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Stop fooling around and leave now

May 19, 2010

PKR gives malcontents a month to leave

By G. Manimaran and Neville Spykerman
May 19, 2010

KUALA LUMPUR, May 19 — Stung by a string of resignations by its lawmakers, PKR is asking disgruntled members to leave within a month if they cannot commit to the party’s struggle for justice and reforms.

PKR has lost 10 lawmakers — five MPs and five assemblymen — since it scored a historic win in Election 2008 to become the largest federal opposition party in the nascent Pakatan Rakyat. It now has 25 MPs after it also lost the Hulu Selangor by-election last month.

“I am issuing this notice to all who intend to defect to do so within this period, so the party can move forward,” PKR election director Fuziah Salleh told The Malaysian Insider.

The Kuantan MP said a month should be enough for members to “self-reflect and soul-search if they’re really committed to PKR, what it stood for and its struggle”.

Fuziah’s “notice” comes in the wake Wangsa Maju MP Wee Choo Keong’s long-anticipated resignation last Friday, just prior to the Sibu by-election.

Last month, Bakar Arang state assemblyman Tan Wei Shu along with other PKR state and division leaders walked out of the party in the midst of the Hulu Selangor by-election campaign.

The resignations could not have come at a worse time for the party and Fuziah admitted they had marred the image of PKR.

The defections have further weakened the federal opposition party, more so since party advisor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was battling sodomy charges in court for the second time since 1999.

Fuziah (left) pointed out that PKR had been under sustained attack and hit by rumours of further defections, but said she was unperturbed by the rumours, as those who fooled around with the party were not needed in its struggles.

However, she said “dissatisfied” PKR members should not wait for another by-election to come along before walking out.

“Of course, we cannot stop resignations after the one month,” she conceded.

But she said those leaving in the future, especially during by-elections, would open themselves to public ridicule and suspicions that they have been induced with money and positions.

Of the 10 lawmakers, four MPs and five state assemblymen quit PKR while another, Kulim-Bandar Baharu MP Zulkifli Noordin was sacked for disciplinary problems.

Fuziah said PKR would push forward after her one month’s “notice” was up, adding the deadline was after the party’s annual congress scheduled for the end of the month in Kota Baru,

“I have announced that we mean business in the party,” she said, adding the party was committed to preparing for the 13th general election.

“We are going to start the process of selecting our candidates and strengthening our machinery,” Fuziah said.

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