it last October.
Coincidentally, the latest deserter is another founding member in Kamarulazman Habiburahman, who left after feeling disappointed with cronyism in the party.
“Individuals who have been the driving force since the party’s early days are being pushed aside,” said Kamarulazman at a press conference yesterday.
“It seems that Pribumi Bersatu’s priority now is to take in those having connections with the president, deputy president and secretary-general,” he remarked.
Kamarulazman also claimed that some 821 members will also leave.
In response, Kamaruddin said that the leadership had anticipated such desertions and regarded them as part and parcel of politics.
“There is no indication that the party is about to break apart because our higher ups are still very much united. So there is no need for members to worry about some petty grassroot conflicts,” he said.
Umno executive secretary Datuk Seri Ab. Rauf Yusoh, when asked for his comments, swatted off the claim about cronyism and nepotism in Umno as untrue.
“The culture within Umno is influenced by the will to protect the interests of the Malays. Blaming us for their own predicaments is something that is understandable.
“They however must remember that Pribumi Bersatu is not Umno. So they need to stop blaming us. Do not blame the tools if you’re a bad carpenter,” he said.