PKR rift widens as central leadership overrules Sarawak

Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail will officiate the PKR Youth congress next month instead of deputy president Mohamed Azmin Ali.

PETALING JAYA: PKR’s top leadership today overruled its Sarawak chapter’s decision to cancel the party’s state-level convention, as a rift widens over disagreement with the decision to snub deputy president Mohamed Azmin Ali at the party’s youth congress next month.

This comes after several senior leaders from Sarawak accused the party’s national leadership of ignoring tradition by not allowing the deputy president to officiate the PKR Youth congress on Dec 6, replacing him with Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.

Central leadership council member Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, who is the director of PKR conventions nationwide, said the party’s Sarawak convention in Miri on Nov 23 would go ahead following a meeting with state leaders yesterday.

He denied the claim by Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian and seven other state leaders that the party has turned its back on democracy by making unilateral decisions.

“Our commitment to organisational discipline and rules comes before any tradition,” said Nik Nazmi.

He said the party decided to invite Wan Azizah because Azmin failed to respond to an invitation to officiate the youth congress, and was absent from regular party meetings.

Nik Nazmi said the Sarawak PKR couldn’t just cancel the convention which was discussed and agreed upon yesterday.

“The state leadership should have faith in PKR’s democratic system.”

It was reported that PKR Youth chief Akmal Nasir had rescinded an invitation to Azmin to officiate the wing’s congress.

Azmin later labelled Akmal a “weak leader”, saying there was an attempt to gag him.

Sarawak PKR said the decision “by a handful of leaders” showed disrespect to PKR members.