‘All the best, Zuraida but this is no time for politics’

It looks like Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia is not going to lose any sleep over Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin’s departure from the party.

Bersatu deputy president Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu was “diplomatic” when asked to comment on Zuraida’s decision to join the newly-formed Parti Bangsa Malaysia (PBM).

Zuraida, who is currently in Turkey, also said she would meet Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob soon to discuss her intention to resign as Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister.

“She’s not a senior member (of the party). Anyone holding a position in the Cabinet must work tirelessly for the rakyat. Let’s let the people judge her performance,” said Ahmad Faizal, who is on a working visit to Tokyo.

Zuraida, in making her announcement this morning, said she saw plenty of potential in PBM, adding that her experience will help steer the party to greater heights ahead of the forthcoming general elections.

“PBM is not a friendly party to Bersatu. A majority of their supporters are from Sarawak. We (Bersatu) are instead friendly to Gabungan Parti Sarawak (which is part of the Federal coalition).”

Ahmad Faizal, who is the Youth and Sports Minister, acknowledged that Bersatu had to “buck up” following heavy losses in the Melaka and Johor elections.

“Losing Zuraida does not make us weaker. In fact, it might make things easier, as we need genuine members and those truly committed to the struggle. She has only been to two, or three Supreme Council meetings, and didn’t even attend the annual general meeting.

“Her heart is elsewhere.

“We, as members, have to close ranks and focus on the struggles of the party.”

Ahmad Faizal (left) enjoying a brief chat with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the 27th International Conference on the Future of Asia in Tokyo earlier today.

He added that any decision made must benefit the rakyat.

“But the situation is not good, as these days, anyone can threaten anybody due to the political instability and the hunger to obtain the numbers.

“This is certainly not the time for politics. Economic recovery and rejuvenating the various industries including sports and lifestyle are what we must all focus on.”

Ahmad Faizal added that the party would continue to speak out against corruption and abuse of power.

“We must stay the course and never run from it. Having said that, I wish her all the best.”