KUCHING, Jan 22 — Sarawak PKR Women’s wing today asked if calls by male members of the party for the sacking of vice- president Zuraida Kamaruddin are meant to silence the voice of a woman who dares to speak the truth.
“We, the PKR Women in Sarawak, take offence to the calls of her resignation, and that the message here is clear that certain bad elements are out to silence the woman in the room because she dares to speak the truth,” its chief Nurhanim Mokhsen said.
“Is it just some small-minded men who cannot swallow the truth from a woman?”
“After all, why else should Kak Zu (Zuraida) be singled out to be hauled up to a disciplinary hearing?” she asked in a statement, adding that Zuraida was basically echoing party president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s call for unity.
She claimed that there are other party members, mostly men, who used far more damaging language in trying to tarnish PKR’s image but are not being subjected to the same scrutiny as Zuraida.
“It is worrying that the fate of one of PKR’s most vocal women is being handed to a bunch of unelected men in the disciplinary committee,” she added.
She asked if Zuraida, who is also the Local Government and Housing minister and Ampang Member of Parliament, would receive a fair hearing by the committee.
She expressed concern about the perception among the public and voters at large, especially the female community, that gender bias is still thriving in the party.
Nurhanim said Zuraida has been a stalwart of the party’s political struggle and has made the National Women’s wing the force it is today.
She said throughout the party’s years in the wilderness and when Anwar was in jail, Zuraida was a pillar of strength and support for all members.
“More so to us Sarawakians. These kind gestures of hers we cannot simply disregard and we women are always mindful of and remember her contributions.
“It is etched in history and on record that she was the first federal Cabinet minister to come to Sarawak after the victory of Pakatan Harapan in the 2018 general election. This speaks volumes of her commitment to Sarawak, especially our women members,” she said.
Nurhanim said the state Women’s wing is deeply disappointed that the disciplinary committee sees it fit to issue a show-cause letter to Zuraida based on the flimsiest of reasons.
“This is clearly an attempt to discredit Kak Zu for being one of the strongest grassroots leaders in the party,” she said.