PETALING JAYA: More than 20 divisional leaders of Sarawak PKR have declared their support for party president Anwar Ibrahim and his deputy, Mohamed Azmin Ali.
The statement came in the wake of calls by two vice-presidents for an end to such signature campaigns, after weeks of tension arising from the rivalry between the two leaders.
The Sarawak group, led by state leader Baru Bian, said that they backed both Anwar and Azmin to lead the party as the two men had been duly elected by members.
“Party elections are not due until 2021 and currently there are no challenges for any positions in the party,” they said in a statement signed by five Central Committee members, 23 branch chiefs and five deputy branch chiefs.
They urged members to close ranks and focus on winning the Sarawak state general election, which must be held within the next two years.
“The president and deputy president should be seen to be uniting the party as they are the only two persons who can do that,” they said, adding that party leaders and members should “rise above the fray” and focus on addressing pertinent issues.
Tensions have risen within PKR as Anwar, his deputy and their supporters have appeared to be at odds following the posting of video clips showing two men engaged in sexual acts.
Former PKR divisional Youth leader Haziq Aziz has admitted being one of the men, and alleged that the other man was Azmin, an accusation that Azmin has strenuously denied. Police have declared that the video clip was most likely authentic but the identity of the person could not be verified.
Earlier this month, Anwar had said that if investigations showed that the clips were genuine, Azmin would have to quit as economic affairs minister. This led to a sharp riposte by Azmin who told Anwar to look “at the man in the mirror”.
Some 27 PKR Central Committee members, in a joint statement, subsequently criticised what appeared to be Anwar urging Azmin to resign, while several divisions nationwide later declared their support for the president.
Earlier today, PKR vice-president Tian Chua said it was time to stop mobilising support for either leader and to focus on healing and the rebuilding of trust, while fellow vice-president Zuraida Kamaruddin called for an end to such “political stunts”. Both are regarded as Azmin allies.