Defamation the issue at Azmin dinner, says PKR sec-gen

PKR secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution says he will give the benefit of the doubt to a gathering of Azmin Ali’s supporters.

PUTRAJAYA: The ‘Shared Prosperity Vision’ dinner attended by several PKR leaders last night did not violate the party discipline, said PKR secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution Ismail.

However, he said, the content of the speech delivered during the dinner was feared to be defamatory.

“I just found out yesterday about the dinner gathering, so let’s give it the benefit of the doubt. It was probably an approach to explain how to bridge the rural and urban economic gap,” he said.

He was referring to a dinner at a hotel in the capital yesterday which was attended by several PKR leaders, including deputy president  Mohamed Azmin Ali and vice-president Zuraida Kamaruddin.

The function was held just hours after Azmin and some of his supporters were absent from the last day of the PKR national congress in Melaka, which was closed by party president Anwar Ibrahim.

The dinner has been viewed as a rival gathering to the national congress.

Saifuddin said it was better for party leaders to speak at the winding-up session of the party congress as it was the best platform for delegates’ views.

“Not attending the winding up session but providing another platform to respond was not a good thing to do. That’s why the winding-up session was held on the last day of the congress…any leader is given the opportunity to make a winding-up speech. That is the culture and practice of a good organisation,” he said.

Saifuddin said party members could make their own assessment of the essence of the speech delivered at the dinner as PKR was a mature party.

Asked whether certain leaders should be called for clarification, Saifuddin said: “It is up to the members to do so.”