Azmin and aligned PKR leaders disavow member’s sacking, demand apology from Anwar

Yiswaree Palansamy
PKR deputy president Datuk Seri Azmi Ali and 20 of the party’s central committee went on to press PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to apologise over the matter, saying the decision was not formally endorsed by two thirds of the committee. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 30 — PKR deputy president Datuk Seri Azmin Ali led 20 of the party’s central committee to object to the sacking of Bera division chief Zakaria Abdul Hamid who is seen to be from their faction.

The group that also included vice presidents Zuraida Kamaruddin and Chua Tian Chang or Tian Chua went on to press PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to apologise over the matter, saying the decision was not formally endorsed by two thirds of the committee.

They said they consequently did not recognise the decision to expel Zakaria.

“To this day, Zakaria Abdul Hamid remains a valid member of the central committee.

“As such, his expulsion without a stated reason is irrelevant as is need to appeal this,” the group said.

They stressed that their numbers meant they represented the majority of the central committee and, by extension, PKR members.

“We agreed on this call after we studied and found that the decision to fire him was on a defective basis, which does not adhere to the principles of justice. That is, that it didn’t go through the process as it should have.

“Therefore, we, representing the majority of MPP members elected by party members, hereby express our rejection of this hurried decision, and demand that the party president apologise for this immoderate move, which clearly did not get the support from two-thirds of the MPP members themselves,” the memorandum read.

The letter further stated that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) had already notified that it made a mistake in recommending actions against Zakaria, and this point further strengthened the MPP members stand on the matter.

“In fact, it was also stated that after an investigation, there is no existing case as alleged,” the 20 MPP members claimed.

On November 24, PKR sacked former Zakaria and fellow party member Ismail Dul Hadi, after the party received an October 23 letter from the MACC on allegations of corruption and bribery against the duo in relation to last year’s party elections.

PKR disciplinary board chairman Datuk Ahmad Kassim announced the party’s central leadership committee’s (CLC) decision to sack them with immediate effect in line with the party’s zero compromise on corruption, saying that the duo would be notified in writing and will have the right to appeal to the party president against the decision.

PKR communications director Fahmi Fadzil said that MACC had in the letter asked the party to take appropriate action following the anti-graft body’s investigations of both Zakaria and Ismail in relation to alleged corruption, declining to provide details of the investigations which he said was confidential.

However, the MACC later admitted that it erred in notifying PKR about suspicions of corruption involving two of its members.

MACC deputy chief Datuk Seri Azam Baki clarified that the MACC is only required to notify government bodies and not political parties.

“MACC admits that there has been an error made by the MACC Report Division chief through a letter to that party that suggested disciplinary action for breaching the party’s code of ethics,” Azam said in a brief statement to Malay Mail.

He was responding to queries over whether MACC could propose to political parties to take disciplinary action against their members over suspected wrongdoing, following the expulsions.

However, Anwar defended the recent expulsions, adding that internal action was taken against the duo to show his party’s commitment to battling corruption, even after the MACC conceded it erred in issuing a letter to PKR about the matter.

Anwar said both Zakaria and Ismail can still appeal against their sacking.

However, he reiterated that PKR takes a serious view against the corruption allegations as contained in the MACC letter.

“And the content of the letter was not questioned, and with proof of wrongdoing, power abuse and bribery.

“This matter is serious, and if we treat it in a lackadaisical manner because of a technical matter, then it would be difficult,” Anwar said.

Related Articles While Pakatan’s rating dips, pundits see Anwar’s currency gain slight edge PKR Youth: Nobody filed for vote of no-confidence against Anwar, but many motions backing him Fahmi Fadzil debunks alleged no-confidence motion against Anwar, listed PKR man also denies involvement