Don’t be biased about justice, Zuraida tells PKR following members' sacking

Kenneth Tee
PKR vice-president Zuraida Kamaruddin speaks to the press after the closing ceremony of the 7th Asia-Pacific Urban Forum in Bayan Lepas October 17, 2019. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 25 — PKR vice-president Zuraida Kamaruddin today accused her party's disciplinary board of selective action in expelling certain members.

Her accusation follows the sacking of former Bera PKR division chief Zakaria Abdul Hamid and Ismail Dul Hadi on grounds of corruption and bribery after the party received a letter from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) on allegations which are said to have happened during last year’s party elections.

She also sarcastically called Zakaria’s expulsion a ‘brave action’ as it was proof that the reform spirit in the party was collapsing.

Zuraida said if it was true that MACC had suggested action to be taken by political parties against members before they were proven guilty in court, the party should also act against members who had broken the country’s laws.

“This includes cases of assault and soliciting bribes during party elections and other publicly known cases,” she said in a statement.

While she did not mention names, Zuraida was possibly referring to Perak PKR chief Farhash Wafa Salvador, an aide to party president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who was arrested following an alleged assault in Ampang in August.

She said the dismissals of Zakaria and Ismail would only raise questions about whether the party was being selective in taking disciplinary action.

“I, therefore, denounce the party’s selective action and call for immediate reform of the leadership if the party is to be saved,” she added.

Meanwhile, Pasir Gudang MP Hassan Abdul Karim urged the PKR disciplinary board to provide a fair trial for Zakaria and other members who were sacked in order for them to defend themselves from the allegations.

“There is no harm in us doing so. In fact, our party will benefit from this because the public and other members will look highly upon us.

“If they are found to be guilty after a fair trial, then punish them accordingly,” he said in a statement here.

He then highlighted how an accused person must be provided a written copy of the accusations and given 14 days to respond to the said accusations in a written reply.

“An independent tribunal would then be formed for the accused to go for a hearing whereby the latter would then be able to produce their witness or documents in their defence.

“The principle of natural justice where arguments from both sides are heard is the core of a fair trial,” he added. 

Hassan said he took it upon himself to defend Zakaria as he was a dear friend to him and therefore could not feign ignorance.

Yesterday Zakaria, who was also a member of the PKR central leadership committee, claimed he was not given the chance to explain himself.

Zakaria was formerly the political secretary to Works Minister Baru Bian. 

The report was filed by PKR Youth coordinator Ahmad Syukri Che Ab Razab on September 25, 2018, which alleged Zakaria had abused his position as a civil servant by promising to give contracts worth RM20,000 and allocations amounting to at least RM300,000, which was made during a meeting with local leaders on September 1 in Pahang.

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