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PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim speaking at the 14th National Congress of Justice at the Malacca International Trade Center (MITC), Ayer Keroh. -NSTP/RASUL AZLI SAMAD

MELAKA: Speaking at the PKR National Congress for the first time, party president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim paid tribute to his wife, Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, for helming the multiracial party for 20 years.

The Port Dickson Member of Parliament also congratulated the Deputy Prime Minister for successfully garnering 50 Parliamentary seats for PKR in the last general election.

“It is only appropriate for me to pay tribute to the former president, a woman, a petite lady who has the strongest mind in manoeuvring this party vessel in the last two decades.

“Dr Wan Azizah, together with our party friends and the deputy (Azmin Ali), went through many obstacles in their effort to establish the party.

“All of us admire her tenacity in leading this party successfully to the point where we now have 50 Parliamentary seats,” he said.

Anwar said this to PKR delegates at the Melaka International Trade Centre (MITC) here, today.

Since its formation in 1999, PKR was headed by Dr Wan Azizah as its president, while Datuk Seri Azmin Ali has been the deputy president.

The Pandan MP led PKR for two decades after Anwar was thrown behind bars on two occasions for sodomy. During that period, Azmin played a key role in strengthening the party as well as rallying support from other opposition parties to form opposition coalitions.

However, the Economic Affairs Minister’s name was not mentioned in Anwar’s speech, in which he also warned party delegates of “traitors within” and quoted Melaka’s history to drive home his point.

“The Melaka capital (at the time) fell and was destroyed because of a weak government, slander and betrayal from within, as well as due to a weak army, along with ancient weapons used, compared to the Portuguese’s advanced technology.

“Si Kitul (proverbial traitor) was jealous and began planning evil schemes with Diogo Lopes de Sequeira (a Portuguese nobleman).

“As a result, Si Kitul and Raja Mendeliar (Melaka’s harbourmaster) slandered Datuk Bendahara (Tun Mutahir), who was smart and contributed much to Melaka.

“Without a thorough investigation, the Sultan instructed that the Bendahara and his family be executed, including his son in law, Tun Ali,” Anwar said.

The PKR National Congress, which began on Friday, will end on Sunday.

On Saturday, a series of brawls occurred involving Youth delegates from two factions – one believed to be on the side of PKR Youth chief Akmal Nasir, who is aligned with Anwar; and the other loyal to PKR Youth deputy chief Hilman Idham, who is aligned with Azmin’s camp.

It was widely reported that there was infighting in PKR involving Anwar and Azmin, but recently, both leaders claimed that they had patched things up after meeting each other prior to the National Congress.

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