PETALING JAYA: Selayang MP William Leong has shrugged off criticism amid mixed reactions over his move to resign from PKR’s political bureau.
He said the backlash was expected and that his critics were entitled to their opinions.
“I have made my stand, and I think what has happened now is that the matter has come up for public discussion.
“I think it is good for it to be discussed so that we know how the people feel on the ground,” Leong said to FMT.
This followed his announcement yesterday that he had tendered his resignation from the party’s political bureau after the PKR leadership said it would continue to try and work together with PAS to prevent three-cornered fights in the 14th general election (GE14).
When questioned, he agreed that the public could see PKR’s attempts to woo PAS as “begging”, which would negatively impact the party.
On the other hand, he said the public could also view the situation as PKR swallowing its pride and having the humility to maintain an open door for the sake of the people.
However, he said PAS was not looking at PKR’s attempts as a sign of humility. Instead, the Islamist party viewed the efforts as a sign of weakness and was taking advantage of it.
“So somewhere along the line, you have to protect the dignity of the party and the people that work for you,” Leong said, referring to PKR.
He said he had conveyed his reasons for resigning in his letter, which he hoped the leadership would accept with an open mind.
“We have given so much time to PAS and they have not responded.
“There also appears to be no specific solution to how we are going to have a one-to-one fight with Barisan Nasional (BN),” he said.
Leong added that it was no longer just PKR’s decision as the situation would also affect DAP, Amanah and PPBM as fellow component parties of Pakatan Harapan (PH).
He said time was running out for political negotiations, adding that they should be preparing for a three-cornered fight and that it was not wise to wait until the last minute to do so.
Leong’s assistant, Chua Wei Kiat, said the Selayang MP had garnered significant support from other grassroots members.
“A lot of the members support Leong. They are taking his decision as a sign of respect,” Chua told FMT.
Chua added that the grassroots members would be holding a press conference at 11am tomorrow to show their support for Leong at his office in Selayang Jaya.
Last week, PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said she had not ruled out discussing seat allocations with PAS for GE14.
Wan Azizah, who is also PH president, stressed that the main objective was to topple the BN government.
“If there is anything that can help us achieve that, we will give it a try,” she was reported as saying.
In May, PAS cut ties with PKR, ending almost two decades of cooperation with the multiracial party, after accusing the latter of breaching the terms of their political alliance.