Zuraida accused of cronyism in Selangor local government appointments

Candidate for Woman PKR chief, Rodziah Ismail, speaks at PKR’s 20th anniversary celebration of the Reformasi movement in Shah Alam September 21, 2018. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Candidate for Woman PKR chief, Rodziah Ismail, speaks at PKR’s 20th anniversary celebration of the Reformasi movement in Shah Alam September 21, 2018. — Picture by Hari Anggara

SHAH ALAM, Sept 22 — Two PKR leaders have accused Zuraida Kamaruddin of cronyism when filling local government positions in Selangor.

Klang PKR branch chief Boon Hoi and Selangor state executive councillor Rodziah Ismail claimed that Zuraida, who is Selangor PKR deputy chair, had bypassed proper party procedures when appointing party members to local council and village head positions in the state.

“She, as the deputy chief of PKR in Selangor, when there are appointments for positions in Selangor, all the branch chiefs asked her to discuss and hold a meeting. She said, ‘no need. This, we will select ourselves.’

“This involves many candidates. She said, ‘no need. She will choose herself’.

“We want to ask her too. Why didn’t you call for a meeting when choosing council members and also village heads?” Boon said in a speech at PKR deputy presidential candidate Rafizi Ramli’s campaign here.

He claimed that Zuraida had only given the positions to those “special in her eyes”.

“She tried to question when Datuk Seri Anwar [Ibrahim] announced he will contest Port Dickson. She voiced out, saying why didn’t discuss? Who is she to discuss with?” he asked.

Boon and Rodziah were speaking at PKR’s 20th anniversary celebration of the Reformasi movement at De Palma Hotel in Shah Alam.

Zuraida, who is local government and housing minister, recently criticised the way the Port Dickson seat was chosen for PKR president-elect Anwar to run in a by-election to enter Parliament, claiming the party leadership was not consulted.

Rodziah echoed Boon’s claim, alleging that while she was vetting names for village head posts, Zuraida had sent her a list of names to be prioritised.

“I can say. Yesterday, or two days ago, during the State Council meeting, I tabled the list of village heads for Selangor. I am saying this now. All the branch chiefs are in front of me here.

“I said, I won’t accept any village head candidates via backdoor. I said that there were due processes to be followed. I am not Zuraida who selects only a certain people for the post.

“Zuraida sent me an SMS — ‘Exco, please have a look at these names’. I said, ‘follow the process, go for the interview and we select the best’,” Rodziah told the crowd.

Rodziah, who is also Batu Tiga assemblyman, questioned how a person could be selected as village head if they had allegedly swindled funds from the Selangor state government’s Kasih Ibu Smart Selangor programme.

The programme introduced during former Selangor mentri besar Datuk Seri Azmin Ali is aimed at helping low-earning, struggling mothers in the state.

The renewed accusations yesterday came as PKR prepares for its internal party polls.

In July, Zuraida reportedly rejected allegations of cronyism and nepotism in the party, after two party leaders in Selangor resigned in protest over the appointments of local councillors in the state.

Zuraida reportedly defended the said appointments.

Malay Mail attempted to contact Zuraida to comment on the renewed allegations, but could not reach her.