A contrasting message has come out of the PKR camp today on how the party planned to handle its former vice-president Tian Chua’s move to stand as an independent candidate in the Batu parliamentary constituency.
In Ipoh, PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim made it clear that any party member who contests in the general election as an independent candidate would face the sack.
“It is unfortunate he has chosen this path. He has been a dedicated reformist, and I don’t think this is what a reformist should do.
“So, we have to take necessary action,” he told reporters.
Incumbent Batu MP P Prabakaran is PKR’s candidate for the seat in GE15.
Responding to Anwar’s statement that he would face the sack, Tian Chua said that he never questioned Anwar’s power and was not bitter about the PKR president’s decision.
“He is duty bound to act as the head of the political party. I have to accept that.
“When I made this choice, I was willing to accept the decision.
“I have no complaints about Anwar or Rafizi Ramli. They are doing what is best for the party. I accept that.”
However, Anwar’s deputy Rafizi Ramli said no action will be taken against Chua just yet.
He said Chua had actually received his blessing to contest as an independent.
He said this was because the party had decided to temporarily suspend its disciplinary board to focus on the general election (GE).
“There is a due process, I don’t want to jump the gun, we leave the process to the party.
“That will happen after GE as in a central meeting in August, the party had decided to temporarily suspend the disciplinary board to focus on GE,” he said, adding that under normal circumstances, a report needed to be first lodged before a disciplinary process can be initiated.
Chua said that despite contesting as an independent he was “always with Pakatan Harapan and PKR” in spirit.
“This is a party I have a strong emotional attachment to. I love and support all PKR leaders despite the internal differences that we have,” Chua said.
He said that the composition of Batu voters had increased by over 30,000 since 2018 with a rise in Malay voters.
This, he said, could cause a problem to Prabakaran, who won the seat in the last general election after contesting as an independent before joining PKR.
He said Prabakaran must “earn his own mandate” in the coming election, pointing out that the latter only won the Batu seat by a majority of 13,687 votes in 2018 due to his endorsement of the newcomer.
Chua said that he will leave his fate and political future to the people of Batu.
“If my actions are not as they wish, then they can cast their vote accordingly.
“I’m not betraying the party or PH. Let’s not use emotional words like that, when you say ‘betray’, you mean that you betray the principle.
“I have stuck to PH all this while and I was part of the originator in the creation of PH.
“I still subscribe to the principles to which PH stands. I think the important thing is whether the person is sincere, you have to judge them by their actions. It has to be seen by the people and recognised by the people.”