BALIK PULAU: The departure of Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali has had little impact on PKR, according to party secretary-general Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail (pix).
He said the party’s membership has in fact strengthened considerably since Azmin left.
“Politics is a numbers game. While 1,095 members followed Azmin out of PKR, we received 26,000 new applications for membership,” he said.
The party now has 1.469 million members, making it the third largest party after Umno and PAS. It is also the third party to have reached a membership of more than a million.
Azmin left PKR at the same time that Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and others bade farewell to the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition in March, leading to its downfall.
Among the 23 PKR leaders who left with Azmin were vice-president Zuraida Kamaruddin and party president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s former political secretary Datuk Mansor Ismail.
Muhyiddin led his faction of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia to join Perikatan Nasional to form the new federal government.
Saifuddin, who was speaking at the opening of a workshop on preparation for the general election by Penang PKR Youth, said Azmin’s departure had initially stunned PH, but the impact “is barely minimal now”.
Saifuddin said of the 222 divisions, only 10 had “leadership issues” after Azmin left.
“The numbers speak for themselves. We remain a relevant party and we have matured over the years since the party was founded more than 20 years ago.”
On preparations for the general election, he pointed out that there were different issues at each election, and the current ones are the economy, Covid-19 and the betrayal of PH.
PH, led by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, swept into power on the wave of resentment over rising cost of living, the Goods and Services Tax and the 1Malaysia Development Bhd scandal.