PUTRAJAYA: Amid rumours that non-Malay PKR leaders and members felt sidelined by the party, several who attended its congress over the weekend told a different story.
T Eswaran, a Tanjung Piai PKR delegate, denied that the party sidelined the Indian community.
“Even though candidates from the Indian community failed to win a vice-president’s post, the party president (Anwar Ibrahim) still appointed a representative from the minority group for the role,” he told FMT.
He was referring to the appointment of K Saraswathy as a vice-president following the outcome of the party’s 2022 elections. G Manivannan, Gunaraj George, S Thiban and MA Tinagaran all ran for the post but lost.
However, Eswaran said others might feel differently about the situation. “But I think the majority of the non-Malay party leaders and members will still support Anwar,” he said.
M Yugins, the PKR Youth deputy information chief, said Anwar’s government policies were made for the betterment of the people as a whole, regardless of their race.
Earlier, FMT quoted a source as saying that certain non-Malay PKR leaders and members had been complaining internally about being increasingly sidelined since Anwar’s rise to the premiership, despite strongly backing both him and the party for many years.
In particular, they pointed to his administration’s supposedly conservative stance on certain issues, including empowering the Islamic development department, ruling out the recognition of secularism and gay rights, and defending race-based affirmative action policies.
Yugins brushed aside these concerns, claiming that “there are some people who just want to play up the issue, to cause a stir within the party”.
He said Anwar had treated every race fairly, and pointed to the funding he had provided to repair dilapidated Tamil and Chinese schools.
K Raju, the Simpang Renggam PKR Youth leader, said while he had heard similar complaints, he never understood where they came from.
In his policy speech at the PKR congress over the weekend, Anwar insisted that the party would not sideline other races and would always “guarantee fairness for all”.
PKR Youth chief Adam Adli also assured the delegates that the party welcomed those from different backgrounds and diverse views.