Former PKR MPs: Dr Xavier’s departure a sign that Anwar is losing his grip on party

Kenneth Tee
·3-min read
In a joint statement issued by 10 MPs who quit PKR in February last year, the group said PKR can no longer claim to be championing the principles of justice and welfare for the people. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim
In a joint statement issued by 10 MPs who quit PKR in February last year, the group said PKR can no longer claim to be championing the principles of justice and welfare for the people. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim

KUALA LUMPUR, March 14 — A group of former PKR MPs told Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to accept the fact that his leadership is being rejected by a large swath of his party after Kuala Langat MP Datuk Dr Xavier Jayakumar’s recent resignation.

Dr Xavier is the latest to leave PKR and pledge his support for Perikatan Nasional (PN). Last month, two other PKR MPs — Steven Choong of Terbau and Larry Sng of Julau — quit the party and are now pro-PN.

In a joint statement issued by 10 MPs who quit PKR in February last year, the group said PKR can no longer claim to be championing the principles of justice and welfare for the people.

They claimed the party has lost its idealism and gone astray largely because of one man’s insatiable lust for power and ambition to become prime minister.

“We call on leaders and members of PKR to reflect not just on the latest decision taken by the three MPs, but also ponder on the larger issue as to why so many top PKR leaders and long serving members have left the party.

“Furthermore, it may be an inconvenient truth, but Anwar Ibrahim must accept the bitter fact that his leadership is rejected by a large cross section of his own party members because a party that has lost its bearings can no longer claim the moral high ground to lead,” they said in a statement here.

The statement was signed by Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali, Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin, Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah, Datuk Mohd Rashid Hasnon, Datuk Kamarudin Jaffar, Datuk Dr Mansor Othman, Datuk Seri Dr Santhara Kumar, Datuk Ali Biju, Datuk Willie Mongin, and Jonathan Yasin who left PKR to form the ruling PN government following the collapse of Pakatan Harapan.

The group said it was most unfortunate that there were leaders and party members who have held fast to the original principles and idealism of the party only to find themselves sidelined and victimised by the powers that be.

“Instead of relentlessly pursuing the noble causes for which the party was founded, the power mongers have hijacked the reform agenda for the benefit of themselves, their families and their cronies,” they added.

Describing the three former PKR MPs’ support of Muhyiddin’s leadership as courageous and principled, the group said this signified their confidence in PN’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic and measures implemented to jumpstart the economy in ensuring sustainable recovery.

They also took jabs at current PKR secretary-general Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail who had been on the forefront in attacks against the three former party MPs, saying PKR had no moral standing when it came to party hopping.

“Saifuddin Nasution would do well to keep his peace having been a champion in this regard, initially jumping from Umno to PKR then from PKR to PAS and subsequently, from PAS back to PKR.”

Separately, they also said allegations that PN used enticement and intimidation to garner the support of MPs from Pakatan Harapan are utterly baseless.

Senior Minister Azmin, one of the signatories, had hinted on Twitter that Dr Xavier may not be the last lawmaker to switch allegiances.

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