Saturday, May 31, 2008

Umno Has To Consider Ezam's Application Thoroughly, Says Muhyiddin

Umno Has To Consider Ezam's Application Thoroughly, Says Muhyiddin
1 June, 2008

(Bernama) -- Former Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Youth chief Mohamad Ezam Mohd Nor's application to rejoin Umno must be considered thoroughly by the party leadership, Umno Vice-President Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said Saturday.

He also said that the applications of Ezam and several other former PKR members should go through the normal party process without any preference accorded to them.

"The application process has to go through the usual procedure at the supreme council, and prior to that the management committee. Only then will we see the justification to accept or reject the application so that no member is disappointed that we (Umno) neglected the usual consideration for certain reasons.

"I do not see the significance of Ezam's readmission into Umno. To me, admissions are normal. But his (Ezam's) is not a normal admission. He has a record. We have to study (his application) thoroughly," he told reporters after opening the annual meeting of the Johor Pensioners Association, here.

Muhyiddin was commenting on the applications to rejoin Umno of Ezam and several other former PKR Youth leaders which were handed to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi earlier this week.

Muhyiddin, who is International Trade and Industry Minister, said he had come to know that there were party members who were uneasy over how easily Umno was readmitting Mohamad Ezam, a former political secretary of PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, without conducting a check on his background.

He said the regulations and procedures provided for in the Umno constitution should be adhered to before anyone who had left Umno and opposed the party was readmitted.

The procedure of readmission into the party of those who had quit was different from the admission of new members, he said, adding: "It is just not plain sailing approval."

"There are members who have said that they are disappointed because they have struggled for so long and have not left the party even for a second but they have not been accorded any preferential treatment. That is what I have heard," he said.

Muhyiddin said it was easy to get admitted to Umno, by sending in the application form to a branch chief.

"One or two people see the prime minister and they are able to get admitted. They should actually go to the branches and submit their application forms to the branch chiefs," he said.

Asked about allegations that Mohammad Ezam could be a "Trojan Horse" of the Opposition, Muhyiddin said it was not good to be suspicious of fellow Muslims but, at the same time, Umno has to be cautious.

On Mohamad Ezam's statement that he was sincere in wanting to rejoin Umno, he said: "I hope he is sincere. But even if he is sincere, he has a record. There are procedures to be adhered to so that we can have a control over our membership in a proper manner."

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