PPP battle ready to help BN win, Kayveas says
KUALA LUMPUR, May 27 — The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) is now battle-ready to provide strong support for Barisan Nasional (BN) to be more winnable in the 13th general election, says its president, Datuk M. Kayveas.
He said that its 600,000 members throughout the country should be able to provide a formidable force to help BN in the coming polls because “that’s a significant number.”
In an interview with Bernama, the 58 year-old lawyer, who has helmed the party since 1993, credited Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak for bringing on the spirit of resurgence to BN. “He has brought change, transformation and colour to BN,” saying that by colour, he meant that Najib had brought life into BN to make it more appealing. “He is doing extremely well into making BN more acceptable to the people,” said Kayveas, especially in terms of the affirmative programmes in helping the poor, providing scholarships to the deserving and encouraging the people to embrace diversity under the concept of 1 Malaysia.
“We’re always on the move and kept on our toes because he wants to see results and changes for the people. This is all very encouraging and the country should be in safe hands because of that,” said the lawyer politician.
Kayveas (picture) is banking on PPP’s “Misi 510” strategy to deliver the much-needed votes where each member of a branch will recruit another nine members so that there will be at least 510 members in each PPP branch.
He said each division in a parliamentary or state constituency where PPP or BN has a strategic interest would have at least 10 branches, thus giving a membership of 5,100 members who are also voters in the same constituency, and there could be more branches in certain areas.
“In other words, they are the ones who matter as they will deliver the votes for BN on election day. Before that, the party will see to their needs like facilitating them to obtain government aid like the Bantuan Rakyat 1 Malaysia (BR1M) programme.
“The strategy of shaking hands at the night or wet markets during the campaign period is rather out of date. You (the party) must deliver the votes,” said Kayveas, who is still infuriated over the perceived letdown over his failed bid to retain the Taiping parliamentary seat in 2008 when he lost of DAP’s Nga Kor Ming.
Kayveas is still perplexed as to why he had lost in Taiping, a constituency with 64,000 voters, when BN was estimated to have about 150,000 supporters or members there.
Asked why he had entered politics since he despised politicians as a young man as they did not give him enough support when he was a squatter in Kampung Pandan back then, he replied,”I suppose this could be my karma or fate.” Kayveas, who was born in Benta Estate near Kuala Lipis in 1954, was quick to say that it was former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who had encouraged him to be more active in politics.
Although he joined PPP in 1980 before he left to study law in the University of Buckingham in Britain, it was in 1985 after he had met Dr Mahathir that he was encouraged to sort out the mess in PPP, including settling a number of court cases it was embroiled in.
“Everybody says that PPP is a dead party (then) but I never gave up as I saw it as the party of the future. I took over (the presidency) in 1993 and today it is at its strongest position with a strong future because of our multi-racial concept. I believe we have to work harder to make PPP even more appealing.
“I believe our slogan of “Bersuara bersama komuniti” is getting more attention these days because it is about speaking for the people. I have no regrets about speaking up for the people because PPP is about speaking for the people,” he said.
He said that some Opposition parties managed to win seats and even captured certain states in 2008 because their representatives spoke up for the people. Kayveas said when he first spoke about repealing the Internal Security Act (ISA), he was criticised but now the law has been repealed after Najib decided on the matter after having listened to the people.
He felt that the PPP’s non-raced-based concept is beginning to attract attention and claimed that 20 per cent of PPP members are Malays, including those who had left Umno to join Opposition parties but had returned to BN via PPP because they are not so sure whether they will be accepted by their former party.
Indians account for about 45 per cent of the membership, Chinese 30 per cent and others, including Orang Asli and Eurasians, make up the remaining five per cent.
Saying that he can sense the pulse of the people because he had been in dire straits before, he added:”We were eating tapioca (almost daily). My father was a PWD driver and we were surviving on his salary of about RM300 a month. “I lived in a squatter house in Kampung Pandan for 22 years because my father couldn’t get accommodation in the government quarters. I worked for 10 years before I did my law in the squatter house. When I returned from London, I went back to that same squatter house.”
Although those trying days are now over, Kayveas believed that he was able to make a change for the better because of his positive attitude towards life.
And he is also steadfast that he can still make a change for the better for PPP as well as BN because of that positive mental outlook. — Bernama