|KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 17: Pakatan Rakyat leaders have ridiculed suggestions by troubled Kulim MP Zulkifli Noordin that his PKR party was out to get him as the “lamest of excuses”.|
They questioned why he did not write in immediately to the disciplinary council for a postponement of his "sentencing", but chose instead to call for a press conference where he had continued to hurl insults at his party and coalition colleagues.
"I can only reiterate that the PKR disciplinary committee is empowered to make independent decisions. If Zul thinks otherwise, he is only disrespecting his own party," PKR strategic director Tian Chua told Harakahdaily.
"The disciplinary board has made its investigations and was due to hear what he has to say before announcing its decision. Whether the panel feels the need to postpone the hearing is entirely up to it," Saifuddin Nasution, PKR secretary-general, told Harakahdaily.
Seeing through his tactics
On Tuesday, Zulkifli told reporters that the PKR disciplinary board had intentionally chosen February 18 and 23 to meet him. He also accused Tian, vice president Azmin Ali and senior leader Zaid Ibrahim of plotting to oust him.
“I wonder why they chose the dates, when PKR knew that I will be in Korea during that period to attend International Leadership Conference with other MPs,” said Zulkifli, adding that he would return only on February 25.
However, those of his colleagues who are familiar with his tactics believe that he already has an idea of the outcome of the board's investigations and has no intention to attend the meeting.
That he had once again tried to drag his party through as much mud as possible only underscored his insincerity and treacherous nature, they said.
“He thinks he is playing smart politics and keeping up the pressure on Pakatan to please Umno but I don’t think anyone is fooled. The number of PKR and Pakatan members who want him sacked definitely far exceed those who want him to stay,” a PKR insider told Harakahdaily.
“If he is entitled to give his views so freely, why can't others? It is also no secret how the majority of Malaysians feel about him either. In fact, the public has spoken and the feedback is quite clear - choose between us or Zulkifli!
"So what is he trying to do now? What is his motive? Why is he trying to prolong his stay in PKR if he is so unhappy? These are considerations that the disciplinary panel must give priority to when they meet. PKR and Pakatan must not allow themselves to be taken in again and again by this sort of political opportunists.”
Meanwhile, PKR adviser Anwar Ibrahim apologized for selecting “shaky” candidates to stand for elections. Of late, his party has been bruised by a group of recalcitrant MPs such as Zulkifli, Nibong Tebal's Tan Tee Beng and Bayan Baru's Zahrain Hashim - who have all publicly condemned the Pakatan leadership.
To forestall an embarrassing public reprimand, Zahrain had quit last week. The minimum punishment expected for him, Zulkifli and Tan are suspensions from all party posts and benefits. Some party watchers have even predicted the sack for the trio.
“I feel sad that I asked you to vote for these people - I apologise. Now I have been stabbed in the back,” Anwar said during a PKR’s Chinese New Year open house in Penang.
At Zulkifli's press conference, he had asked for the disciplinary board to reschedule his meeting to either February 28 or any other day between March 1 and 5.
Not only did he claim there was a conspiracy to oust him, he also outraged his Pakatan colleagues by demanding that the disciplinary panel be made up of Muslims on the grounds that his case was related to the use of the word “Allah” by non-Muslims.
“This is another example why PKR must be strict with Zulkifli. Even now he is trying to 'racialize' the issue. He is trying to make people forget that he is being hauled up for lodging a police report against Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad,” a PAS leader told Harakahdaily.