Saturday, February 20, 2010

BN mulls direct membership

Hishammuddin says all BN parties need to be onboard before direct membership is possible. — file pic

Barisan Nasional (BN) is considering allowing direct membership, but it will need the consensus of all component parties before it can do so, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said today.

“We are considering it but it will require support from all (component) parties and a change to BN’s constitution,” said the Umno vice-president, who is chairing the special committee reviewing the BN charter.

BN chairman and Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced last night that the coalition is looking to recognise political parties and Non-Government Organisations (NGO) that are friendly to its cause.

He had also proposed direct membership last year after becoming prime minister.

Hishammuddin said any changes would be made before BN’s convention, which will be held at the end the year.

The home minister said direct membership was being mooted as part of coalition’s transformation to be more inclusive of groups who are not part of BN.

“These include individuals who are not in any party but who still wish to be part of BN,” he said.

BN lost its traditional two-thirds parliamentary majority and four states in Election 2008, when the opposition combined to make historic gains under the Pakatan Rakyat banner led by former deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

The move to allow direct membership will enable more parties to join the ruling coalition and increase its popularity.

The issue of complete consensus has always bedevilled the coalition when accepting new members, an example of which was when MIC vehemently objected to the Indian Progressive Front (IPF) joining despite support from other component parties.

news courtesy of Malaysian Insider

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