“Buka puasa” with Santhara, Tian Chua denies attending Bersatu event

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PKR vice-president Tian Chua has denied attending a Bersatu event after a series of photos and videos showing him at a breaking of fast dinner with Deputy Federal Territories Minister Edmund Santhara went viral on social media yesterday.

Chua was criticised by some PKR leaders since Santhara is one of the MPs who followed the then PKR deputy president Azmin Ali to leave the party, indirectly causing the collapse of the Pakatan Harapan government in February last year.

Among the PKR leaders was Rawang assemblyperson Chua Wei Kiat, who shared and sarcastically captioned the photos with: “Selamat berbuka puasa”.

“Due to concerns that disciplinary action will be taken against me, I would like to state the comments below do not represent my position,” Wei Kiat added in the post.

Some of the comments called for PKR to sack Chua.

Based on the photos, the event was held in Batu constituency operation centre, with many Bersatu’s banners hanging around.

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These photos and videos are believed to be posted to Facebook by S Gobi Krishnan, the Perikatan Nasional Coordinating officer for Batu constituency.

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According to Gobi’s post, the dinner was organised not only by a local NGO called Pertubuhan Pembangunan dan Kebajikan Masyarakat Batu Kuala Lumpur (Pembakti), but also his office, Madrasah Badriah and Penggerak Komuniti Negara (PKN) P115 Batu.

PKN is an NGO led by Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin aimed at supporting the government’s agenda to aid the people.

Oriental Daily reported Gobi as saying that all political leaders in Batu were invited, including Chua, who acted as a PKR Batu division chief and was former Batu MP.

When contacted, Chua clarified that the breaking of fast dinner was not a Bersatu event, but it was organised by Pembakti.

“The NGO invited all the resident associations in Batu and also me to have a breaking of fast dinner together with the deputy minister.

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“I was the (Batu) MP, so the residents hoped I could join the dinner, so I could be their voices to the deputy minister.

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“So, I couldn’t say ‘I won’t turn up if the deputy minister attends the same event’,” Chua told Malaysiakini, adding that he also couldn’t stop the organiser from hanging the Bersatu banners.

When asked about the criticism from other PKR leaders, Chua said his comrades are overreacting.

He explained that fighting for the rights of the residents at the community level could mean dealing with the officials or political opponents, but it doesn’t mean disloyalty to the party.

Former PKR Wangsa Maju MP Tan Kee Kwong was also spotted at the event.

Tan served as a three-term MP in Segambut from 1995 to 2008 under the banner of BN component party Gerakan.

He joined PKR in 2008 and was assigned to the Wangsa Maju seat in the 13th general election. Although he won the seat in 2013, PKR decided to replace him with Tan Yee Kew, who won the seat in the 2018 election. – Malaysiakini