ALWAYS in the background, Bera PKR division chief Zakaria Abdul Hamid has never made any reckless political moves. A friend of PKR deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali and a loyal party worker, his sudden dismissal rocked the political landscape earlier this week. He gives his side of the story.
Question: Has anyone from the PKR top leadership been in touch with you since your sacking?
Answer: No. No one has contacted me. I heard the news from friends when I was in Taipei (Taiwan) for a conference. I was shocked. Luckily, I am healthy. Otherwise, I would have had a heart attack.
Q: Are you considering retiring from politics after all that has transpired?
A: I am considering it now. Even my wife has told me perhaps it is time to leave as I have worked for PKR for more than 20 years.
Q: How do you feel as one of the pioneers who had fought for party president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and the way the party is treating you?
A: The president was inside (being detained). We were the ones who worked from the outside to fight for him.
Anwar and I have nothing against each other and we have never fought. I don’t fight. My nature is like that.
Maybe my mistake is being close to (PKR deputy president) Azmin (Ali). I am just a party worker. You will not know me if the news of my sacking had not been made public. That is how I am.
I’m close to Azmin and (Wanita PKR chief) Zuraida (Kamaruddin) because they are no-nonsense leaders. My relationship with them is just work and there is nothing hidden. Azmin sees my merits in getting things done. Too bad Anwar did not do the same as he should have made use of me as a worker.
Q: What will the party gain from your sacking?
A: I don’t know. Maybe it is a warning (to others) because I am seen to be aligned with Azmin and Zuraida.
Q: How do you view your sacking? Is it normal?
A: To sack someone, there is an SOP (standard operating procedure) to follow, such as the issuance of a warning letter, with the ultimatum being expulsion from the party.
In my case, they sacked me without telling me why. I know members who have been charged in court and they are still party members.
Q: Have you contacted Azmin about your sacking?
A: No. I think he is abroad in Jeddah. I have not personally told him.
Q: How serious is the internal rift in PKR? Is there a likelihood of a PKR 2.0?
A: Yes, there is a rift, which is part and parcel of any political party. As to whether there will be a PKR 2.0, I have never heard Azmin indicate the formation of another PKR party or even leaving PKR.
There won’t be a PKR 2.0 because I can see that Azmin still loves the party. His concern is more on where the party is heading. I have never heard him (Azmin) saying he wants to hijrah (migrate).
Q: Will you follow Azmin should he leave PKR?
A: It is hard to decide. I cannot simply jump party as I must have a feel of what the (new) party is fighting for. For instance, Pas is for Islam. Umno is for the Malays and PKR is for those who have been wronged.
Q: Some say you were instrumental in helping Azmin get the support he needed during last year’s party polls. Do you think this is why you were targeted and sacked?
A: Perhaps it is one of the reasons. I still don’t know why I have been sacked. The only thing that I can think of is the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) report lodged against me. I have been called in (by MACC) to give a statement. After that, the graft-busters had indicated that the case was closed and they would not charge me. Even the letter that was emailed to me did not indicate why I was sacked. I just assume it was because of that MACC report as it is the only thing I can think of.
Q: Are you planning to appeal your dismissal from PKR?
A: I will consult my friends starting tonight (yesterday). I received the letter from PKR informing me of my dismissal on Thursday, but it didn’t say why I have been sacked, which is odd.
For me to appeal, I have to know the reason for my sacking. So I have to consult my friends on this.
Q: Will you consider taking legal action?
A: I will have to look into it by consulting my friends first. Some of them are lawyers too.