The party of Anwar Ibrahim is facing further turmoil after the sacking of two members, which is now being contested by several voices from the PKR, including that of influential Minister of Housing and Local Government Zuraida Kamaruddin and party vice-president Tian Chua.
Zuraida is also a PKR vice-president and she lambasted a decision by party member Zakaria Abd Hamid over suspicion of corruption and bribery.
The party says it made the decision to sack Zakaria after it was advised by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission via a letter dated Oct 23, which the anti-graft agency is now saying it wrongly sent to the party.
Zakaria is a former political secretary of Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian.
The party’s disciplinary board chairperson Ahmad Kassim said the board made the decision after being advised by the MACC via a letter dated Oct 23, 2019.
Zuraida questioned if is true there was a recommendation from the MACC, calling for the party to dismiss other members who are ‘clearly in violation of the country’s laws.”
She did not say which laws the party is violating though but denounced her party’s sacking of some members as ‘selective’.
Tian Chua joined the chorus criticising the party’s disciplinary board for sacking Zakaria Abdul Hamid, and another party member.
“It is clear that due process has not been followed. As a party founded upon the movement for reform and justice, it is rather unfortunate that such heavy-handed action has been employed,” he said in a statement.
“We were told that the disciplinary board ‘just’ received a note from the MACC. If so, why couldn’t the disciplinary board allow a proper duration for thorough discussion and investigation?”
The Star daily recently said that the PKR cold war between Anwar and Azmin is heating up, adding that Economic Affairs Minister Azmin Ali is leading a team from the party and the team is planning a boycott of the party’s national convention in Melaka from Dec 5 to 7.
PKR secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution, who is said to be in Anwar Ibrahim’s camp in the party said the press statement by MACC deputy chief commissioner Azam Baki apologising for sending the letter to the party, however, confirmed there was indeed a letter sent by the anti-graft body to the PKR disciplinary committee.
“The mistake on MACC’s part did not change the facts of the case. Firstly, there was a report lodged, and secondly, MACC had carried out an investigation and in its letter MACC gave detailed information on their probe.
“MACC said they have met with those who complained, and also witnesses, and that in their view the persons (subject in the probe) had committed an offence.”
MACC deputy chief commissioner Azam Baki said the letter was meant for the relevant government agency and ministry, and not the PKR leadership.
“MACC admits there was a mistake by the MACC reporting branch head through a letter to the party which suggested disciplinary action (against the two members) for the violation of the party’s code of ethics.
“According to ethical guidelines (which the MACC must adhere to), a report on any wrongdoing must only be sent to federal or state ministries and agencies. It (the MACC) is not bound to any political party.
“It is not the policy of the MACC to make such report for any political party concerning wrongdoing by its members,” Azam said to Malaysiakini.