PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The feud involving the two top leaders of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), Malaysia's biggest political party with 50 MPs in Parliament, is flaring up again after a lull of just several weeks.
A group of 44 PKR leaders, including MPs and state assemblymen, on Wednesday (Jan 22) issued a statement asking the party leadership led by its president, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, to drop all actions against a key member of the rival faction.
Led by deputy president Mohamed Azmin Ali, the statement by his faction came out in defence of a PKR vice-president, Madam Zuraida Kamaruddin, who is also Minister of Housing and Local Government.
Madam Zuraida was served a show-cause letter by the PKR leadership over her controversial comments against top party leaders last month.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, the Azmin-led group accused those who gave Madam Zuraida the show-cause letter of doing it in bad faith and being jealous of her achievements.
Last week, the Anwar faction sacked seven central youth wing leaders who are with the Azmin group, just weeks after both factions decided to step back from feuding in public.
Among the 44 signatories on Wednesday were central council members PKR, Cabinet ministers and deputy ministers, including Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah, Works Minister Baru Bian, Selangor Menteri Besar Amirudin Shari, deputy ministers Sivarasa Rasiah and Kamaruddin Jaafar, and PKR vice-presidents Tian Chua and Ali Biju.
The joint statement complained about PKR members protesting in front of party headquarters and at Madam Zuraida's ministry recently.
"The act of demonstrating in front of the party headquarters on Jan 18 and the Housing and Local Government Ministry on Jan 21 has stained the image of the party and the government," it said. "The sacking of the seven central youth wing leaders by letter on Jan 15 is against the party constitution and betrays the voices of the grassroots members who elected them."
The statement also said comments made openly by several PKR state chairmen demanding Madam Zuraida's sacking "made matters worse" as both factions had agreed not to issue any provocative statements in public.
"We are of the opinion that the actions and pressure to sack Zuraida is mala fide (bad faith) as it stems from jealousy of her success and leadership as the Housing and Local Government Minister," the joint statement said.
"She has exhibited commitment to be proud of and introduced a dynamic working culture in the ministry," said the group while demanding that all disciplinary actions against Madam Zuraida be dropped immediately.