PKR Leaders Put Up United Front

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Leaders who attended the inaugural party retreat displayed a united front despite the absence of several senior personalities including Datuk Seri Azmin Ali.

The PKR deputy president skipped the event which ended yesterday.

He had however informed the party earlier that he would not be attending the three-day retreat.

Also absent were vice-presidents Zuraida Kamaruddin and Ali Biju.

PKR secretary-general Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said he met Azmin personally after the Cabinet meeting last Friday to invite him to the event.

“Azmin said he has some commitments and I have to respect that.

“Others who could not make it sent me emails, and the majority of them gave reasons for not attending,” he said at the retreat closing.

Azmin was scheduled to give a speech on Saturday night and in his absence, PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim took over the 15-minute slot.

Saifuddin also said the resolution would be forwarded to the remaining 20 leaders who were absent.

Earlier, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said he is prepared to work with Azmin as a team and they should have regular meetings and discussions.

Apparently buoyed by the overwhelming support he received at the party’s leadership retreat, the PKR president said there was no problem (between him and Azmin) and that they were still a team.

“Azmin is the deputy president. We need to work as a team, (have) regular meetings and discussions.

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“There is no problem, it is still a team,” he said.

The retreat concluded with a resolution to fully support Anwar as the president who will lead and direct PKR as the main party in Pakatan Harapan in line with the party’s constitution.

Some 120 out of 140 PKR elected representatives, comprising the party’s central leadership, lawmakers, senators and state assemblymen, signed the resolution.

It noted that the retreat held discussions in an open and transparent manner to achieve the resolution.

It also pledged to strengthen PKR as the main multiracial national party based on the principle of the Federal Constitution and to ensure Pakatan’s election manifesto was fully implemented.

Anwar, who is also Port Dickson MP, acknowledged that there were problems in all parties, including PKR, but the majority of members wanted to move on.

“What is critical to my mind is that the spirit and the consensus built here is that people want to move on.

“These problems are actually minor and exaggerated to a large extent and being highlighted,” he said without elaborating.

“The good work done by Pakatan and the party in articulating the reform agenda in parliament has not necessarily been largely ignored, but not given prominence.”

Anwar also said the retreat had given the opportunity for leaders to vent out their views, ideas as well as criticisms.

“The majority wants us to remain true to our ideals and struggle and to move on to champion the cause of the rakyat,” he said.

Azmin sang a similar tune to Anwar, concurring that they were a “team” and saying that the media should not “provoke” their relationship.

He told journalists this after a thanksgiving prayer at the Selangor menteri besar’s residence in Shah Alam last night.

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“Yes, he is the party president and I am his deputy. You (media) should not provoke the president and deputy president, we have been together for a long time,” Azmin said.