Does Zuraida’s show-cause letter show gender bias still alive in PKR?

Nurhanim Hanna Mokhsen

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KUCHING, Jan 22: Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Sarawak women’s wing now fears for the public, especially the female community, that gender bias is still thriving in the party.

Sarawak PKR Women’s chief Nurhanim Mokhsen asked that if calls by male members of the party for the sacking of vice president Zuraida Kamaruddin were meant to silence the voice of a woman who dared to speak the truth, then the damage to society would be more costly, emboldening toxic masculinity to push even the strongest women out of leadership roles for speaking out.

“PKR Sarawak Women’s wing is deeply disappointed with the news that the disciplinary committee of the party sees it fit to issue a show cause letter to Zuraida based on the flimsiest of reasons. This is clearly an attempt to discredit her for being one of the strongest grassroot leaders in the party.

“Is it just some small-minded men who cannot swallow the truth from a woman? Why else should Zuraida be singled out to be hauled up to a disciplinary hearing,” Nurhanim asked in a statement today.

She called it a hideous political hit job when Zuraida explained that the letter received from the disciplinary committee was tied to her speech during the PKR gathering at Renaissance Hotel where she actually spoke up against what she believed were real internal threats to party unity.

“What is most disgusting is that Zuraida’s detractors were predominantly unelected officials having being appointed to their roles as state chiefs. Worse, a good number of them even lost in the contests at cabang level. Insecure about their lack of public support, it is unsurprising that they deem it fit to use underhand tactics to discredit her,” Nurhanim added.

She also questioned if Zuraida would receive a fair hearing because the party’s ‘most vocal woman’ is being handed to a group of unelected men in the disciplinary committee.

Nurhanim said Zuraida is the stalwart of PKR’s political struggle and has made the Women’s Wing and the whole party itself the force that it is today.

Throughout PKR’s years in the wilderness when Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was in jail, Zuraida was known as a pillar of strength and support for all members.

“More so to us Sarawakians. These kind gestures of hers we cannot simply disregard and we women are always mindful of and remember her contributons for us. Our support is not blind. Zuraida earns our respect and support for the sacrifices she showered on us in Sarawak.

“It is etched in history and on record, that she was the first federal cabinet minister to come to Sarawak after the victory of Pakatan Harapan in the 2018 general elections,” Nurhanim said. —DayakDaily