KUALA LUMPUR: PKR vice-president Zuraida Kamaruddin today denied she and other PKR senior members aligned to deputy president Azmin Ali had intentionally skipped their party retreat in Port Dickson this weekend.
She said that she could not join the PKR retreat as she is busy with International Firefighters’ Day today and has to attend another function in Surabaya, Indonesia.
“Maybe it’s a coincidence. The others may have their own reasons, too,” she said when asked about her absence at the PKR meeting last night.
When asked about her speech at the retreat, scheduled for tonight, Zuraida said she won’t be speaking “unless they allow me to do a live conference”.
Previously, Zuraida had said that there are problems in PKR and outside factors were making them worse.
She described the opposing stands on the gay sex video involving former Santubong Youth chief Haziq Aziz as different “schools of thought”.
Yesterday, Zuraida, Azmin, and vice-presidents Tian Chua and Ali Biju, were not seen at the PKR party meeting at Grand Lexis Hibiscus, Port Dickson. However, Tian Chua attended today’s meeting.
They were among the senior leaders who signed a statement critical of PKR president Anwar Ibrahim for his call in urging Azmin to give up his Cabinet post if it is true he was the person in several gay sex videos.
The PKR party retreat was also attended by Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who is also Pakatan Harapan chairman. He told PKR members at the retreat that as the ruling coalition, they must not allow themselves to be distracted by side issues which are of no value.
The retreat comes after the open feud between Anwar and Azmin.
Haziq had confessed he was one of the men in the gay sex videos, and named Azmin as the other person. Azmin has denied this claim and said this was an attempt to ruin his political future.
Inspector-General of Police Abdul Hamid Bador said the videos were the work of a group masterminded by “a leader of a political party” which wanted to bring down the minister in question by attacking his reputation.
He said the group had paid “hundreds of thousands of ringgit” to certain quarters to produce the video clips but added that facial recognition techniques could not positively identify the person in the video as Azmin.
‘Critical allowance for firemen’
Meanwhile, Zuraida said that she, on behalf of the local and housing government ministry, will present a paper next week to Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah on a proposal to give a RM200 critical allowance to firemen.
She said Sultan Abdullah had asked her about the critical allowance that has yet to be approved by the government.
“The Yang di-Pertuan Agong said that the firemen are frontline officers and asked for a paper to be presented,” Zuraida added.