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PKR Deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali (centre) with party’s Central Leadership Council Members gesture after a press conference in Ayer Keroh. -NSTP/Rasul Azli Samad

MELAKA: PKR deputy president Datuk Seri Azmin Ali and 22 other party Central Leadership Council Members said they were disappointed with president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim for not keeping his promises.

In a press conference at Ames Hotel here, away from the venue of the PKR National Congress, Azmin said Anwar’s policy speech at the congress was distasteful and had opened a path for congress debaters to make personal attacks on the Economic Affairs Minister.

“We were hoping that the president would speak on policies and direction of the party, but we were disappointed.

“His speech which started with a classic story of Si Kitul (proverbial traitor) and Raja Mendeliar opened up a path for others to make personal attacks and destroy party unity.

“The special awards ceremony was also provocative and denied the contributions made by other PKR fighters at the grassroots level who struggled to uplift this party.

“The speeches by debaters, who were not chosen fairly, did not reflect sentiments on the ground. It appears that the speeches made were only done to bring up a man’s dream while attacking and slandering other leaders,” he said.

At about 2.40pm today, Azmin and hundreds of his supporters left the national congress in protest of how the event was conducted.

According to Azmin, when he met Anwar during a special meeting in the Parliament building on Wednesday, the Port Dickson Member of Parliament gave his word on several matters.

The first was to let Azmin officiate both the women and Youth wings as per tradition, secondly to ensure debaters would only focus on policy issues and on strengthening the party, thirdly debaters would be chosen fairly and fourth, debaters would not hurt the feelings of any parties.

“It clearly shows that the president has failed to fulfil his promises. We (Azmin and 22 others) have made the decision to not continue to attend the congress only to hear provocative statements that go against PKR’s spirit,” he said.

The 22 Central Leadership Council members are Zuraida Kamaruddin, Chua Tian Chang, Ali Biju, Haniza Mohamed Talha, Hilman Idham, Dr Daroyah Alwi, Baru Bian, Amirudin Shaari, Datuk Mohd Rashid Hasnon, Sivarasa Rasiah, Rahimah Majid, Elizabeth Wong, Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah, Zakaria Abdul Hamid, Radzlan Jalaluddin, Datuk Dr Mansor Othman, Datuk Kamaruddin Jaafar, Azmizam Zaman Huri, Gan Pei Nei, Hee Loy Sian, Datuk Seri R. Santhara Kumar and Lee Khai Loon.

When asked if he was giving an ultimatum to Anwar, Azmin said he would not do so but expected the party president to be able to handle crisis.

“Leadership is crucial in managing crisis. If you don’t have the leadership then no way you can manage a crisis.”

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