KUALA LUMPUR: PKR vice-president Tian Chua says members should not be “obsessed” with Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim becoming the next prime minister as such fanaticism could make the party “directionless”.
Not mincing his words, he said there was no need for him to publicly show loyalty and support for Anwar to take over the post as that was not his most important duty.
He urged the PKR president to take heed of his reminder, saying blind devotion among members was very dangerous to the party.
“I don’t want to see our party being busy about who is the eighth, ninth or 10th prime minister. This issue is not about Anwar... but preventing the party from becoming directionless.
“This party is in your hands, ” he said to loud jeers during his winding-up speech yesterday.
Tian Chua was the only leader from the Azmin Ali camp to attend the closing day of the PKR congress.
On Saturday, about 100 individuals including Azmin, who is the PKR deputy president, and Tian Chua staged a walkout during the congress after claiming that speeches by delegates were divisive and provocative.
Carrying on undeterred with his speech, Tian Chua said members needed to have a critical mentality, adding that factionalism was an unhealthy development in the party.
“As supporters, we have endured many obstacles and it is our responsibility to ensure that the party becomes stronger, not divide us into factions, ” he added.
He reminisced about the struggles of PKR over the last two decades, reminding about the detentions of party leaders under the now defunct Internal Security Act (ISA) and the sacrifices made by various leaders.
“Without the sacrifices and the successful track record of Azmin in Selangor, could we have won?” he asked, sparking off another round of boos.
PKR permanent chairman Datuk Ahmad Kassim had to interject repeatedly to urge the delegates to remain calm.
Saying that any attempt to stop him from voicing his views would fail, Tian Chua criticised the quality of debates at the congress, describing most of the delegates as being only “apple polishers”.
“Should we be labelled as traitors just because we are not on the same page on several issues?
“The rakyat is watching us, does PKR deserve to be the ruling party?” he asked.