Hypocritical PKR now going down the road less transparent


Hazlan Zakaria, The Ant Daily

PKR has proudly declared all too often that it is pushing for a more transparent and accountable national governance. However, when it comes to its own internal affairs, like the current party polls, PKR seems to be going down the less transparent route.

Indeed, some may even say that the party has not only gone back on its promises of transparency but is also effectively waxing hypocritical.

Is it then going back to the ways of “old politics” or worse, going to the Umno way of trying to prevent the media from reporting on “sensitive” party matters, like the apparently racist overtones of some leaders and its grassroots?

It is understandable that the party is still reeling from the chaos in its 2010 polls when its maiden implementation of the one-member-one-vote polling system met with snags and grouses and made worse by being highlighted in the media.

The issues were amplified by media coverage on vocal outbursts by candidates and members crying foul, not to mention the misreporting and creative story telling by some BN-owned media which highlighted sores in the new PKR polling system to the high heavens.

Nevertheless, it is hypocritical to issue a gag order to members when PKR has always said it is a transparent party. And certainly, a truly mature move is not to hide the issue but to work to better the situation.

On April 11, PKR central polling committee chairperson Datuk Johari Abdul issued a gag order to those contesting in party polls not to take their grouses with the poll process or the party public, on the pain of being disqualified.

“If there are any issues in the party, (they) can tell us. No need to announce it to the media or the public,” he reportedly said.

Johari warned that the fate of those who stir the media crock pot will mirror one who prods a stick into a hornet’s nest.

“Going to the media sometimes does not help the party develop. We are an independent body now and we will take action,” he stressed.

This followed in the footsteps of the statement that incumbent deputy president Azmin Ali reportedly made, stating that there is no need for debates between those contesting in party polls, as it is an “internal party matter”.

“We can settle it internally. This is not about competition but who has (more to) offer. All candidates (have something to) offer.

“This matter is not for the media to judge but by the party members themselves. This is not the general election but party election. We will not allow Utusan Malaysia, TV3 or other media portals to decide,” he told reporters.

So here we go again – another call for the party to keep its activities close to its chest, when asking the government and the BN to be more transparent and accountable. Que va PKR?