PETALING JAYA: Several MPs and senators in PKR have “ganged up” in a show of support for vice-president Azmin Ali to run for the party’s deputy presidency.
The 18 MPs and two senators were a group of elected representatives led by Teluk Kemang MP Datuk Kamarul Bahrin Abas who endorsed Azmin.
However, immediately after the press conference, several MPs, whose names were included in the list, protested against the endorsement and said that their permission had not been sought.
They were believed to be R. Sivarasa (Subang), Tian Chua (Batu), Loh Gwo-Burne (Kelana Jaya) and Azan Ismail (Indera Mahkota).
A party insider told The Star that not every MP had been aware of the endorsement.
“It caught me by surprise. I was not even aware that this press conference was about backing Azmin. The question is who stands to benefit from this sudden move?” he said.
Earlier, Kamarul said there was nothing unusual about MPs voicing their support for a candidate, and all “agree that Azmin is the best candidate for this post.”
Also present at the event were MPs S. Manikavasagam (Kapar), Datuk Johari Abdul (Sg Petani), Amran Abdul Ghani (Tanah Merah), Loh Gwo-Burne and Zuraida Kamaruddin (Ampang).
Those not included in the list of names were PKR adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (Permatang Pauh), Nurul Izzah Anwar (Lembah Pantai), Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim (Bandar Tun Razak), Saifuddin Nasution (Machang), N. Gobalakrishnan (Padang Serai), and Azmin (Gombak).
Kamarul also denied that they were behind the attacks on PKR supreme council member Datuk Zaid Ibrahim, who claimed that he had had to put up with dirty tactics since announcing his intention to go for the No. 2 post.
“We won’t stop anyone from contesting. In the end, it will be decided by the party members,” he said.
In his blog, Zaid said the move was a plot to bury him like the late Tun Ghafar Baba during Umno’s 1993 party election.
He also alleged that a popular Malay blogger had been paid to write that he would pay RM20,000 to the branch that nominated him, and that he had also been accused of working with former Finance Minister Tun Daim Zainuddin to destroy PKR.
Some 400,000 members and 218 divisions will cast their ballots in the elections from Sept 17 until Nov 21.
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