KUCHING, Jan 20 — The Sarawak chapter of PKR today threw its support behind the party’s vice president Zuraida Kamaruddin after she was issued a show-cause letter by the disciplinary committee for openly criticising their party leadership.
State PKR information chief Desmond Kho said Sarawak PKR stands behind her without hesitation.
He also urged the disciplinary committee to retract the show-cause letter to Zuraida.
“It is without doubt that the disciplinary committee has the power to issue such a show cause letter, but it is reminded that with great power comes great responsibility,” he said.
Kho said Zuraida is known as being no-nonsense and does not hesitate to speak her mind, especially when it is the truth.
“She does not mince her words, and will always call a spade a spade,” he said, adding that she has never been known to falter from a challenge.
He said the show-cause letter is seen not only as an attempt to stifle Zuraida but as outright censorship of members among the party faithful and grassroots.
“This will not augur well among the right thinking people, and therefore, we call for the party leadership to rescind this action and retract the disciplinary committee’s letter forthwith without any conditions to avoid any unnecessary negative view of the party in the public sphere,” he said.
“Further, it is no secret that Zuraida has always been supportive of party deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali’s efforts to develop and strengthen the party from within.
“Therefore this misconceived action by the disciplinary committee might be misconstrued that the action against her is a continuation of internal party strife,” he added.
Kho said the action against Zuraida goes directly against the wishes of party president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim who has stated in no uncertain terms, that “the public is bored” with the politicking within the party.
He added the recent results in the Kimanis by-election and other elections are clear messages from the electorate that bickering must stop.
He said Zuraida is a stalwart of PKR’s political struggle, and has made the party the force it is today.
“Throughout PKR’s years in the wilderness, when party president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was in jail, Zuraida was a pillar of strength and support for all members.
“During the party’s formative years she would be a perennial presence in the many electoral campaigns throughout the country and never failed to render assistance whenever she was needed,” Kho said.
He recalled the Sarawak PKR women wing members willingly working with Zuraida till late and in the most remote places in the state as she never asked them to do what she could not do.
Kho said Zuraida was the first federal minister to land in Sarawak following the change in Putrajaya, adding that she remains the federal minister who has regularly visited the state to attend to the needs of the people.
Zuraida is given 14 days to respond to the letter.
She was criticised by party members for attacking fellow PKR leaders in her speech at the “Shared Prosperity Vision” dinner on December 8 last year.
She allegedly insulted party members and disclosed details of an alleged private conversation she had with Anwar.
In her speech, Zuraida, was critical of Anwar and his supporters, in many instances suggesting they were blind fanatics who craved power.
The dinner, initially touted as a separate party congress aimed at challenging the legitimacy of the primary assembly that was held on the same day, turned into a rallying call for support for Azmin in PKR.