PKR may haul up Azmin and Saifuddin


(The Star) – PKR deputy president candidates Azmin Ali and Datuk Saifuddin Nasution Ismail will be hauled up by the party election committee over their recent media interviews, which allegedly contained criticisms against their rivals.

PKR election director Datuk Johari Abdul said their remarks would be scrutinised to see if they had breached any campaigning rules before April 21, when the final list of candidates would be finalised.

“At the moment, this is not on the agenda. But it will be brought up for discussion by next Monday,” he told reporters at PKR headquarters here yesterday.

Johari had cautioned candidates that they risked being disqualified from contesting if they criticised each other in their campaigning through the media.

When asked whether their remarks ran foul of the rules set by the committee, Johari said the matter needed to be discussed collectively before judgment was passed.

“I have read their remarks, but the committee has yet to decide on this. As chairman, it is not fair for me to comment on the committee’s behalf,” he said.

When met later, Johari said the committee was looking at two alleged cases against Azmin. One concerned him giving an interview to TV3, which PKR has forbidden its members from talking to. The other was his alleged attack of Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, another candidate for deputy president.

Azmin was reported to have criticised Khalid on the memorandum of understanding between the Federal and Selangor governments to restructure the water industry in the state.

Saifuddin, in a New Straits Times interview, had talked about the clash of personalities between Khalid and Azmin.

He described Azmin as someone who “did not enjoy exchanging views, ideas or debates” and Khalid as a “know-it-all”, especially on the water deal.

Johari said it was not necessary for the party to appoint independent auditors to observe the electoral process, which will take place from April 26 to May 11, as “we have sorted out teething problems faced in 2010”.

“We are more transparent now as we are using transparent ballot boxes and serial numbered ballot papers. Candidates are also allowed to appoint representatives to keep their eyes on opposing candidates,” he added.