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National: Politics
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Ali Rustam: PPP can leave BN - now

Contributed by Anonymous on Saturday, October 20 @ 09:23:26 CDT

National: Politics
Andrew Ong and Kuek Ser Kuang Keng
Oct 20, 07 Malaysiakini
People’s Progressive Party (PPP) members are left reeling after receiving a political blow from Umno’s third most powerful leader during the Malacca PPP annual general assembly early this week.

At the assembly on Monday, Umno vice-president Mohd Ali Rustam delivered a scathing speech which chided the PPP for “threatening” Barisan Nasional for more seats to contest in the coming general election

He also repeatedly stressed that PPP could leave the BN fold if it was unhappy.

This left many party members in a daze at how Mohd Ali - who was the guest of honour as Malacca chief minister - could utter such remarks.

“He came to our house, seemingly with the intention to humiliate us,” said a PPP source who attended the event.

Eyewitnesses said a handful of party members stormed out of the venue in protest, but that did not deter Mohd Ali.

“PPP can leave BN,” said Mohd Ali.

He then pointed at the stunned delegates and added: “All of you can leave. Either today or tomorrow. Why wait until the general election? What’s there to wait for?”

Show of hands

Mohd Ali also claimed that the Umno supreme council was unhappy with PPP for accepting former Umno members as their members.

He even asked if any of the delegates formerly with Umno, MCA, Gerakan and MIC to put up their hands.

Mohd Ali also took a dig at Pahang Menteri Besar Adnan Yaakob for suggesting that PPP should ask every state for a seat to contest in.

“That's his business. As far as I am concerned - no seat in Malacca (for PPP),” he added.

When Mohd Ali wrapped up his tirade and declared the assembly open, PPP delegates refused to applaud.

Eyewitnesses reported that PPP president M Kayveas maintained his composure throughout the hour-long speech and was seen vigorously taking down notes.

Funeral-like atmosphere

When contacted, Kayveas said delegates were “disappointed and dejected” by the “unwarranted and undiplomatic” remarks uttered by Mohd Ali.

Kayveas said delegates were expecting inspiring speeches from Mohd Ali in order to prepare the party for the upcoming general election.

“(Instead) the chief minister's speech made the entire assembly feel like a funeral. As the third highest ranking in Umno, the consequences of his speech worries me,” he said.

He added that some remarks which Mohd Ali made regarding other BN component parties and Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi were also uncalled for.

According to media sources, Mohd Ali had asked journalists to exclude the hard-hitting part of his speech in their reports. He claimed these were only meant for the delegates.

It is uncertain if Mohd Ali’s speech would lead to souring ties between PPP and Umno.

However, there is already talks within PPP rank-and-file that the party may silently boycott Umno programmes and functions.

PPP Youth: BN has ditched us

Andrew Ong
Oct 20, 07 Malaysiakini 
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.



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