Former PKR leaders and members sacked soon after Pakatan Harapan was toppled from Putrajaya are forming a new party for the next general election.
Sources involved in the new effort told The Malaysian Insight that until such a party is formalised, the former party leaders and members will be attached to two civil society groups called Penggerak Komuniti Negara and Pemuda Negara.
“People can see that we are on our way towards becoming a party. We just don’t broadcast it,” said one source familiar with both groups.
On Monday, PKR communications director Fahmi Fadzil said 348 party members have been sacked, while 285 have had their memberships suspended.
The action was taken against party members for supporting former deputy president Mohamed Azmin Ali, who defected to form a new coalition, Perikatan Nasional, with Bersatu, Umno and PAS.
Azmin and PKR vice-president Zuraida Kamaruddin were sacked in late February for defecting and later causing the fall of the PH government in Putrajaya.
The PH state governments of Johor, Malacca and Perak also fell.
Instead of joining another party in the PN coalition, the source said the purpose of the two civil society groups is to maintain the momentum of the relations between the leaders and their supporters.
“Our movement is already resembling a party. Although we are civil society groups by name, we have representatives in parliamentary and state constituencies,” said the source.
Penggerak Komuniti Negara will be turned into the main party, while Pemuda Negara members will form the youth wing.
“We are gathering members. The reality on the ground is that they are waiting for it to be recognised as a political party.”
Penggerak Komuniti Negara was renamed from Penggerak Muafakat Nasional, which was established by Zuraida.
Pemuda Negara was established by Seberang Jaya assemblyman Dr Afif Bahardin and former PKR deputy youth chief Muhammad Hilman Idham, who is also Gombak Setia assemblyman.
Hilman was a political secretary to Azmin at the Ministry of International Trade and Industry. He was sacked in early March, following the establishment of Perikatan Nasional.
Afif, meanwhile, is one of 285 PKR members whose membership was suspended on Monday. He has said he would not appeal the suspension.
He previously told The Malaysian Insight that Pemuda Negara was not a political party but a vehicle to promote democracy and improve inter-ethnic relations among youth.
A suspended senior PKR leader told The Malaysian Insight that if the disciplinary board would not accept his appeal, he would join the new party.
“I am still with PKR. The suspension notice does not state how long it will take effect. If there is no response, we will move to join the groups,” said the leader, who declined to be identified.
The Malaysian Insight understands that several PKR central leadership members have written to party president Anwar Ibrahim and the disciplinary board to reconsider the sackings of several party members.
Meanwhile, Federal Territories Penggerak Komuniti Negara chairman Nor Hizwan Ahmad confirmed that the majority in his chapter are sacked PKR members.
Hizwan was Zuraida’s political secretary at the Housing and Local Government Ministry in the PH government.
Hizwan said Penggerak Komuniti Negara has a presence in 198 parliamentary constituencies.
“We are just gathering party members who have been sacked and other activists, so that they have a platform. This is not yet a political organisation,” he said.
Yesterday, Hizwan announced the establishment of a women’s wing called Penggerak Wanita Muda. It is led by Nurainie Haziqah.
Plans to form a new party are seen as a threat by the PKR establishment, sources also said.
Party secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution said recently the leadership decided that members are forbidden from interacting with the two civil society groups.
“Violating this directive will lead to disciplinary action,” he said in a circular to party members, sighted by The Malaysian Insight.
The circular states that the two groups were “established by leaders who were sacked for betraying the party”.
But those who have been sacked continue to taunt PKR, such as former youth permanent chairman, Mizan Adli Mohd Noor, who was sacked during the party’s congress last December.
“If Malaysians unite in their support for Pemuda Negara, what is wrong with it becoming a party?
“We are always ready. We don’t want to become another party that does not carry the voice of democracy, a party that sacks its members.
“Why is PKR afraid of this group? Isn’t PKR a strong party?” – TMI