Azmin urges PKR leadership to pay heed to unhappiness over Anwar's seat selection

Looi Sue-Chern

PKR deputy president Azmin Ali (left) says he has urged PKR to unite and work hard with the party president to defend the Port Dickson seat. – The Malaysian Insight pic, September 14, 2018.

PKR deputy president Azmin Ali has called on the party to close ranks and work towards ensuring that Anwar Ibrahim wins and retains the Port Dickson parliamentary seat, while urging the party leadership to give “due attention” to the views of party leaders who are unhappy with the manner in which the seat was vacated for the party president.

“The concerns raised by some PKR leaders over how the Port Dickson parliamentary seat was vacated for Anwar are a serious matter,” said Azmin.

Though the matter was now academic, he said, it should be addressed to ensure that such a thing did not recur.

“Our focus now is to make sure Pakatan Harapan defends the seat through PKR. I have also urged PKR to unite and work hard to defend the seat.

“But the views of some party leaders are serious and should be given due attention.

“I believe we can resolve the matter with party consensus so there will be no such oversight in the future,” he told reporters in Seberang Jaya last night, after speaking at  PKR’s Malam Semarak Merdeka.

On Wednesday, PKR announced that Anwar had taken up incumbent MP Danyal Balagopal Abdullah’s offer to vacate the seat for him to contest so as to make a comeback to Parliament.

Danyal had announced his resignation the MP at the event attended by PKR secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution Ismail and PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli, who is challenging Azmin for the party number two post in the upcoming party polls.

Azmin was not present. He was away in Hanoi to represent Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad at the World Economic Forum on Asean 2018. 

Hours after the announcement, several PKR leaders known to be aligned with Azmin had questioned the seat selection, claiming that the matter was never discussed by the party’s central committee or political bureau.

Outgoing PKR Wanita chief Zuraida Kamaruddin had urged Anwar to state whether the call was made with the leadership’s consensus.

Amirudin Shari, who is the Selangor Menteri Besar, said no official meeting was held to discuss or inform all the party leaders that Anwar would be contesting in a by-election, or of anyone vacating his seat for the purpose.

Party central leadership council member Latheefa Koya had asked why the decision had been made “in secrecy” without discussion in the party’s political bureau or central committee.

Why did you plan secretively? Why didn’t you even inform your top leadership, and why did you let your boy run around… fighting with anyone in his way?” she asked, in what appeared to be a reference to Rafizi.

Saifuddin said the decision for Danyal to vacate the Port Dickson seat for anwar was made at a party political bureau meeting. –  September 14, 2018.

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