Trouble again: Azmin's faction stage walkout from PKR congress

Radzi Razak And Kenneth Tee

PKR members leave the congress as an act protest at 3pm before the congress ended in Melaka December 7, 2019. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

AYER KEROH, Dec 7 — Leaders, delegates and supporters of deputy president Datuk Seri Azmin Ali’s faction today staged a walkout from PKR congress hall after lunch.

At 2.40pm, several shouts of “Balik! Balik! (Go home)” were heard outside the entrance to Hall B, Melaka International Trade Centre (MITC) here as about 100 delegates walked out to the parking lot.

Kota Melaka Division Chief Mohd Riduwan Md Amin told reporters that people were disappointed with the policy speech debaters in the morning that only favoured one side and slammed Azmin.

“Is this place (Congress) a place to condemn Azmin?” he questioned.

A delegate from Selangor K. Gunasekaran told reporters the same thing, saying that he is disappointed with the congress over the matter.

“In Congress, we want to hear the president policy speech, not condemning the deputy president as well as speakers from one side. This did not follow what the president promised. It should not happen.

“We want to hear speakers debating and discussing about the motions and manifesto, not slamming anyone,” he told reporters outside of MITC.

Not just condemning the speeches, Azmin’s faction also slammed the award-giving ceremony for not giving awards to real leaders who struggled to build the party for 20 years.

Lunas assemblyman Azman Nasrudin questioned the decision to award the secretary-general Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution instead of Azmin.

“I don’t deny Saifuddin’s contributions to the party, but he did leave the party in 2004. He went back to Kelantan and joined PAS. He even once said that PKR has no future.

“And another thing, if (Datuk Dr) Xavier (Jayakumar) as the vice-president can get an award, why can’t one be given to the deputy president too?

“He (Azmin) has been very loyal. He never left PKR and he never abandoned Anwar,” he told reporters at Ames Hotel nearby.

After the walkout, the congress hall population from the morning was halved for a while before the secretariat started to get more people to fill up the hall.

PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (right) at the 2019 PKR National Congress in Melaka December 7, 2019. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

However, up on the stage, only several leaders were seen, as virtually all leaders from Azmin’s camp were absent and were meeting at Ames Hotel where a surprise press conference was called at about 3.30pm.

Meanwhile PKR Information Chief Datuk Seri Shamsul Iskandar Md Akin denied that the secretariat had intentionally snubbed Azmin’s faction, saying no speakers ever mentioned Azmin in their speeches.

“I don’t think anyone mentioned Azmin. Or even Kartel (nickname for Azmin’s faction). That was said during PKR Youth Congress. I don’t understand their claims using that point.

“About several criticism (to Azmin’s team) in the Congress, it is normal. When we become the government, do we only want to hear compliments from the delegates? We must be realistic,” he said.

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