PKR’S youth wing has hit back at Mohamed Azmin Ali’s allegation of hidden hands in the party trying to shut him up.
Youth deputy chief Syed Badli Shah Syed Osman said it is the PKR deputy president’s own fault for not responding earlier to the invitation for him to officiate at the wing’s congress next month.
He said Azmin should be magnanimous and accept the fact that former president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail will take over officiating duties.
PKR youth had rescinded its invitation to Azmin, saying it never got a reply, and extended one to Dr Wan Azizah afterwards.
Earlier today, Azmin slammed the wing’s decision, describing it as an attempt to shut him up.
“This is unprecedented. Political parties usually ask their deputy presidents to launch the women and youth wings’ congresses, while the presidents go for the main congresses.
“This is an attempt to shut my mouth, to (stop) me from reprimanding the present leadership. The current situation does not bode well for Pakatan Harapan because there are those trying to weaken the party’s struggle,” he said.
Azmin is confident there are “hidden hands” behind the move because PKR Youth chief Akmal Nasrullah Mohd Nasir would not have the courage to cancel the invitation on his own accord.
“Akmal would not have the guts to do something without any hidden hands interfering in the matter.
“The congress is not about me, but this pertains to the positions of the president and the deputy president.”
Although he did not mention names, it is obvious the minister was referring to PKR president Anwar Ibrahim and his faction.
Azmin claimed he had confirmed his attendance after receiving the invitation.
Syed Badli denied that Azmin replied to the wing and dismissed the latter’s allegation of hidden hands working against him.
He also commented on Azmin claiming Akmal was a weak leader and would not have the courage to cancel the invitation and is convinced of hidden hands making the call.
“This is a shallow statement which should not be made by a deputy president,” said Syed Badli.
“It is nonsensical to claim there are efforts to shut him up, and to brand the youth chief as weak and being controlled is uncalled for.
“The youth wing on September 11 sent a letter to Azmin, asking that he officiate at the congress. However, the secretariat did not receive a reply as of October 20.”
He said the decision to invite Dr Wan Azizah was agreed on by all of the wing’s 30 steering committee members.
“Dr Wan Azizah was invited in her capacity as PKR’s advisory committee chairman.”
He added that PKR youth still hopes that Azmin will show up at the December 6 congress, to be held at the Malacca International Trade Centre, as a mark of respect to Dr Wan Azizah.
“With all due respect, we are still hoping that Azmin will attend the congress.
“I also urge the youth wing to stop bickering and to stay focused on our agenda, that is, to strengthen Pakatan Harapan.”
Yesterday, 21 PKR youth leaders from various states issued a statement condemning the snub against Azmin, who is also economic affairs minister.
The group, led by Azmin’s political secretary, Hilman Idham, said it is not right to have invited the party No. 2 only to retract the invitation.
The statement also accused PKR secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution Ismail of playing a role in the episode.
Saifuddin has denied any involvement, saying the decision to invite Dr Wan Azizah had been entirely up to the youth wing.
A copy of a letter purportedly confirming Azmin’s attendance is being circulated via WhatsApp.
Today, all 14 states’ PKR youth leaders welcomed Dr Wan Azizah to officiate at their national congress.