PPBM denies cronyism allegation

KUALA LUMPUR: Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) has refuted a claim from a co-founder who resigned from the party yesterday, that it practised cronyism in the appointment of its divisional leaders.

Its secretary-general Shahruddin Md Salleh said all appointments were made through consultations with pertinent people to help promote the party at the grassroots level.

“There are many people interested and ready to lead at the divisional level across the country, and so we hold discussions together to reach agreements before appointing anyone,” he said in a statement today.

“The PPBM leadership has done its utmost to ensure that appointments take into account a person’s ability to contribute in terms of experience, leadership talent and acceptance by the local community,” he added.

He denied the allegation by former supreme council member Kamarulazman Habibur Rahman, who yesterday announced his resignation at a press conference, after citing his regret at the existence of favouritism in the appointments of the party’s divisional leaders.

Prior to co-founding PPBM in August last year, Kamarulazman was an activist in Gabungan Ketua Cawangan Malaysia (GKCM), a group of Umno branch leaders critical of their party President and Prime Minister Najib Razak.

Yesterday he alleged that PPBM had been hijacked by former Umno members who were looking solely for power and position.

He said the unsavoury characters were being allowed to enter PPBM “through the front door”, with many cuddling with the top leadership while disparaging those who did the real work.

Kamarulazman also claimed that PPBM was obsessed with getting the prime minister’s seat. “I am worried to see how the prime minister’s post is deemed to be more important by them when I am more interested in serving the people,” he said.

He also said 821 other members nationwide had expressed their intention to resign and will announce the move at a later date.

Shahruddin said Kamarulazman himself was appointed the head of the Teluk Kemang division after thorough negotiations were held, and his potential contributions and acceptance by members were considered in the process.

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