Feb 24, 2010

Tun Mahathir backs direct BN membership


HETHEL (England), Feb 24 – Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the proposal to allow direct membership in the Barisan Nasional (BN) should be considered as the situation has changed now and benefits will arise from such a move.

The former BN chairman and former Umno president said that the BN used to have such method in the past but problems started to arise when direct members wanted to become election candidates, resulting in other component parties becoming unhappy.

“Because of that, the direct membership of the alliance was ended. But maybe the situation is slightly different or has changed, so ... we should consider the proposal," he told reporters after a visit to the Lotus headquarters here on Tuesday.

He was commenting on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s announcement last Friday that the BN would hold a convention end of this year to discuss amendments to the BN constitution to provide for direct admission of BN-friendly individuals, political parties and non-governmental organisations.

Dr Mahathir said some grassroot leaders might object to this as they did not want to be threatened or have their position jeopardised by better qualified candidates.

“In such a situation, direct members could easily join BN because there would be no objections or obstacles from these junior leaders who harbour ambitions to become candidates,” he said. – Bernama

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