PETALING JAYA: PKR vice-president Zuraida Kamaruddin today launched a veiled attack on party supremo Anwar Ibrahim in a lengthy article published by Utusan Malaysia, questioning party leaders and those whom she said undermined democracy by propping up the top line-up with their own men.
“In most established parties in Malaysia, the early stage of damage is now taking place among the grassroots. There are those in the party leadership who wantonly deny the voice of the grassroots.
“For instance, there are parties which appoint those who lost in the party elections by placing them in the same rank as those who won. This is a blatant betrayal of the grassroots’ wishes,” said the housing and local government minister, who was aligned with deputy president Mohamed Azmin Ali in the recent party elections.
Azmin and former Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli, who has branded himself an Anwar loyalist, were locked in a fierce contest for the deputy presidency. Azmin managed to retain the post by winning narrowly in several states.
On Dec 29, he questioned Anwar’s choice of several individuals to fill appointed posts in the party.
They included Rafizi, who was appointed as a vice-president, and Saifuddin Nasution who was made secretary-general.
“The recently announced appointments do not reflect the principles of fair and just representations, in line with party members’ aspirations, and will not help the party move forward,” Azmin had said.
Zuraida said although a leader had the right to decide who would fill appointed posts in a party, he should consult with others in giving the posts to those who had lost or did not contest.
She described those who did not contest in the party polls but who accepted their appointments as “the real traitors” and “cowards”.
“A party’s president, chairman or leader should understand this, that the position they hold in the party does not come on its own,” she said.
Zuraida also hit out at the sidelining of women leaders in party line-ups, adding that increasing women’s share in political leadership had been accepted by both Pakatan Harapan and Barisan Nasional.
“It is very disappointing that this has never been put into practice by political parties in this country.”