23 April 2018
12/02/2004

Ruslan Kassim, 11 Keadilan leaders join UMNO

Ruslan Kassim, 11 Keadilan leaders join UMNO

ABDULLAH Ahmad Badawi greets the twelve ex-Keadilan leaders at his office in Putrajaya, Feb 11. - Bernamapix.

PUTRAJAYA Feb 11 - Twelve Keadilan leaders led by Negeri Sembilan Keadilan liaison chairman Ruslan Kassim joined UMNO Wednesday.

Ruslan said that their decision to cross over from Keadilan en masse was taken "after deep thought and self evaluation."

He was speaking to reporters after conveying their decision at a meeting with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi who is acting UMNO president here.

"He welcomed us and told us there has been a precedent, that of Semangat 46 previously. There are no conditions (set)," he said after the 30-minute meeting.

The 11 others are:

- Keadilan Youth vice head Muhammad Zahid Mohamed Arip,

- Keadilan Elections deputy director Hamdan Taha,

- former Pahang Keadilan liaison chairman Dr Abdul Wahid Ahmad Suhaimie,

- former Perak Keadilan Youth head Mohamed Hanafiah Man,

- Keadilan Youth exco member Fakhrul Azman Abu Bakar,

- former Keadilan Youth exco member Shamsul Bahari Shamsuddin,

- Federal Territory Keadilan Youth vice head Rosli Mohamed Johar,

- Terengganu Keadilan Youth exco Zainuddin Awang,

- Datuk Bujang Ulis of Sarawak Keadilan,

- Negeri Sembilan Keadilan Youth vice head Rusli Mohamed Shariff, and

- Pahang Keadilan Youth exco member Jeffry Nizam.

Ruslan said that the acceptance of their membership was proof of the magnanimity of the UMNO leadership and family.

"To all the UMNO leaders and the party, we extend our gratitude as we have not be rejected but accepted with open arms," he said.

Ruslan said that they handed over a letter on their decision to leave Keadilan to its president, Datin Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, on Wednesday and rejoined UMNO as ordinary members.

He said that they pledged to Abdullah to assist UMNO and the Barisan Nasional to attain a resounding victory in the coming general election.

"Secondly, we expressed our prepardness to go down to the ground at any time to extend our assistance so that whatever he (Abdullah) wishes for, will be achieved," he said.

Asked on allegations that they had received certain rewards for taking such a decision, Ruslan said that they have to be substantiated.

He said that the group which was joining UMNO Wednesday represented Keadilan's prime mover.

"Those I have mentioned about held a number of posts. This clearly proves that they were Keadilan's prime mover. Wait for the election to see the absolute proof. We'll see whether or not our move to leave Keadilan is effective," he said.

He was responding to comments by certain parties that the departure of the group of "insignificant leaders" would not affect Keadilan in its preparation for the general election.

Ruslan also said that they would be a second wave and a subsequent crossover to UMNO involving Keadilan members.

"We are not forcing anyone, we are not promising anything. This is voluntary and they are now watching our actions closely," he said.

Asked whether they harbour hopes to be fielded in the coming general election, Ruslan said: "We did not discuss this aspect. We indicated there are no conditions."

He said that they felt compelled to join the Prime Minister and the country's leadership to ensure the agenda for reform became a reality.