Anwar’s broken promise led to PKR congress exodus, says Azmin

PKR deputy president Mohamed Azmin Ali says he won’t quit the party that he has helped build for 20 years.

AYER KEROH: The exodus of PKR delegates and observers at today’s national congress was ultimately due to PKR president Anwar Ibrahim’s failure to keep his promise on the parameters for speeches at the congress, says his deputy Mohamed Azmin Ali.

At a press conference here today, Azmin and a large group of national leaders, including MPs and assemblymen, said the party’s Central Leadership Council had agreed on several congress matters last week.

This, he said, included:

  • The deputy president opening the Youth and Wanita congress;
  • Speeches will focus on policy issues and strengthening PKR;
  • The composition of speakers will represent all parties, with the guarantee of furthering the party’s agenda; and,
  • Speakers are not allowed to mock or attack any party.

“The president gave his guarantee that all speakers would adhere to these agreed-upon parameters,” Azmin said.

He said he had honoured that agreement and this was evident in his opening address at the Youth and Wanita Congress where he focused on party unity and PKR’s role in the government.

“Anwar’s speech, which started with the classic tale of Si Kitol and Raja Mendeliar (a story of betrayal), opened the doors to other speakers to launch personal attacks and disrupt the unity between leaders and members,” Azmin said.

He said this showed Anwar’s failure to honour his promise in ensuring all speakers adhered to the agreed perimeters.

Azmin said following today’s incident, it was not reasonable for him and other leaders to remain at the congress and listen to provocative speeches.

When asked if he would quit the party after this, Azmin replied: “No way.”

“This is our party; this is the party we built for 20 years.

“We’ve faced many crises in the past. We are confident this crisis can be overcome, too.”

He also denied claims by a Johor PKR leader that a parallel congress had previously been planned.

He said the only thing being organised was a briefing on the government’s Shared Prosperity Vision 2030 for the PKR delegates in Kuala Lumpur, particularly those who had come from afar.

“I myself invited Anwar to attend it.”

On whether he and the other leaders would attend the rest of the congress tomorrow, Azmin indicated he may if there was an effort to correct the situation.

Azmin said he and the other leaders who built PKR during its tough period “loved the party” but regretted that “new people” were trying to chase them out now when the party is strong.

“That is very unfair, We are called traitors. It is these traitors who built up the party for 20 years.”

He did not name these “new people”.

Azmin also said he would not give Anwar any ultimatum and that all issues could be discussed.

“Anwar is still my leader, my president.

“That’s why I have to consult him and talk to him. I will continue to do so. That’s not a problem.”

Also present at today’s press conference were PKR vice-presidents Zuraida Kamaruddin, Tian Chua and Ali Biju, Wanita chief Haniza Talha and her deputy, Dr Daroyah Alwi, and Youth deputy chief Hilman Idham.