PETALING JAYA: It’s all systems go for the PKR election in controversial Julau after the party leadership clears the division from allegations of impropriety over its sudden surge in membership.
The party’s political bureau, which met on Wednesday night, has found no breaches in the registration process.
PKR communication director Fahmi Fadzil said the division submitted the membership applications to the headquarters before the June 26 deadline, which was set for the purpose of the party election.
He said the bureau was informed that the headquarters had received a large number of new membership applications for Julau on June 12.
“On June 25, the party’s central leadership council delegated the power to the political bureau to verify the final applications for new membership and the list was approved on June 27.
“The approved list was sent back to the division for verification and protest which ended on July 17.
“As of that date, the party headquarters did not receive any protest from any parties with regard to the new members of the Julau division.
“Based on these facts, and in light of there not being any breaches in the process with regard to this case, the political bureau states that the new membership applications of the Julau division are valid,” Fahmi said in a statement.
The Julau division had attracted a lot of interest since early October following claims of a spike in its membership from only 603 on June 26 to 13,000 a day later.
Its MP Larry Sng is also being investigated by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) over the matter.
When contacted, Sng briefly said he was happy with the decision which had laid to rest the membership issue.
Seberang Jaya assemblyman Dr Afif Bahardin, however, said PKR’s position was under threat with the acceptance of the questionable new members.
“The whole structure of the party has been jeopardised with the new members who literally emerged overnight,” he said.
Dr Afif, who is leading in the race for the party’s Youth chief position, said reports claiming many of the new members were unaware of being registered as PKR members indicated a serious breach of the Data Protection Act and could be used against PKR and even risked the party being deregistered by the relevant authorities.
“Furthermore, with the ongoing MACC investigation and inquiry on the matter, the best option for the party would be to stop the Julau division from voting this weekend,” said Dr Afif.
He said the division should also be either abolished and deregistered and revived at a later date when the discrepancies have been ironed out.
Outspoken Kuala Langat MP Abdullah Sani Abdul Hamid said the matter was a non-issue and he didn’t understand what the fuss was all about.
“Other divisions, including some in the peninsula, also took in hordes of members at the same time the new members joined the Julau division,” he said, lambasting the calls for the division to be shut down and not allowed to participate in this weekend’s polling exercise.
“That is not right. The membership registration was done in accordance with the party’s rules and regulations, and hence valid.”
Johor Baru MP Akmal Nasir, who is also contesting for the Youth chief position, said those complaining now should have protested much earlier.
“There was a time allocated for protests to be made which has ended. They should have voiced out then,” he added.
Incumbent vice-president Tian Chua said despite the turn of events, the fight at the battlefield would continue in Sarawak this weekend.
“Our priority now is to complete the election. It is also time for Rafizi (former Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli) to accept that he will not win the deputy president’s post,” he said.
Tian Chua added that the party must also work towards a reconciliation of sorts so that everyone can unite and work together again, and Rafizi must continue to have a role in the party after his predicted defeat and given a position in PKR.
“Now with only 20% more of the votes to go, it is time to ease the tension, reduce the pressure and accept the eventualities,” he said.