KUALA LUMPUR: KUALA LUMPUR: As the tiff between PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and his deputy Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali comes to a head, efforts are under way to keep the party together.
Anwar said yesterday he would take heed of the advice by the party central committee to cease issuing statements that could split the party.
“Their stand was well-intentioned and a timely reminder for party unity and consolidation,” Bernama quoted him as saying.
At a press conference at the Parliament lobby yesterday, Anwar said he welcomed the view of a cross-section of the PKR central leadership. “What they meant was for the party not to be perceived as strained, so they are giving a reminder to consolidate,” he said.
He was responding to a statement by the central committee members that his call for Azmin to resign if he was proven to be involved in the gay sex video was inappropriate.
In his response on Tuesday, Azmin said Anwar should look at himself in the mirror first.
By 3pm on Tuesday, 23 members of the committee and five MPs from the party had signed a joint statement asking Anwar to stop making divisive statements.
Among them were the four vice-presidents — Zuraida Kamaruddin, Tian Chua, Ali Biju and Xavier Jayakumar.
Anwar said PKR was firm in its stand to reject gutter politics and asked that Azmin, who is Economic Affairs Minister, be given space and time to resolve the sex video issue that he is embroiled in.
A video depicting two men in a lewd act in bed made the rounds in early June. Subsequently, PKR Santubong youth chief Haziq Abdullah Abdul Aziz confessed that he was one of the two men and that the other was Azmin.
Azmin has denied any knowledge of the video. Haziq has since been sacked from the party and arrest along with several other people over the making and distribution of the video clip.
This is the PKR’s worst crisis since it was set up more than two decades ago.
Despite attempts to present a united front in the weeks after the sex video appeared on social media, it was obvious that the party was straining at the seams.
Even Zuraida admitted yesterday that the party had split. Those who signed the petition yesterday described the episode as a conspiracy to topple Azmin.
They also pointed out that Anwar should have stood by his deputy instead of undermining him.