I read with great disappointment the words used by Azmin Ali, a leader which many of us PKR members look up to, when the PKR deputy president hopeful, or deputy president-elect according to some of our friends, took a personal swipe at Zaid Ibrahim.
I read both the New Straits Times and Utusan Malaysia that covered Azmin’s speech at the PKR Gombak AGM, in which Zaid was portrayed as a novice in the party. Not only that, Azmin also referred to Zaid as a ‘desperado’ in an interview with Berita Harian .
As a candidate for the senior position of deputy president of the party, I am saddened and disappointed if Azmin has decided to conduct himself in this manner. Personal attacks are unnecessary and uncalled for. Name-calling is childish at best and I read with disbelief that a veteran and mature leader like Azmin would say something like this.
I seriously question the accuracy of the reports, and wonder if Azmin's words were twisted or misquoted or indeed words stuffed into his mouth.
It is clear to all that, although Zaid is relatively new in PKR, we must respect the fact that he is a highly experienced and principled politician that can contribute a lot to the party.
Indeed, have we so quickly forgotten that Zaid was welcomed into PKR with great fanfare precisely because he resigned as a minister in protest of the abuse of the ISA by the Umno-BN government?
Moreover, I strongly urge party leaders to be consistent and fair in party elections. It appears that some party leaders are practising double standards, choosing to attack a candidate for being featured in a mainstream newspaper whilst turning a blind eye when another candidate does the same.
The party must live up to the principles of fairness and democracy if we are to lead the charge for reform in this country. And such a party has no place for immature and childish leaders.
I find the thought of a mature senior party leader making personal attacks and threatening to split the party in a quest for personal ambition to be extremely disturbing, and a possible misunderstanding of this nature must not be allowed to fester.
Therefore, I make a heartfelt call for Azmin to clarify and refute the possible misunderstanding arising from the Utusan and NST reports.
The writer is MP for Kelana Jaya.