People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Youth chief T Murugiah today ticked off Barisan Nasional coalition partners for not fulfilling its three-decade-old promise of a fair allocation of seats to the party.
In his policy speech at the national PPP Youth annual general assembly, Murugiah said PPP made a “huge sacrifice” in becoming a founding partner of BN - which was preceded by the Alliance coalition - in 1972, and remained a loyal member of BN until today.
“Unfortunately, BN is not loyal to PPP. Promises were unfulfilled. It was empty promises. Eyes and ears are closed to the voices of our half million members,” he said.
According to Murugiah, PPP agreed to join the BN coalition on the premise that it would be able to retain its four parliamentary and 12 state seats it held in 1972.
The agreement also allowed PPP to have additional seats, amounting to five percent of seats contested by BN, whenever the there is a redelineation exercise, said Murugiah.
During his speech, Murugiah shouted “Barisan Nasional, return our seats!” four times, which was followed by loud cheers from the delegates. Critics don’t know history
Murugiah later praised PPP president M Kayveas for reminding the public about the conditions of PPP’s entry into BN.
“Whenever Kayveas speaks up on additional seats for PPP, there are a lot of allegations and criticism from many quarters.
“Conclusively, these criticism comes from people who don’t know history - especially how PPP sacrificed itself to strengthen the Alliance which was facing a considerable challenge from the opposition,” he added.
At a press conference later, Kayveas said he supported Murugiah’s statements.
“We have been left out and forgotten. It is totally unfair and unjust,” he said.
After missing out on the action during the 1990, 1995 and 1999 general elections due to internal party squabbles, PPP was granted one parliamentary and one state seats to contest during the 2004 polls.
Since then, the party had been frantically trying to convince its BN partners to allow it to contest more seats. Where’s Umno Youth?
Their efforts have been met by brickbats from Gerakan, MIC and more recently by Malacca Chief Minister Mohd Ali Rustam
In a related development, Umno Youth top brass were noticeably absent at the PPP Youth convention.
Traditionally, Umno Youth would assign its top brass to officiate annual meetings of its BN counterparts.
Quizzed on this, Murugiah said that Umno Youth chief Hishamuddin Hussien was overseas and could not attend the meeting.
He added that three Umno Youth representatives were present but they were not acknowledged during speeches.