PKR president denies former veep quit due to disappointment in party
PETALING JAYA – PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has denied former vice-president Datuk Xavier Jayakumar’s claim that he defected due to disappointment in the party.
In a press conference today, Anwar said the Kuala Langat MP met him a week before the defection last Saturday.
“No. He met me one week before that. He came to see me, and we spoke about the problem that he was facing.
“I told him not to worry; if he is innocent, we will back him. Then, he said he met a senior minister, who had also threatened him.
“Then, he left.”
Xavier has cited his disappointment in PKR as the reason for him quitting the party.
On Saturday morning, he announced his resignation as party vice-president and member with immediate effect, opting to support the Perikatan Nasional government as an independent.
“Throughout my career as a politician, I have been with PKR since 1998,” he said in a brief statement.
“However, following the events that have unfolded in this past year, I have grown extremely frustrated.”
Endorsing the PN administration, he said the government’s efforts need bipartisan support to ensure they are realised.
“The people want stability, and to restart our ailing economic sectors.
“Towards this, we need to work together, not against one another.”
His departure makes him the third PKR MP to cross over in recent weeks, with Julau’s Larry Sng and Steven Choong (Tebrau) also exiting the party to support Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s administration.
Today, Anwar revealed that five PKR lawmakers have been threatened or enticed with rewards to join the PN government.
The MPs are Natrah Ismail (Sekijang), S. Kesavan (Sg Siput), Awang Husaini Sahari (Putatan), M. Karuppaiya (Padang Serai) and Michael Teo (Miri).
Anwar, who is also opposition leader and Port Dickson MP, said he will send a letter tomorrow to request a meeting with Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission chief Datuk Seri Azam Baki to discuss the matter, as well as recent allegations of political persecution against opposition lawmakers.
He said he has received multiple complaints from some of his party’s MPs regarding the pressure being put on them to jump ship.
“I will write to MACC chief Datuk Seri Azam Baki tomorrow to request an appointment and get his clarification.”
He added that the PN government’s actions in allegedly threatening or buying off MPs have nothing to do with politics, but are a form of deception and an abuse of power.
Earlier this month, the Pakatan Harapan presidential council, in a statement, slammed PN’s tactic of using enforcement agencies to intimidate opposition lawmakers into defecting.
“The PH presidential council has been informed of actions by agencies, including MACC, the Inland Revenue Board and police, towards opposition lawmakers, their officers and families.”
The coalition said it understands that this has happened repeatedly to pressure MPs into pledging their support for Muhyiddin, who has yet to prove he has the majority in Parliament.
“We support actions that are based on the rule of law. But, the abuse of institutions or law enforcement agencies to annoy, pressure or intimidate political enemies is unacceptable.”
The next day, MACC denied allegations that it is being used as a “political weapon”.
“MACC firmly emphasises that it is an independent investigative agency that always ensures its actions are done according to the law, and without political leanings.
“The accusations are unfounded and irresponsible, which may tarnish the reputation of MACC and create a negative perception of the commission.”