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Party membership that’s a steal

What the country needs are politicians who have the mettle, vision and skills, guided by certain noble principles, such as compassion, integrity and justice

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Umno is reportedly ready to go to court over its allegations that Bersatu has poached its members by providing such seductive incentives as money.

Umno Youth chief Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki claimed some Umno members have confessed to being offered RM100 to join Bersatu with each “new” branch being allocated RM3,000-RM5,000.

Incidentally, it says a lot about Umno membership – as well as Bersatu – if it’s true that certain Umno members could be easily swayed by a mere show of RM100.

These are indeed serious allegations coming from a political party that has helped Bersatu in forming the Perikatan Nasional government after the pact, cobbled following the so-called Sheraton Move, toppled the Pakatan Harapan administration early last year.

Bersatu feels offended by what it deems Umno’s “wild allegations”. Its information chief Wan Saiful Wan Jan said the party was keen to go to court over this issue if need be – as if to reinforce public perception that the two parties are having a love-hate relationship.

To be sure, offers of money and positions of power have been used as inducements in the past, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that such a practice now, if it is true, should be accepted as an unquestionable norm.

If anything, it goes to show that money politics has increasingly become a scourge in our political culture, which has affected various political parties in particular and our society generally.

It is the kind of political culture that helps to nurture politicians of poor calibre and weak moral fibre, who crumble by the dizzying sight of money and positions of power. These politicians, some of whom may be inclined to sell their souls to the devil, also have no compunction about prioritising their interests over those of ordinary people. We all know what happens when cash becomes king, to paraphrase a slogan made famous not too long ago.

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What the country needs are politicians who have the mettle, vision and skills, guided by certain noble principles, such as compassion, integrity and justice.

That is why Asyraf should not be unduly troubled by the alleged luring of his party members into Bersatu – or for that matter, any other party offering similar sweet deals.

In fact, he and his colleagues should take this development as a golden opportunity to cleanse his party of weak-kneed and corrupt politicians, who may drag the party down in the long run.

The party should encourage and welcome new as well as existing members who are driven by ideals, such as fighting for a better life for the poor and marginalised and seeking social justice.

As we all know, the obsession with pursuing material gains out of formal politics is not exactly an idealism that helps politicians steer a political party on the right course – let alone steer themselves along the straight and narrow. Moreover, such material pursuits could help develop selfish politicians to the extent of them losing sight of the original struggles of the party.

After all, it is the political ideology and the genuine struggles of a party that would differentiate itself from the others in our society, which can, in turn, be a plus factor for the electorate when making an informed choice at the ballot box.

Equally important, it would help conscientious and committed individuals to make a choice of joining a particular political party based on certain ideals, and not at bargain prices.

Source: The Malaysian Insight

The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

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Dr Mustafa K Anuar, a longtime executive committee member and former honorary secretary of Aliran, is, co-editor of our newsletter. He obtained his PhD from City, University of London and is particularly interested in press freedom and freedom of expression issues. These days, he is a a senior journalist with an online media portal
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loyal malaysian
loyal malaysian
21 Jan 2021 5.28pm

This has been alluded to as one of the source of tension between Bersatu and Umno.
Thank you, Mustafa for confirming this – though I must say, the sum of RM100 appears rather a paltry sum.
Perhaps those involved were promised other rewards in due course as a member now of Big Brother(?)

Umno has every right to be angry.
Bersatu is the new kid on the block – it’s a slap on Umno’s face to play 2nd fiddle and now Bersatu is trying to entice Umno’s members.
On its own, Umno can put up a credible performance with PAS – Bersatu is irrelevant.
With the emergency, Bersatu has the upper hand.

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