Thursday, January 20, 2022

PKR stagnant after 2020 exodus, says ex-Wanita chief Zuraida

She says most of those who left last year held high-ranking positions or were part of the top decision-making body.

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Former Wanita chief Zuraida Kamaruddin today said PKR appeared to have become inactive since the exodus of party chiefs including herself and deputy president Mohamed Azmin Ali last year, a group which she said had included many from among the top level of leadership.

“The media seems to know more about what is going on (in PKR),” she said in an interview with Utusan Malaysia.

“But from what I hear, there appears to be no movement, no activities or anything of the sort.”

Zuraida, who joined PKR when it was founded in 1999, had left along with 10 other MPs following the collapse of the Pakatan Harapan government after Dr Mahathir Mohamad resigned as prime minister.

She said then that PKR had strayed from its values and objectives, and that she had only begun to see “the true face of PKR” after Anwar Ibrahim took over as its president in 2018.

In her interview with Utusan Malaysia, she said those who left had been with the party for 20 years and were responsible for its establishment.

“We left PKR after winning in the party election,” she said. “Azmin had won the post of deputy president, I won the post of vice-president, and of those who left with us, half of them were members of the Supreme Council.

“The Wanita chief and deputy chief were with us and the deputy youth chief also sat with us.

“This shows that the leaders who left the party no longer saw the struggle of Anwar to bring justice for the people, to defend them as we wanted to do.”

Zuraida, who joined Bersatu together with Azmin after leaving PKR, said they had not formed a new party as they wanted to unite the country under the government without further splits.

However, the housing and local government minister said she felt awkward in Bersatu as she no longer had a political platform after having been part of the Supreme Council in PKR.

“I had been the Wanita chief, I was vocal,” she added. “I have no capacity in Bersatu but as a leader, I can do anything.

“That is why I believe that even though I hold no position, I still know what I want to do.”

She said she recently formed the Council of Malaysian Women Political Leaders, or Comwel, which she saw as a platform to cultivate more women leaders.

“Many more can be accepted as MPs and as Cabinet members – at least 30%, that is my focus.”

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