No apologies over sackings, says Anwar while PKR sec-gen reveals contents of MACC’s letter

Yiswaree Palansamy
PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has refused to apologise for the recent sacking of a Central Leadership Council member. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 30 — PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has refused to apologise for the recent sacking of a Central Leadership Council (MPP) member, adding that the memorandum demanding for his apology is also disputable.

Anwar claimed that the letter, undersigned by 20 MPP members including his deputy, Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali, has been disputed by two signatories; PKR vice-presidents Chua Tian Chang or Tian Chua, and R. Sivarasa, on the part demanding for his apology.

News portal Malaysiakini reported the Port Dickson MP saying in a press conference in Penang, that he is open to his party’s disciplinary board reviewing the expulsion of Bera PKR division chief Zakaria Abdul Hamid, pointing that it is the right of any party member.

“They did not agree to the part asking me to apologise over the sacking of Zakaria, that part was not in the draft.

“This means something has been manipulated in the letter as the letter is not entirely true,” Malaysiakini quoted Anwar saying.

“I do not know but it was signed by the deputy president. A statement has to be agreed by all, but parts of it were not in the draft, let them clear that up first,”  Anwar reportedly remarked, when questioned as to who manipulated contents of the letter.

Earlier today, Azmin led 20 of the party’s MPP leaders, to object to Zakaria’s sacking, who is seen to be from their faction.

The group that also included vice presidents Zuraida Kamaruddin, went on to press Anwar 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.

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.

Malaysiakini reported that PKR secretary-general Datuk Saifuddin Nasution who was also present at the press conference had revealed details of the MACC letter, by reading it to the press.

The report quoted Saifuddin saying that PKR had received the letter on October 23, in which MACC had specifically highlighted the name of the offender, the offence committed, the date as well as the venue where the alleged incident took place, together with details of those who had been questioned on the matter.

According to the report, Zakaria had allegedly offered an RM20,000 from the Works Ministry, and the incident reportedly happened during the run-up to the party election, when Zakaria was vying for a seat in the MPP.

“There is also a statement of claim by the DPP who recommended that action be taken against Zakaria.

“After reading the contents of the letter, do you think we should apologise?” Saifuddin reportedly asked, adding that a letter has also been sent to Zakaria, and the latter has two weeks to appeal his expulsion.

“We have been through many episodes, we are prepared to face anything,” Saifuddin was quoted saying, when reportedly asked if PKR is prepared for a split, owing to factional wars within the party.

On November 24, PKR sacked 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.

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