By Adrian Lim
KUCHING, March 15: The departure of three Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) leaders recently showed that they have lost faith in the leadership of party president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
A group of former PKR leaders in a joint statement said Anwar must accept the bitter fact that his leadership is rejected by a large section of his own party members because a party that has lost its bearings can no longer claim the moral high ground to lead.
They added PKR can no longer claim to be championing the principles of justice and welfare for the people and that the political party has lost its idealism and gone astray due to lust for power and ambition of one man to become prime minister.
Kuala Langat MP Datuk Dr Xavier Jayakumar was the latest PKR leader to leave the party and pledged his support to Perikatan Nasional (PN) after Julau MP Larry Sng and Tebrau MP Steven Choong did so last month.
“We call on leaders and members of PKR to reflect not just on the latest decision taken by the three MPs, but also ponder on the larger issue as to why so many top PKR leaders and long-serving members have left the party.
“This is most unfortunate because we know that there are leaders and members of PKR who have been holding fast to the original principles and idealism of the party only to find themselves sidelined and even victimised by the powers that be under the president,” the former PKR MPs said in the joint statement.
The statement was signed by Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali, Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin, Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah, Datuk Mohd Rashid Hasnon, Datuk Kamarudin Jaffar, Datuk Dr Mansor Othman, Datuk Seri Dr Santhara Kumar, Datuk Ali Biju, Datuk Willie Mongin and Jonathan Yasin.
“Instead of relentlessly pursuing the noble causes for which the party was founded, the powermongers have hijacked the reform agenda for the benefit of themselves, their families and their cronies,” they added.
In the meantime, they described the three MPs who quit PKR recently and supported PN as courageous and principled, adding that the move signified their confidence in the PN government’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic and the proactive, decisive and timely measures implemented to jumpstart the economy and ensure sustainable recovery.
Apart from that, they also criticised PKR secretary-general Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution for not having the moral standing to preach about party hopping as Saifuddin himself switched to PKR from United Malays National Organisation (Umno) and then to Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (Pas) and later back to PKR.
“Unlike YB Dato’ Dr Xavier who was an elected vice-president of PKR, Saifuddin’s political standing in the party is at best weak and strictly speaking, being merely an appointee has no democratic legitimacy,” they claimed.
On another note, they claimed allegations that PN used enticement and intimidation to get the support from Pakatan Harapan (PH) MPs are utterly baseless. — DayakDaily