SEREMBAN – Malaysia is a democratic country and there is no objection for anyone to form a new party, said UMNO Supreme Council member Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
“We cannot interfere or object to anyone keen to form a new party, but it is up to the Registrar of Societies whether to approve or not the new party,” he told reporters after a breaking-of-fast event hosted by the Small and Medium Entrepreneurs Alliance (Ikhlas) president Mohd Ridzuan Abdullah here yesterday.
He was asked to comment the setting up of new political party called Gerakan Harapan Baru (Harapan Baru) by several ousted PAS leaders to unite all political parties under Pakatan Rakyat.
Its pro-tem chairman is Mohamad Sabu , while other members in the committee included former Selangor menteri besar Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib, former PAS secretary-general Datuk Kamaruddin Jaafar, former PAS vice-president Salahuddin Ayub and other former senior party leaders like Khalid Samad, Dr Mohd Hatta Ramli and Datuk Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa.
In another development, Ismail Sabri, who is Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister, said the ministry would assist IKLAS members to market their agriculture products.
“We have received several suggestions from IKHLAS on the matter and the ministry is prepared to work with any quarters to help farmers, cattle breeders and fishermen,” he added.
He also said the ministry would consider emulating the Negeri Sembilan government in holding the ‘mantai” programme.
He said the programme was good as it enabled the public to buy meat at a cheaper price.
“If meat can be bought at cheaper price through this programme, we may consider expanding it to other places, but price does not come under the ministry’s jurisdiction, the ministry only ensure there is enough supply,” he added.
A “Mantai Perdana” (meat preparation for Hari Raya)) programme is being held by the Negeri Sembilan Veterinary Department at a vacant site near the At-Taqwa Mosque, Paroi today.
Through the programme, the public could buy beef, deer meat and mutton at lower than the market price.
About 145 heads of cattle would be slaughtered for the purpose.
The programme, now into its eighth year, was held to help reduce the expenditure of Muslims making preparation for the Aidilfitri celebration.
Mantai is a traditional event held by the Negeri Sembilan people on the eve of Ramadan and Aidilfitri.