PETALING JAYA - PKR deputy president Azmin Ali appears to have become the target of a smear campaign as the battle for top posts in the party heats up.
Azmin, who is defending the post in a six-cornered fight with Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, party secretary-general Datuk Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, vice-president Tian Chua, Datuk K. Ramachandran and S. Murali, is being painted as a "Barisan Nasional stooge" and a "Trojan horse" in disparaging tweets.
Jason Lee @jasonbhlee tweeted: "When Utusan say he is loser, they know Azmin has won."
Lee said this in response to a Utusan Malaysia report which named Azmin as the loser in PKR polls.
Penang Cyber Tai-CORE tweeted that Azmin supported the Government.
In response, Azmin warned his critics not to hide behind Twitter or Facebook.
"Say it with facts and evidence.
"Otherwise face the music," he said in a SMS text to The Star.
Party sources claimed that Azmin was losing ground, as even DAP supporters have joined in campaigning against him.
"Azmin appears to have lost his support among (PKR) members in Sabah," added the source.
The bad blood between Azmin and party president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail surfaced openly in May last year when he criticised her for nominating Khalid as Selangor Mentri Besar without consulting other party leaders.
Several grassroots leaders responded by calling for disciplinary action against Azmin.
Khalid denied that there was an element of protest against the current leadership of the party, based on the high number of nominations for top posts.
"There is no protest. This is normal because there are no prohibitions against anyone who wants to contest," Bernama quoted him as saying yesterday.
Asked about his chances of winning the post, Khalid said: "PKR members can trust me."