Saturday, May 15

Message is clear, leaders, members must abide by party discipline – Anwar


Anwar delivers his policy speech at the opening of the PKR National Congress 2019. — Bernama file photo

MELAKA: The 2019 PKR National Congress has given a clear message that the party leadership must be firm and act on leaders and members who do not conform to party discipline, said PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

He said though the message was clear, certain quarters in the party could not seem to accept if action is taken against them for misconduct and disciplinary issues.

“When we hold high positions this is the risk, those involved are our friends and that was why I had taken a gentle approach, I have never lost my temper.

“As in the MACC case (sacking of Bera PKR division chief Zakaria Abdul Hamid and Pahang PKR member Ismail Dulhadi), the party’s disciplinary board made the decision, the MPP too had decided, so how could the party urge Anwar to apologise for taking action against members involved in corruption,” he said in his winding-up speech during the final day of the national congress at the Melaka International Trade Centre (MITC), here today.

The presidential speech attracted the attention of several parties after the annual congress grew tense following a turn of events, including a dramatic walk out by leaders and delegates yesterday, conspicuous absentees, and fiery content by policy speech debaters.

Among leaders on stage today were PKR advisory council chairman Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, secretary-general Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, Information chief Datuk Seri Shamsul Iskandar Md Akin, Youth (AMK) chief Akmal Nasrullah Mohd Nasir, vice-presidents Tian Chua, Datuk  A. Xavier Jayakumar and Chang Lih Kang while deputy president Mohamed Azmin Ali, vice president Zuraida Kamaruddin and Women’s chief Haniza Mohamed Talha and several Central Leadership Council members (MPP) were absent.

Elaborating, Anwar said 80 per cent of the registered delegates were present and that thousands of observers had remained with the party as the congress continued until the end. 

For this 14th congress a total of 880 delegates are required to fulfil the quorum.

Anwar also explained that he had no intention of insulting Mohamed Azmin that could cause the Economic Affairs Minister and 22 MPP members leaving the hall during the debate yesterday.

“I brought up the tale of Si Kitol dan Raja Mendeliar. I had no intention of hurting anyone. It is a historical piece recorded in the Sulalatus Salatin and I mentioned it because there were lessons to be learnt from the fall of Melaka due to slander and betrayal,” he said.

Anwar also reminded leaders and delegates to be patient if they have difference of opinion and not act  until the situation went out of control and instead bring the issue to the negotiating table.

“We understand that the party members have been trained to be bold and brave but it should not be to the point of getting out of control.

“Even if there were disagreements or difference of opinion, those who left in fury are still our family, our party members, we cannot erase all the good they have done because of a momentary rage, so have patience,” he said.

Anwar commended Vice President Tian Chua who had chosen to resolve any disagreements through negotiations.

However, he said Tian Chua was bashed by both sides who insisted on defending their views and this led to a misunderstanding, with no solution to the problem.

“But I chose not to condemn. His view is to find a solution, so we have to allow some space. I have my own views, but we cannot reject the sentiments of the delegates and observers,” he said.

Anwar also also firmly warned members who were no longer interested in fighting issues that were of priority to the party, to leave. 

He said PKR should be a party that takes the opportunity to fight on issues such as quality of education, health services, basic infrastructure, PTPTN and unemployment.

“These are our issues and we must figure out how to resolve them if we want to remain in the government and do not want the party to lose in the election,” he said.

Earlier, Anwar presented certificates to representatives of seven state leadership council (MPN) who had conducted training for excellence programmes. — Bernama