Anwar Ibrahim’s party the PKR just concluded its congress, but the party has come out further divided with a full-blown schism.
After the congress, supporters of party deputy president Azmin Ali, who is the Economic Affairs Minister rallied his followers in Kuala Lumpur.
This was to show public support to the anti-Anwar camp in the party. The wing headed by Azmin walked out of congress in Malacca after it claimed Anwar, the party President, called them ‘traitors’.
The biggest political party in Malaysia, the PKR is clearly divided into two camps and is struggling to survive as a united front.
Vice president and Minister of Housing Zuraida Kamaruddin alleged Anwar, the PKR president tried to buy her support on a gay-sex video featuring deputy president Azmin Ali, the powerful Economic Affairs Minister.
Zuraida also claims Anwar said Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad wanted Azmin sacked from the party.
“I met Anwar three months ago. He (Anwar) said the (person in the) video is Azmin. Police say it is Azmin. I said if it was Azmin, let the police investigate and Azmin will have to accept it if it is real.
“Anwar said he (Azmin) is like a younger brother and that he pitied him so I said if that was true then help him.
“Then he claimed that Mahathir asked him to sack Azmin. But if that were true, then why did Mahathir issue up to four statements stressing that Azmin didn’t need to go on leave.
“He said you don’t know how (sic) Mahathir is like… Indeed, I don’t know how Tun is like but neither do I know you,” she told Azmin’s supporters in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday.
During a dinner at the Renaissance Hotel, deputy president Azmin Ali said he did not want the leadership of the party to be influenced by people who do not understand what is the ‘reformasi’.
He was responding to the media who wanted to know who was his target in a speech at the dinner which gathered his wing at the hotel.
“I did not make any personal attack. I was explaining to the party members that when the president faced all kinds of tests, I the deputy president issued statements to defend the president.
“I have done so for 20 years and stood with the president on sensitive issues. It’s just that I don’t want him to be influenced by people who do not understand the reformasi struggle,” he said.
After the rousing speech to supporters, Azmin Ali says he is ready and willing to hold discussions with Anwar Ibrahim to ensure party unity.
He also urged members and leaders to focus their efforts on uniting the party.
“The experience that we have been through this one year has been a very bitter and painful experience for all of us.
“So I want to encourage leaders and members to come forward and unite the party. If there are any efforts, I am ready to work together,” he told reporters.
He, however, said there will be no breakaway party as rumoured.
“We will remain in the party. It’s just that if problems arise, we must discuss to find a solution. We will progress further together as a stronger party under the leadership of the current president,” he said, in what appeared to be a show of support for Anwar. -/TISG