Zuraida is now the Parti Bangsa Malaysia president designate.
As “Ibu Bangsa Malaysia”, she will be giving Mama Dapster a run for her money as to which of the two is more Bangsa Malaysian.
How absolutely thrilling that Zuraida Kamaruddin is the new face of Bangsa Malaysia.
The cabinet minister who is a veteran of three diverse administrations – Harapan (Mahathir), PN (Muhyiddin), BN (Ismail Sabri) – announced the exciting news earlier this week.
BELOW: Poster Girl of ‘Satu Bangsa, Satu Negara’
Zuraidi was no less than “midwife” to the birthing of Parti Bangsa Malaysia.
Such an insider take on the newish party was provided yesterday by Terence Netto who keeps his keen journalistic eye on matters of internal affairs, particularly in PKR.
To recap, Zuraida was a PKR vice president. Sacked from her party following the Sheraton Move, she hopped over to Bersatu a few months later in August 2020.
Three days ago (May 26), Zuraida issued a statement regarding her entry into Parti Bangsa Malaysia — that is, pending the formality of her membership approval.
According to Netto in his FMT report, Zuraida’s real role in the genesis of Parti Bangsa Malaysia, however, was politic’s “worst kept secret”.
Zuraida it was after all who, as Mak Bidan, had delivered the Parti Bangsa Malaysia ‘bouncing baby boy’ into the world on 21 Dec 2021.
Parti Bangsa Malaysia could be regarded as something of a special purpose vehicle created by Zuraida herself for those homeless Aduns and MPs who followed her (and Azmin Ali) in the exodus from PKR two years ago.
BELOW: Guan Eng the DAP chairman hand in glove with Bersatu (standing to the left of its president Muhyiddin) in Harapan’s halcyon days — file photo
Different-class party members
Some of these ex-PKR people and their associates were soon facing – in Netto’s words – a problem of unbelonging (having no party to join next) or alternatively, “the uncertainties of dhimmitude in Bersatu”.
Bersatu, being an ethnic party, does not accord full membership rights to its non Malays, hence their figurative ‘dhimmi’ status by Netto’s light.
Netto wrote yesterday: “Ten MPs left the Malay-led but multiracial PKR to join Bersatu. They must have been told or were led to believe they could persuade Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin to loosen the race-based criteria for complete enlistment with the party, especially of the non-Malay cohort that followed Zuraida and Azmin.”
“Thursday’s news that Zuraida had quit Bersatu is confirmation that the hopes of the PKR rebels to loosen Bersatu’s race-based locus had been in vain,” Netto surmised.
BELOW: Larry Sng (in casual jeans) is Parti Bangsa Malaysia president
Multiracial branding of Politik Baru
YB Zuraida, the Ampang MP, said she was switching parties because she believed in Parti Bangsa Malaysia‘s core principle of “keterlibatan pelbagai kaum” compared with Bersatu which is essentially mono racial.
Parti Bangsa Malaysia is currently headed by Julau MP Larry Sng, a Sarawakian and like Zuraida, ex-PKR.
BELOW: Parti Bangsa Malaysia is ‘reborn’ from Sarawak Workers’ Party; similar to how DAP was born again from Singapore’s PAP
NOTE:Technically speaking, Parti Bangsa Malaysia is a makeover from Sarawak Workers’ Party established in 2012.
SWP, founded by Larry’s father Sng Chee Hua, was approved its name change to Parti Bangsa Malaysia by the ROS last October.
Steven Choong, another ex-PKR and a sitting Johor parliamentarian (YB Tebrau) is Parti Bangsa Malaysia senior vice-president.
Zuraida’s former pol-sec Nor Hizwan Ahmad is its sec-gen.
Other Parti Bangsa Malaysia office holders include YB Paul Yong and YB Sivasubramaniam Athinarayanan — both being Aduns who had won their GE14 Perak seats on the DAP ticket but later jumped over to Bersatu.
The Parti Bangsa Malaysia protem exco is diverse and multiracial.
As a matter of side interest, Segamat MP Edmund Santhara Kumar, who had also defected from PKR, is still today with Bersatu.
Zuraida reputedly has wide grassroots support among NGOs and community organizers. She says that civil society is tired of Old Politics.
Therefore Parti Bangsa Malaysia represents hopeful New Politics — a refreshing change from the single race strictures of communal party Bersatu.
BELOW: Sec-gen Anthony Loke and his fellow DAP leaders sucking up to the then Bersatu chairman