MALACCA: While the 2019 PKR National Congress generally proceeded smoothly, a move by a section of the PKR Central Leadership Council Members (MPP) and delegates leaving the conference hall had created an unexpected incident.
The debate session on the policy speech after the noon break saw a section of the MPP members leaving the stage and hundreds of delegates left the hall in stages, to the extent that almost half of the seats in the hall were empty.
The situation at the MPP Members seats on stage was also changing when PKR Deputy President Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali and several MPP members left the conference hall.
At about 3.30pm, the media received an invitation note from the Political Secretary to the Housing and Local Government Minister, Hizwan Ahmad who said that an emergency news conference would be held at a hotel in Ayer Keroh, without disclosing details of the media conference.
Speaking at the media conference, Azmin said he had left the debate session of the congress this afternoon on grounds that the debate had turned into a war ground to launch ‘personal attacks’ on himself.
Azmin said the agreement reached between him and several MPP members together with party president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim on Dec 4, among others was that debators were not allowed to offend, slander and attack anyone as this could affect the objective of the congress.
“The annual congress was the best avenue to strengthen consensus and unity among the Keadilan (PKR) members. It was also the best platform to debate the party’s policies which now forms the leading party in the government,” he said at a media conference which was also participated by 21 other members of the MPP including vice-president Zuraida Kamaruddin, Tian Chua, Wanita Head Haniza Mohamed Talha, Deputy Head of Angkatan Muda Keadilan (AMK) Muhammad Hilman Idham, MPP members Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah, R. Sivarasa, Elizabeth Wong and Amirudin Shaari.
”The annual congress is the best avenue to strengthen consensus and unity among Keadilan (PKR) members. It provides a means to debate party policies where the PKR is the leading party in the government,” he said.
He also alleged that the debators selected were biased and did not carry the voice of the grassroots but instead only promoted the ideas of one group while attacking other leaders.
Anwar, when met after the conclusion of the first day of the congress, said it was difficult to control the speeches of all the delegates and it had been advised that they did not offend any party.
“How do I prevent them? I said we (the leaders) can be criticised ... I have already set in the policy speech, so it’s up to the delegates,” he said.
Asked whether Azmin felt offended by the classical story on Si Kitul and Raja Mendeliar, Anwar said: “It was merely the Malay Annals. What is the relationship with Si Kitul ... he (Azmin) felt that it was his problem. I only gave a lesson (from the historical account) and it was a historical statement in Sulalatus Salatin (Sejarah Melayu).”
Meanwhile, PKR Information Chief Datuk Seri Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin said as a party that was progressive and dynamic, all leaders and party members were free to voice their opinion on matters of interest to the party.
Thus, he said PKR was open on the action by several leaders and members who left the conference hall while the debate was going on.
He said the leaders involved had the space and opportunity to clarify their action and give their opinion during the winding up session of the congress tomorrow.
“The PKR since its inception 20 years ago was based on the principles of democracy and openness for everyone to express themselves,” he added. — Bernama