Zuraida, others explain PKR retreat absences, Tian Chua says no joint absence

Ida Lim
Tian Chua reportedly said he will attend PKR's three-day retreat in Port Dickson after being absent last night. ― Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, July 20 — Top PKR leaders have given their reasons for not attending yesterday the first night of PKR's three-day retreat in Port Dickson, while party vice-president Chua Tian Chang said there was no plan to be absent together.

Chua, who is better known as Tian Chua, reportedly said he will attend the retreat today after being absent last night.

“Some of us will attend partially — there is no concerted effort to not to attend the retreat,” he was quoted saying by local daily The Star, reportedly noting that party leaders had proposed the retreat three months ago to solve internal differences.

Amid tensions with PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, PKR deputy president Datuk Seri Azmin Ali was absent along with some other leaders at the Port Dickson retreat.

According to The Star, PKR vice-president Zuraida Kamaruddin said others could make “insinuations” on why she did not attend, but said it was due to her having to be present at the World Firefighters' Day event today at Dataran Merdeka in Kuala Lumpur and having to fly to Surabaya, Indonesia on Sunday.

“I have other things to do. I have firefighting of a different kind,” she was quoted saying.

PKR Wanita chief Haniza Talha said she had sought to clear her schedule for the retreat but was unable to attend, noting that many programmes usually happen during the weekend and she had to settle things before leaving for Surabaya also on Sunday.

“The PKR retreat is not actually a retreat because all the branch leaders from all states will be present as well,” she was quoted saying.

Haniza who is a Selangor lawmaker will be going with Zuraida who is housing and local government minister to visit a public housing programme in Surabaya, The Star said.

Zuraida, Chua, Haniza were part of a list of 27 top PKR leaders ― including four vice-presidents and 19 central council members ― that had signed a Thursday statement to publicly rebuke Anwar after he called on Azmin to resign if the veracity of the sex video in a scandal is established.

Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah ― who also signed the statement ― was having an official meeting in Indonesia last night, The Star said.

The paper reported that PKR Youth deputy chief Muhammad Hilman Idham ― who had also signed the public rebuke ― was not present as well last night at the retreat.

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