Just as a solidarity statement was signed by 46 party leaders aligned with deputy president Datuk Seri Azmin Ali in support of vice-president Zuraida Kamaruddin, who was slapped with a show cause letter last week, it has emerged that another such letter has been issued to Azmin’s ministerial adviser Datuk Khalid Jaafar.
Though the letter from the party’s disciplinary committee was dated Jan 18, it only went viral on social media late on Wednesday.
The earlier show cause letter to Zuraida, dated Jan 15, demanded an explanation for her speech at a dinner event organised by Azmin on Dec 8 where she was said to have criticised party president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
The group of 46, who included 15 MPs and 28 state assemblymen from PKR, said any action against Zuraida, the Housing and Local Government Minister who is aligned with Azmin, would be detrimental to the party.
The solidarity statement also took the party leadership to task for sacking seven youth leaders who were in Azmin’s camp.
Khalid, who is the Selangor PKR strategic director, said he had yet to receive the letter and only saw it on social media.
“Perhaps it was mailed. I will only think of what to do when I receive it,” he added when contacted.
The alleged show cause letter directed Khalid to answer charges of defaming Anwar in two Facebook postings last July.
However, PKR disciplinary committee chairman Datuk Ahmad Kassim did not confirm if he indeed issued the letter.
Azmin’s faction say the show cause letters were an attempt to purge them from the party, but some leaders in Anwar’s side described it as a move to right the wrongs in PKR.
Selayang MP William Leong, who backs Anwar, said the show cause letters were more to crack the whip on those who defied the rules.
“There is nothing wrong in speaking out but if it is too defamatory or seditious or brings the party into disrepute, then it is a violation which requires disciplinary action to be taken.
“Speaking out requires responsibility.
“Those who violate the rules must face punishment,” said the Selayang PKR chief.
Pahang PKR state chief and Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh, who is aligned with Anwar, described the solidarity statement as “creating a party within a party”.
Wanita PKR chief Haniza Talha shot back, saying the show cause letters and sacking of leaders who were elected by the grassroots even raises questions of the impartiality of the disciplinary committee.
“The disciplinary committee must conduct itself fairly but in recent months, it only seems to be hauling up those from Azmin’s faction.
“If we are not allowed to criticise our own leaders, this is the beginning of the end of the party and of the reform agenda, which we have fought for all these years,” she added.
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