Report: Anwar won’t meet warring factions, dares party to pick new president

Syed Jaymal Zahiid
File photo of PKR President Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim speaking at the Youth Economic Forum 2019 in Kuala Lumpur November 9, 2019. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 16 — Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has reportedly refused to meet the factions embroiled in a fresh feud involving his deputy Datuk Seri Azmin Ali, whose invitation to open a PKR youth congress was recently rescinded.

Malaysiakini reported Anwar as saying he is against endorsing any attempts by the different factions to hold separate meetings, but will not prevent them from doing so.

“I will not hold meetings with different factions,” he was quoted as saying at the Perlis and Kedah divisions’ joint convention in Kulim this afternoon.

“I will hold a party meeting... If you want me to meet and legitimise certain groups, that is not the work of the president.

“You have to wait to elect a new president if you dare.”

Anwar was also said to have used the term “cartel” in a reference to the meetings.

The term is said to describe Azmin’s faction among the PKR president’s supporters. 

Malaysiakini suggested this was likely the first time Anwar had used the description publicly.

Last week the party’s Youth wing said it would not have Azmin officiate its congress next month, a move that revived the simmering tension between him and Anwar.

The PKR deputy president, once Anwar’s blue-eyed boy but is now a close ally of Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, in response claimed the move was meant to “silence” him.

But both leaders have so far downplayed the rift. 

Today, Malaysiakini reported Anwar denying claims that he would not meet Azmin or leaders alligned to him.

“In Parliament, I often drop by the canteen... then I go to my office upstairs, where those with appointments meet me,” he said.

“Anyone can meet me. On other days, I am at my office in Jalan Gasing [Petaling Jaya]. So it is not true to say [they] cannot meet me. What more if you are a minister or deputy minister.

“But if party meetings have been fixed, political bureau meetings, central leadership council meetings or special meetings, then there is no such thing as [secretary-general Datuk Saifuddin Nasution Ismail’s] faction or cartel faction. I will not endorse this,” he added.

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