Drama unfolds at PKR headquarters

Drama unfolds at PKR headquarters
Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim Anwar Ibrahim (left), and Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim.

PETALING JAYA - Drama unfolded outside the PKR headquarters when a man heckled Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim over the controversial party election in the Kuala Selangor division.

Zulkifli Abdullah, who claimed to be a Kuala Selangor PKR member, was heard hurling insults at Khalid as he was leaving the party headquarters after attending a press conference here.

At the time, Khalid was with party leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and fellow deputy president candidates Azmin Ali and Datuk Saifuddin Nasution.

Anwar tried to defuse the situation by urging Zulkifli to calm down but the man continued shouting at Khalid as the leaders were leaving the area.

Speaking to reporters later, Zulkifli alleged that Khalid's men had attempted to bribe members to vote for him in the Kuala Selangor polls, adding that police reports were made.

Earlier, former Kapar MP S. Ma­­nika­vasa­gam submitted his letter of appeal.

He was suspended for breaking election rules by reportedly speaking to the media on money politics allegedly involving Khalid's men instead of going through party channels.

Manikavasagam had challenged Khalid for the division chairman's post.

"I hope they will reconsider their decision. They should at least get my explanation before suspending me," said Manikavasagam, who hoped he could still contest for the central leadership council.

The life member said he did not accuse Khalid of bribery but only showed the video clip of the alleged corruption.

At the press conference, Anwar said non-members were involved in acts of violence and gangsterism in the party polls.

"We have reports with videos and photos. Some non-members barged into polling centres to taint the party's image and foil the voting process.

"Some of them actually joined as members at the last minute just before the membership registration closed on March 15," he said.

Anwar added that immediate and stern action, including expulsion, would be taken against those who breached discipline.

The last stage of party polls in Selangor was marred with quarrels, fist fights and violence, with doors broken down and ballot boxes reportedly thrown to the ground. Polling in 27 divisions including 10 in Selangor was suspended following election irregularities.

On the eight suspended members, Anwar who heads the political bureau, said they had broken election rules, adding that the party polls were an internal matter.

"Those who contested as independents or attacked the party before the elections will be sacked. The rules are clear. All leaders know about it."

On the review of the direct election process to prevent such chaos in the future, Anwar said there was a need to do so especially since there were areas such as Pensiangan, Gombak and Kuala Selangor where membership was 10,000 to 15,000.

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