PKR grassroots unhappy with Najwan’s candidacy after racial slur

Najwan Halimi’s candidacy reflects badly on the party which preaches inclusiveness and could lose the Indian vote, source says.

(FMT) – PKR grassroot members in Kota Anggerik are unhappy with a decision by the party to field Najwan Halimi for the state seat following a recent comment he made which was laced with a racial slur.

Najwan courted controversy earlier this month after describing Parti Sosialis Malaysia as an “Indian estate party”. The Shah Alam PKR Youth deputy division leader later took full responsibility for his statement and apologised.

A member who spoke on condition of anonymity said naming Najwan reflects badly on the party.

He also said Najwan’s nomination may cost PKR to lose votes among the Indian community.

“I’m an Indian myself and was left speechless when Anwar Ibrahim announced Najwan as the candidate,” the source said, adding that many Indians in the party were uneasy about his candidacy.

Anwar has since defended Najwa’s selection, saying people “make mistakes”. The PKR president added that he had the final say in such matters.

But the source said Anwar, who is also the prime minister, should understand that this sort of justification gives the impression that PKR “is no different from PAS”.

PKR is known to call PAS out for its racial rhetoric towards the Chinese and Indians.

“But now, we are allowing someone who made a racial comment towards the Indian community to contest. It’s unacceptable,” the source said.

The source also said that Najwan’s apology was meaningless and that the party should have taken firmer action by barring him from contesting and even suspending him.

Another PKR leader agreed that the party should not have allowed Najwan to contest.

However, the leader admitted that it was difficult for the party to drop the one-term assemblyman.

“To my understanding, Najwan is being allowed to contest mainly because the president feels he can retain his seat.”

In the 14th general election, Najwan won the seat in a three-cornered fight with a 17,004-vote majority.