What is it gonna be, Zul?
KUALA LUMPUR, March 5 — The usually-silent PKR president Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail last night declared that controversial Kulim-Bandar Bharu MP Zulkifli Noordin must decide his future in the party.
Zulkifli had walked out from his hearing before the PKR’s disciplinary board yesterday afternoon after it refused his demand for an all-Muslim panel to judge his move to cite a PAS lawmaker for supporting the ‘Allah’ ruling.
Wan Azizah (picture) explained that Zulkifli’s case was not about Islam but the breaching of party discipline.
“We will wait for the reports from the disciplinary committee. We have also had political bureau meetings and made our recommendations but we left it to the disciplinary committee because it is a disciplinary problem … we accept differences in opinions but when it comes to breaching the party discipline, then that is the issue.
“So you do not talk about Islam or the committee members were Muslims or non-Muslims. You talk about party discipline so the breach of that is not whether you are a Muslim or not. The breach is that you are a party member and you have to abide by the rules,” she told reporters at her residence here.
The wife of party de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim stressed that Zulkifli has tested the party’s patience and that the party leadership will soon decide on his future.
The maverick politician stated he had no plans to leave the party and would continue to defend himself, adding he would wait until his demands were met or until his patience was exhausted.
“Look, if you want to play the game then you have to play by the rules. You can’t just say ‘oh no, I am doing like this and this.’ So it is a disciplinary matter and I think he has tested our patience enough. We will have our meeting and decide and he should, too, after doing this sort of things. What does he expect of us?” she asked.
Wan Azizah also refuted claims by that a number of lawmaker resignations had put PKR on the verge of collapse.
“If you want to talk about collapse then last time in 2004, we had only one. Then in 2008 election, we had enough and a bigger majority to make us the opposition leader for a small party. So I think when people leave then we have new blood then it is good,” she said.
She also defended her husband against accusations that he began the policy of “party hopping”.
“They say that Anwar started it. We asked anybody to join us based on principles. We don’t have carrots dangling and we don’t have millions.
“If you compare, we do not have the means to buy people, that is for sure. We come together to fight for all that we have all spoken for and for the good of our country. Then come with us. If you want to ask for riches then go to the other side,” she said.
Anwar had claimed after Election 2008 that he had the necessary number of lawmakers to defect from Barisan Nasional (BN) and topple the federal government.
The opposition leader said that more than 31 BN MPs will join Pakatan Rakyat by Sept 16, 2008.
However, no BN MP joined PR since that date and instead, PKR lost three MPs who turned independent in the past three weeks.
Former Penang PKR chief Datuk Seri Zahrain Hashim quit the party last Feb 12. Apart from the Bayan Baru MP, Nibong Tebal MP Tan Tee Beng and Bagan Serai MP Mohsin Fadzli Samsuri have also left PKR.