Wan Azizah tells PKR poll critics to zip it

By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal, The Malaysian Insider

Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah issued a gag order today to all party members, telling them to stop “openly criticising” the party’s on-going direct elections despite claims of fraud and manipulation.

The founding party president made the decision after several meetings with party leaders including Pahang PKR chairman Datuk Fauzi Abdul Rahman.

Fauzi handed her a six-point resolution yesterday, which focused on the current complaints concerning the PKR elections.

“I am made to understand that the resolution was drafted from various meetings with youths who are loyal to the party’s struggles.

“This is a good process and follows the proper channels and also shows the maturity of party members in the face of various issues concerning the elections,” Dr Wan Azizah said in a statement today.

She claimed that the party leadership as well as the PKR election committee would pay “serious attention” to the six-point resolution as well as other complaint letters from grassroots members.

She also said PKR had already begun taking action against some cases which had a clear indication of being legitimate complaints.

“In fact we have already begun taking action and the focus is on cases which have clear signs. Stern action will be taken against any parties who are found guilty of going against PKR’s code of ethics.

“With this guarantee, I hope that there will be no more open criticisms among party leaders as well as members because this will only give enemies more excuses to attack us,” said the wife of PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Dr Wan Azizah’s latest remarks come even as the party is receiving an increasing number of complaints lodged by members on alleged fraud in its ongoing direct elections.

Federal Territory PKR chief Datuk Zaid Ibrahim dropped his bid for the deputy presidency on Monday, citing dissatisfaction with the party leadership’s failure to address his concerns. He also quit all party posts to register his dissatisfaction.

Another candidate in the race for number two, vice-president Mustaffa Kamil Ayub, too had called for a halt in the polls in view of the mounting complaints.

On Tuesday, Mustaffa submitted a memorandum to the party, issuing a 48-hour deadline to the leadership to halt the polls process or face “firm action”.

However, the vice-president decided yesterday to stay in the race after meeting central election committee (JPP) chairman Dr Molly Cheah earlier this week, believing that he still had a fighting chance as the divisions in Selangor with a membership of around 100,000 would only conduct their vote today.

Voting in Selangor began with the Sepang division this morning while eight other divisions will vote tomorrow.

As of last weekend, a total of 11,670 members from 87 of the 218 divisions have voted. Voting turnout since the start of polling process on October 29 is around 12 per cent.

Dr Wan Azizah’s statement came as a few disgruntled PKR members protested in front of the party headquarters this morning, claiming that the manipulation by top party leaders like Azmin Ali had resulted in an unfavourable election process.