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'BACK TO UMNO' EXODUS?: Six PKR Youth leaders to follow Ezam

The six to quit PKR and rejoin Umno to help Barisan "achieve its goals". -NST
Adrian David and Joseph Sipalan

Fri, May 30, 2008
The New Straits Times

PETALING JAYA, MALAYSIA: Six Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Youth leaders announced yesterday they were quitting the party to follow Mohamad Ezam Mohd Nor in rejoining Umno.

The six are Annuar Shaari, S.D. Johari Mohd Yasin, Mohd Nazmi Rosli, Ahmad Daud Che Ghani, Azwanddin Hamzah and Khairul Annuar Ramli.

Annuar was the PKR Youth chief for Permatang Pauh and private secretary to party de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Johari was Selangor PKR Youth chief, Mohd Nazmi was Selangor PKR Youth secretary and Ahmad Daud the Perlis PKR Youth chief.

Azwanddin and Abdul Ghani are former PKR Youth executive council members, while Khairul Annuar was the Kedah PKR Youth chief.

Ezam, who revealed the resignations at a press conference here, said more PKR members would follow suit. "Just wait for the announcement," he said.

Mohamad Ezam had quit PKR in April last year. Present at the press conference were Datuk S. Nallakaruppan, a one-time ally of Anwar who left PKR to form the Malaysian Indian United Party, and former PKR Youth secretary Hamdan

Taha, now an Umno member. Mohamad Ezam submitted his application to rejoin Umno on Wednesday to party president and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Another former PKR member intending to rejoin Umno is Abdul Ghani Haroon.

"I will submit my application for Umno membership once I obtain the green light," said Abdul Ghani, who is project director with Gerakan Rakyat Anti-Korupsi (Civil Movement Against Corruption) or Gerak, which Ezam established in 2005.

Yesterday, Annuar and Khairul submitted their membership application forms to Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, the Umno deputy president, at Parliament House.

The other four will submit their membership forms later, as they could not make it in time to Parliament. Najib said the timing of Annuar and Khairul's applications was coincidental.

"Annuar met me a long time back and I don't believe it was something they had arranged to do," he said, referring to Mohamad Ezam's application to rejoin Umno.

When asked if this indicated an exodus of PKR members to Umno, Najib said people were free to come to their own conclusions.

Najib said Anuar's application would have to be referred to the party's supreme council as he had been an Umno member previously.

Speaking on behalf of the six, Johari said they rejoined Umno on their own free will.

"We are convinced of Abdullah's leadership that promises reforms for the good of all. By rejoining Umno, we can help Barisan Nasional achieve its goals."

Annuar said: "I left PKR during the period when they believed they were at the gates of power. I have lost faith in (Datuk Seri) Anwar (Ibrahim), but the reason is best left between him and myself."

He said he had seen the situation in Umno, where he was previously an ordinary member, and in PKR, and felt that Umno provided the best vehicle to continue his struggle for religion and race.

"I have lost faith in the (PKR) leadership and I believe in BN (Barisan Nasional). That is why I applied to return," said Annuar, who resigned from PKR last year.

Khairul, who contested as an independent in the 12th general election, said he was duped by PKR into believing it was the best party to bring forward the views of the people.

"I joined them straight after finishing school, but I lost confidence when I realised (Datuk Seri) Anwar would say one thing to Pas and another to DAP."

Annuar said he believed there would be an exodus from PKR to Umno.

"I have not invited anyone to follow me. They are free to make their own choices, but I believe there are those who will (switch parties). It will start bit by bit, and eventually, it will become a wave."

 
 
 
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