At PKR Women and Youth Wing congress, support for Azmin reverberates

Kenneth Tee & Radzi Razak

PKR deputy president Datuk Seri Azmin Ali makes his entrance cycling a trishaw with PKR vice presidents Zuraida Kamaruddin and Chua Tian Chang seated in the passenger seat. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

AYER KEROH, Dec 5 — PKR deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali was given resounding cheer and applause when he arrived at the launch of the party’s Women and Youth Wing congress here, signalling the Wing’s delegates overarching support for him.

This comes just a day after Azmin reached a consensus with PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim following rifts in the party as a result of infighting within factions loyal to both two leaders since the party’s internal election last year.

Even before the PKR number two entered Hall A of the Melaka International Trade Centre (MITC) — where the wings’ opening congress was taking place — Azmin was given a rousing welcome the moment he disembarked from his vehicle at the main entrance.

Malay Mail also observed a number of those present wearing red instead of the party’s iconic light blue, with the words ‘AA TEAM’ printed on their right sleeves — a presumed move to demonstrate Azmin’s soft power within the party wings’.

Datuk Seri Azmin Ali’s supporters dressed in red gathered to give a rousing welcome during the 2019 Wanita Keadilan National Congress at MITC in Melaka December 5, 2019. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

Azmin’s supporters also started chants of ‘Hidup Azmin’ and ‘Azmin, Azmin’ which reverberated throughout the entire lobby as he was escorted to the VIP room prior to the congress’ launch.

At one point the entire situation outside the hall turned chaotic with delegates shoving each another to clear a path for Azmin as security staff attempted to create a perimeter between the leader and the crowd.

Azmin also made his grand entrance in a highly unorthodox manner by cycling a trishaw with PKR vice presidents Zuraida Kamaruddin and Tian Chua seated in the passenger seat.

This year’s national congress is the 14th in the party’s history and is taking place on PKR’s 20th anniversary of its founding.

Party members are said to be divided into one of two camps: for Anwar who currently holds no Cabinet position but has been named as the next Pakatan Harapan prime minister after Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, and Azmin, who is Economic Affairs minister and is seen to have close ties with their coalition chairman.

Azmin grew hostile towards the party after he was unceremoniously dropped from opening the Youth congress as per the party’s tradition, with PKR advisory council chairman Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail to replace him then.

His faction had also been rumoured to be planning an event in Kuala Lumpur to rival the PKR national congress in Melaka, but has since confirmed that this will not take place.