Saifuddin: Azmin and Khalid also have pacts


Meena Lakshana,

In defence of his newly formed pact, Datuk Saifuddin Nasution said today his opponents for the PKR deputy presidency Azmin Ali and  Tan Sri  Khalid Ibrahim also have pacts.

Responding to Azmin’s statement yesterday who advised against factionalism, Saifuddin said he merely chose to make his pact official.

“If you look at Azmin’s and Khalid’s campaign, they also have their own followers from within the party,” he said at a press conference at the PKR headquarters.

“That also can be construed as a pact. It is just that we chose to announce it,” added the outgoing PKR secretary-general.

Saifuddin, who is vying for the deputy president post, has teamed up with incumbent vice president Nurul Izzah Anwar and  vice president aspirant Rafizi Ramli.

Two other incumbent vice presidents, Tian Chua and Fuziah Salleh, later announced their support for the pact.

Azmin is known to be in alliance with incumbent Wanita chief Zuraida Kamaruddin and Youth chief candidate Amiruddin Shaari.

Yesterday, Azmin had said any perceived grouping or alliances within the party is not healthy for the party’s future.

However, Saifuddin reiterated that the formation of the alliance with Rafizi and Nurul Izzah hinged on two matters-to provide a succession plan and quality leadership.

“I am of the view that PKR has two leaders that have captured the imagination of the people and party members and that two individuals are Rafizi and Nurul Izzah,” he said.

“This is based on the performance in the party, Parliament as well as at the helm of the party leadership.

“If the party’s future is managed by these two and they are supported by the leadership, this party has a bright future ahead of it,” he added.

Saifuddin: My views on party’s racial underpinning no different from Azmin’s

Asked to comment on Azmin’s dispute over Saifuddin’s remarks that PKR is a Malay-based party, Saifuddin said essentially, his opinion is no different than that of Azmin’s.

He said PKR is composed of 50% of Malays, 12% Chinese, 20% Indians and 18% of ethnic Sabahans and Sarawakians.\

Saifuddin said it cannot be denied that half of the party’s voices are Malays.

However, he said that does not mean the Malays in the party do not support the multiracial perspective of the party.

“The Malays in the party acknowledged the position of the Malay rulers and the federation’s religion while the non-Malays in the party respect this,” he said.

“At the same time, the Malays are support the multiracial or Malaysian perspective.

“For example, the party has always emphasised affirmative action based on needs, not on the colour of skin,” he added.

Saifuddin said his judgement is based on the composition of the party, which essentially is truly a a multiracial one.

“So there is no clash of opinions between Azmin and I,” he added.

In an interview with the New Straits Times, Saifuddin had said the party was still very much a Malay-based party and that this was a “reality” which even the non-Malays have accepted.

“But as we go along, we will invite PKR vice-presidents Tian Chua, N. Surendran, party exco member R. Sivarasa and Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian, among others, to the pact. We will create a new landscape,” he had added in the interview.

He was responding to a question about Rafizi’s initial concern for his alliance with Saifuddin which were “only Malays”.

Meanwhile, the New Straits Times today reported that Saifuddin may be disqualified from the party for his candid interview, which highlighted Azmin’s and Khalid’s relationship dynamics bluntly.

Saifuddin said he leaves the decision up to the party’s election committee to make the call.

“We have an election committee. I leave it up to them to make the decision,” he added.

Last week, party election director Datuk Johari Abdul had said candidates who criticise other candidates in the race towards polls risk disqualification.

Voting will take place at the branches from April 25 to May 11.

The results of the election are expected to be announced on May 13.