PETALING JAYA: PKR's action in issuing a show-cause letter to its vice-president Zuraida Kamaruddin has once again re-ignited the acrimony between Team Anwar and Team Azmin.
Zuraida is a staunch supporter of deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali, and the show-cause letter is seen by Team Azmin supporters as an unwarranted attack against Zuraida.
However, party members aligned to Team Anwar want Zuraida to be sacked, claiming that her previous actions – including openingly criticising Anwar and not attending crucial party meetings – have crossed the line.
At the PKR headquarters here on Saturday morning (Jan 18), supporters of Zuraida and those that opposed her gathered outside as the central leadership council (MPP) was meeting.
Zuraida was absent from the meeting, as she had joined the Pakatan Harapan campaign for the Kimanis by-election on Saturday (Jan 18).
The two groups traded barbs and things got tensed when a minor scuffle happened, after a Zuraida supporter tried to grab a banner of the opposing group calling for Zuraida to be sacked.
Former Selangor PKR information chief K. Gunasekaran said the PKR had got its focus wrong.
He added that the party leadership should act against "hooligans" who tarnished the image of the party instead of unjustly taking Zuraida to task for stating facts.
"Zuraida is a straightforward person. Why take action against her for expressing her views and stating the obvious.
"Why curb freedom of expression?" he asked.
Gunasekaran pointed out that the presence of between 30 and 40 people at the party headquarters demanding that Zuraida be sacked proved the point about hooliganism.
"We held a peaceful rally in support of Zuraida whom we believe is being unfairly persecuted for being on the wrong side of the camp (in support of party deputy president Azmin).
"And then a small group of people came carrying banners asking Zuraida to be sacked. Is this not intimidation?" he asked.
Asked what the pro-Zuraida group was doing at the venue, Gunasekaran replied that they wanted to show support to the Housing and Local Government Minister.
"Taking unjust action against leaders and members who dare to speak up will only make a mockery of freedom of speech we have been fighting for," he said.
Meanwhile, Kedah PKR chief Johari Abdul said even division chiefs in various states strongly believed Zuraida should be sacked.
"The groundswell is against Zuraida.
"Based on the feedback from the ground), we (the state chiefs) are strongly pushing for her sacking," said Johari after attending the central leadership council meeting at the party headquarters.
Zuraida courted trouble after allegedly calling upon party president Anwar to return sanity to the party by addressing the "mafia" influence.
Johari urged the party disciplinary board to take into consideration all the allegations made against Zuraida.
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