PKR women sticks to Azmin as controversy rages in youth wing

PKR women’s chief Haniza Talha.

PETALING JAYA: PKR women’s chief Haniza Talha today defended deputy president Mohamed Azmin Ali following his snub from the party’s youth wing, saying the women’s arm will still invite him to officiate its congress in line with PKR tradition.

She told reporters here today that it had been the party’s tradition for 20 years to invite the deputy president to officiate its conventions.

“Of course the person who officiates our congress will be the deputy president,” she added.

“This is the first time that a wing is going against the (national) convention.”

On Wednesday, PKR Youth chief Akmal Nasir said Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail would officiate the youth congress instead of Azmin, amid talk that the latter’s invitation to do so had been withdrawn by secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution.

He said the decision was made at a PKR Youth council meeting on Oct 20.

His announcement came shortly after a joint statement issued by 21 of the youth wing’s 25 central leaders criticising Saifuddin for allegedly withdrawing Azmin’s invitation.

Traditionally, the party’s deputy president is invited to open the national conventions of the party’s youth and women’s wings.

Haniza said the women’s wing wished to continue this tradition in order to unite all parties.

“This is the time for us to unite,” she said, adding that an invitation would be issued to Azmin as usual.

Azmin had said that the decision to snub him at the youth congress was an attempt to prevent him from reprimanding the current leadership.

He also said there were “hidden hands” which had withdrawn his invitation to open the congress.

“Truth is, all is not well in Pakatan Harapan as there are factions who are trying to weaken it,” he said yesterday.