KUALA LUMPUR: Under fire over Julau overwhelming number of members, PKR secretary-general Datuk Saifuddin Nasution Ismail today claimed that its records for the division in Sarawak were above board and approved by the party’s political bureau and central leadership council. “The high level of scrutiny on Julau division is due to people going overboard to defend their respective camps.
“However, all the management process involving voting at the division level and registration of members was done transparently, openly and responsibly in accordance with the decisions and guidelines agreed by the council and political bureau,” he said in a statement today. Saifuddin said the council had on June 25 resolved to allow “soft copies” of membership applications, in addition to online and manual registrations. “According to party records, the number of applications received that were not done online, as of midnight on June 26 were 22,673. “Meanwhile, according to party records, the applications from Julau were received at 2pm on June 12. All new members were processed by the party headquarters on June 27,” he added. The party had resolved that only those registered up to June 26 were allowed to vote in this year’s party elections. Its vice-president Dr Xavier Jayakumar had also been appointed to a special committee to oversee complaints on party membership details. He however said that in Julau case, no grievances had been filed before the July 17 deadline, according to Saifuddin. He said that although no complaints were made, the party headquarters visited Julau to collect the physical membership forms for verification purposes, without any complaints being lodged. Saifuddin however said there were complaints about the membership records for the Batu division and in Selangor. “There were complaints against the registration of People’s Volunteer Corps (Rela) and recipients of state government aid, who were all registered as party members without their knowledge. Such cases were brought to the political bureau and the applications for these specific instances were accepted unanimously by the bureau. “However, there were no media reports on these cases, unlike Julau,” he added. Saifuddin had also reportedly told a newsportal that Julau MP Larry Sng had handed in the membership applications for 13,000 of his supporters on June 12. He also disputed claims that the address of about 11,000 members were suspicious and instead suggested that the portal that exposed the matter had sighted an inaccurate copy of the membership records. He did not address the mounting news coverage by the Sarawak press on people claiming they were registed as Julau PKR division members without their knowledge. On Sept 21, a newsportal showed how PKR’s membership figures had grown exponentially between June 5 and 26. However, Julau PKR’s membership records stood out because it was found that 12,946 new names were incorporated into the party records on June 27 - marking a 2,147 percent increase from the day before. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd