PETALING JAYA, Nov 27 — A protest by a sliver of PKR members prior to the party’s annual congress tapered-off after official interceded and dispersed the small group.
Protest organiser K.S. Kottapan’s press conference outside the Petaling Jaya Civics Hall was also stalled by officials forcing them to regroup to a nearby Indian restaurant.
The former Selangor PKR treasurer had claimed that the party leadership was overlooking members’ grouses with the party election.
“Complaints and reports that have been made by party members were entirely ignored by the leadership, thus exposing the real attitude of these leaders,” said Kottapan in a statement distributed to the media after his second attempt to hold press conference was stopped by party officials.
Kottapan claimed that the party leadership demanded all members to throw their support behind Azmin Ali — the incoming deputy president, who’s picking at mantle from Dr Syed Husin Ali at the congress.
“Is it because we are just ordinary members that we do not deserve to be treated well by leaders who now have positions, wealth and power?” said Kottapan.
Today’s protest attended by less than 50 supporters of Kottapan ended after 15 minutes.
The peaceful gathering turned unruly when a member of PKR’s security team manhandled an Agenda Daily reporter and threatened other media representatives not to cover the protest or risk being barred from covering the congress.
Allegations of fraud in the party’s first direct election had resulted in the withdrawal of Datuk Zaid Ibrahim from the deputy presidential contest.
Zaid had also quit PKR and claimed that the party had failed to uphold democratic principles.
Another deputy presidential candidate Mustaffa Kamil Ayub who had threatened to pull out from the contest over the allegations changed his mind after discussions with party leaders but insisted that he did so in protest.
The party secretariat and the central election committee (JPP) have dismissed the fraud allegations saying that the complainants have failed to furnish evidence to support their claims.
Earlier this month, Kottapan had also staged similar protest outside the party headquarters with sacked deputy secretary-general S. Jenapala who claimed that his right to contest in the PKR election was denied.