Sarawak PKR split over Zuraida

Sulok Tawie
PKR vice-president Zuraida Kamaruddin speaks during the ‘SPV 2030’ dinner at Hotel Renaissance Kuala Lumpur December 8, 2019. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUCHING, Jan 21 — The Batang Lupar division of PKR today distanced itself from the Sarawak chapter’s support for embattled party vice-president Zuraida Kamaruddin who has been slapped with a show-cause letter for her criticism of the ruling party’s top leadership.

Division chairman Abang Zulkifli Abang Engkeh claimed the statement issued by the state PKR information chief Desmond Kho yesterday did not reflect the views of all 31 divisions of the party in Sarawak.

“The view of our division is based on the party’s constitution,” he said when responding to Kho’s statement expressing support for Zuraida.

Abang Zulkifli, formerly a press secretary to state PKR chairman Baru Bian, said Batang Lupar PKR supports an internal investigation against Zuraida, who is also the federal local government and housing minister and Ampang MP.

Abang Zulkifli said the party is obliged to investigate Zuraida and take action as reports have been lodged against her.

“Justice must be taken not based on emotion, but the rules and regulations which party members must comply with,” he said.

Abang Zulkifli said the party is not built by a single individual, but by all its members and that whoever breaches party discipline must be prepared to face disciplinary action.

Separately, PKR national women vice-chairman Voon Shiak Ni said the call for Zuraida to be sacked from the party was an act of a few irresponsible members with vested interest.

She said it is disheartening and a shame to ask the party to sack her for what she believes in.

“For me, she is one who is willing to go all out against the odds to right what is not just and not right in the interests of justice.

“She was here in Sarawak more than 10 years ago to defend the rights and plight of the Penan girls who were abused by timber loggers and that was how I get to know her and work together with her till today,” she said.

Voon said for the past 10 years, Zuraida has never failed to register her voice for the rights of girls and women across the nation and has consistently fought for opportunities for the participation of women at all levels of decision making positions and a fair level playing ground for women in politics.

“She leads and empowers many women in the party and I am one of them,” she said, adding that as a minister she has effectively used her platform to call for 30 per cent women participation in local government related appointments.

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