KUANTAN: Sacked Bera PKR chief Zakaria Abdul Hamid (pic), the man caught in a raging controversy in the party, has defended himself against graft allegations, saying the party “has lost its sense of right and wrong”.
He said party president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and secretary-general Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail’s assertion that his sacking was based on the recommendation of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) was false and calculated to mislead party members and the public.
“In fact, paragraph four of the letter from the MACC to PKR enclosing the so-called report clearly envisages that an inquiry is to be held into the complaint against me by the party disciplinary board.
“Why did Anwar, Saifuddin and the disciplinary board ignore this?
“In clear breach of this, I was sacked without even an inquiry. This is in breach of every known principle of decency and justice, ” Zakaria said in a statement yesterday.
He said Anwar and Saifuddin had instead been taking pot shots at him through the media.
“I am a small party member, but they bully me relentlessly. Has factional politics in our party gone to such extremes that the leadership has lost all sense of right and wrong?” he asked.
The controversy was sparked when PKR announced last week that Zakaria and Ismail Duhladi, an ordinary member in Pahang, were stripped of their party membership following corruption allegations against them by the MACC.
PKR disciplinary board chairman Datuk Ahmad Kassim revealed that the party received a letter from MACC dated Oct 23 on the allegations, which allegedly occurred during the party elections last year.
Defending his actions, Zakaria said he only told a meeting of branch members that there were small projects from the Housing and Local Government Ministry which they could apply for from the relevant district councils.
“Let me emphasise that they were only asked to apply for it. What is wrong with that? Where is the offence?
“The ultimate decision whether to award any small project is up to the authority concerned. And in fact, finally, none of them were awarded any project at all, ” he said.
Meanwhile, Persatuan Patriot Kebangsaan president Brig-Jen (Rtd) Datuk Mohamed Arshad Raji said the sacking of the two PKR members had become a matter of public interest and not just an internal party matter.
He raised concerns over the fact that 20 PKR central leadership council members, which included three Cabinet ministers, had adamantly defended the two members.
“The merits of the case should have been studied before they protested against the sacking.
“PKR is part of the ruling coalition and this is of serious concern to the public. It calls into question the integrity of political leaders, ” he said.
Mohamed Arshad said the issue served as a warning to all Pakatan Harapan parties that the public would not tolerate any form of corruption, even involving small projects.