Don’t turn PKR into party of extremists, Tian Chua urges leaders

PKR vice-president Chua Tian Chang speaks during the 2019 PKR National Congress at MITC in Ayer Keroh, Melaka December 8, 2019. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
PKR vice-president Chua Tian Chang speaks during the 2019 PKR National Congress at MITC in Ayer Keroh, Melaka December 8, 2019. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

AYER KEROH, Dec 8 — PKR vice president Chua Tian Chang urged the party not to become an outfit that is only supportive of a powerful leader and intolerant of all others.

He said PKR was a reformist party and should prioritise reforming the government.

Chua or Tian Chua claimed PKR deputy president Datuk Seri Azmin Ali and his faction abandoned the national congress yesterday because the event appeared to fixate on president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim becoming the eighth prime minister.

PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim listens to a speech by PKR vice-president Chua Tian Chang during the 2019 PKR National Congress at MITC in Ayer Keroh, Melaka December 8, 2019. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim listens to a speech by PKR vice-president Chua Tian Chang during the 2019 PKR National Congress at MITC in Ayer Keroh, Melaka December 8, 2019. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

“It is not that I don’t want to carry the banner like ‘Anwar the 8th PM’. I don’t need to hold banners to prove my loyalty, I don’t need to show proof of my support for Anwar to be the next PM.

“The issue is not PM number 8, 9 or 10, but we see how our supporters becoming more extreme.

“This is not about the Anwar issue; we want to avoid the party from having no goals other than to jack up other leaders.

“If we want to make the party only for those who follow the leaders without question then it is up to Anwar,” he said to the boos and jeers from almost all delegates during his speech in PKR National Congress today.

Delegates react as they listen to a speech by PKR vice-president Chua Tian Chang during the 2019 PKR National Congress at MITC in Ayer Keroh, Melaka December 8, 2019. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Delegates react as they listen to a speech by PKR vice-president Chua Tian Chang during the 2019 PKR National Congress at MITC in Ayer Keroh, Melaka December 8, 2019. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

They also shouted “Traitors!” and “Sack Tian Chua!” several times, drowning out his speech.

Anwar had to stand up twice to try and calm attendees while congress permanent chairman Ahmad Kassim repeatedly warned the delegates to quieten.

In the media room, Chua’s speech stood out so much that reporters drummed their table and rose in solidarity when he finished.

“You can try and drown my voice but I will keep voicing out even if I am alone, I would defend the purity, principle and the struggle of the party,” he said.

Delegates react as they listen to a speech by PKR vice-president Chua Tian Chang during the 2019 PKR National Congress at MITC in Ayer Keroh, Melaka December 8, 2019. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Delegates react as they listen to a speech by PKR vice-president Chua Tian Chang during the 2019 PKR National Congress at MITC in Ayer Keroh, Melaka December 8, 2019. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

Chua is the most senior member of Azmin’s faction who remained at the congress after they walked out in protest of their rivals’ open criticism of them despite an agreed ceasefire.

He cut a lonely figure today as he did not march with the party’s senior leaders as they entered the hall to start the last day of the congress and did not join them on stage when singer Yassin Sulaiman invited them up to sing his hit song, “Teman Sejati”.

Chua is among PKR’s most recognisable leaders and has been a vice president since the party was formed on April 4, 1999.

Chua Tian Chang and Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim interact during the 2019 PKR National Congress at MITC in Ayeh Keroh, Melaka December 8, 2019. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
Chua Tian Chang and Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim interact during the 2019 PKR National Congress at MITC in Ayeh Keroh, Melaka December 8, 2019. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

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