In Johor, turmoil over new Wanita PKR chief threatens to upset GE15 prep

·3-min read
Malay Mail
Malay Mail

JOHOR BARU, Aug 31 — Johor PKR’s preparations for an expected early general election could be disrupted after the party’s Wanita wing in the state alleged that its choice for a new leader was ignored.

Ten of the 14 Wanita PKR divisions have disputed the appointment of Zuraidah Zainab for the role, insisting that they endorsed Haryati Abu Nasir in a meeting on August 5.

Zuraidah is the head of Wanita PKR in Johor Baru while Haryati leads the wing in Kluang PKR.

Pasir Gudang Wanita PKR chief Norfazilah Mohamad Nor, who represented the 10 divisions, said they were surprised when Zuraidah was announced as the new Johor Wanita PKR chief.

“Based on this, it is clear that Haryati has been democratically chosen among the 14 mandated divisions as the most suitable to be endorsed for the post of Johor PKR’s Wanita chief,” she told Malay Mail.

Norfazilah said the appointment clearly disregarded the voice of Johor PKR’s grassroots.

Rumours have been circulating about the position of Johor PKR’s movement leaders, with claims of interference following Zuraidah’s announcement as the state Wanita chief and Mohamad Taufiq Ismail as the new Youth chief for Johor.

The Johor Baru PKR division is helmed by Akmal Nasrullah Nasir, who is also the Johor Baru MP and a staunch ally of PKR deputy president Rafizi Ramli.

Norfazilah said she spoke for the 10 Johor PKR divisions that had endorsed Haryati and wanted fairness and justice for the grassroots majority decision.

“Yes, we understand that the position of state women chief is an appointed post and is the prerogative of the national leadership. However, the decision to appoint Zuraidah shows the top leadership’s attitude being arrogant.

“For us, party unity is important in Johor for PKR at this time as the general election is close by,” she said.

Norfazilah, who is also a women’s rights activist, said the women’s wing from the 10 divisions are not out to cause friction but wanted a clear explanation.

“It was made known to us that Haryati was scheduled to be sent to the national level and this does not bode well for us if the party’s top leadership keeps on taking Johor PKR’s women talent.

“For your information, there are some of us who came from far away by public transport to vote on August 5, but were not appreciated with the decision that was made without taking into account the sentiments.

“So, what is the point of the leadership calling us on that day for the purpose of obtaining a mandate to appoint the new KWJ when you then arbitrarily disrespect the mandate we have given?” questioned Norfazilah, referring to the Malay initials for Ketua Wanita Johor or state women’s chief.

Norfazilah said that a letter stating the 10 PKR division women’s wing’s unhappiness has been sent to the party’s top leadership pending feedback.

She urged the party’s leadership to retain Haryati, who has received a clear mandate to lead as the Johor PKR women’s chief.

“An organisation will only succeed on the basis of mutual respect for all parties, and respect of the decision made by the majority,” she said.