Tian Chua denies trying to open up a channel for Azmin to rejoin PKR

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PKR vice-president Tian Chua has defended his call for Pakatan Harapan to work with anyone that can help it win the Melaka state election, denying that he is trying to open up a channel for Azmin Ali to rejoin PKR.

Speaking to FMT, he said it was not up to him to decide on the return of those who had left the party.

“Some people are saying that by pushing for PH to work with anyone so we can win in Melaka, I am actually testing the waters to see if Azmin and others who have left will be accepted back into PKR,” the former Batu MP said.

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“Such talk is baseless and ridiculous.”

He added, however, that party president Anwar Ibrahim would have the majority to become the prime minister if Azmin and 20 other MPs were to return to PKR.

“If this ever happens, it is up to Anwar to accept. It is not my call.”

He added that it was also up to Anwar to decide whether PKR should collaborate with Bersatu’s Muhyiddin Yassin and his team.

“All I am saying is that we must find a collaboration that leads us to victory,” he said.

“We must remember that the next general election could get messy. There is the third force – Warisan, Muda and various NGOs – coming forward to contest.

“Are we just going to reject those who want to work with us?”

Earlier this week, DAP’s Loke Siew Fook rebuked Tian Chua for his proposal that PH should work with whoever was capable of helping the coalition win the state election.

Loke said on his Facebook page: “PH must reject traitors. Period.”

Tian Chua said PKR might have lost its shine and might need backing to win the state election on Nov 20, including from the four Melaka assemblymen who withdrew their support for chief minister Sulaiman Md Ali.

“For the Melaka state polls, our aim should be to defeat Umno,” he added.

He said he respected DAP’s stand against accepting certain individuals into PH and clarified that he was not talking about accepting or rejecting anyone.

“The stand is we create alliances to win. That is a general principle.”

The four Melaka assemblymen in question are Idris Haron, Nor Azman Hassan, Noor Effendi Ahmad and Norhizam Hassan Baktee. Idris and Nor Azman were Umno members and Noor Effendi was previously with Bersatu. Norhizam won his seat on a DAP ticket in 2018 but later declared himself an independent who backed Umno.

In a statement following the PH presidential council meeting on Thursday, it was announced that Norhizam will not be named as a candidate.

On the other three members of the “Melaka 4”, the presidential council said it received the views of all parties on this matter. However, Anwar has also been quoted as saying PKR would wait to see whether they would apply to join the party. – FMT