Zahidi reached out to Perlis PKR to join party, says state deputy chairman

Photo: Bernama

PETALING JAYA: Former deputy communications and multimedia minister Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin had reached out to the Perlis PKR regarding interest to join the party, says the state party leadership council.

"Zahidi contacted me more than a month ago and said he was keen to join (PKR)," said its deputy chairman Noor Amin Ahmad.

"People can openly apply online for membership and it is up to the leadership at the federal level to decide on whether they want to accept them or not," added Noor Amin on Monday (Jan 30).

Former Umno supreme council member Zahidi had said he would apply to join PKR in February along with 100 Padang Besar Umno division members.

Zahidi also said some leaders were contemplating joining Perikatan Nasional, due to dissatisfaction towards Umno leaders who were recently purged by party president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

Noor Amin, the former Kangar MP, also said he did not speak much to Zahidi when the former Umno Padang Besar MP reached out to him.

"I didn’t tell him (Zahidi) much. I told him the procedure of applying. It is not my prerogative to admit him as a member.

"As you know, the government is now made up of Pakatan Harapan, Barisan Nasional and several other parties.

"Zahidi, being a former leader from Barisan, might create some issues. So, it is up to the federal leadership to manage it," added Noor Amin.

He said there must be mechanisms to ensure that those joining PKR were not opportunists, given that the party was in power now.

"They must be tested on loyalty, as well as understanding of our missions and objectives," said Noor Amin.

Noor Amin said after Pakatan won GE14 in 2018, there were many applications to join PKR.

"But, after the coup in 2020, some of them disappeared from the party and joined the opposition," said Noor Amin.

"So, while we want to be open and democratic, we must strengthen our internal mechanisms first," added Noor Amin.

Noor Amin was referring to the "Sheraton Move" in 2020, where Bersatu and 11 MPs from PKR left, triggering the collapse of the former Pakatan government.

Subsequently, more MPs gradually announced their exit from PKR.

Last November, Zahidi was sacked after standing as an independent candidate in GE15 after being dropped by Umno.

Also sacked was Arau MP Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim, former Maran MP Datuk Seri Ismail Abd Muttalib and Azhar Ahmad.

Zahidi failed to defend his Padang Besar seat after losing his deposit by garnering only 1,939 votes in a five-cornered fight that was won by Perikatan.

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