PETALING JAYA: Party’s disciplinary board was urged by PKR vice-president Tian Chua to retract the dismissal of two members including a central committee member, who was expelled on the advice of the country’s anti-graft agency.
Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) admitted that they were wrong to have given a report of wrongdoing to a political party. In this statement, Tian Chua called for due process to be carried out and for PKR to resolve the issue in the spirit of comradeship.
“As a party founded upon the movement for reform and justice, it is rather unfortunate that such heavy-handed action has been employed,” he said.
“To expel a member is a very serious matter, especially if the action is taken against a veteran party activist who is also an elected central leadership council member.
“It is unacceptable that anyone could be sacked without prior notice and without being given an opportunity to defend themselves.”
Due to allegations of corruption by MACC investigation, Bera PKR division leader Zakaria Abdul Hamid and ordinary member Ismail Dulhadi were dismissed.
MACC had written to the party on Oct 23 about the alleged misconduct during last year’s party elections, while the party’s communications director, Fahmi Fadzil, said MACC had advised the party to look into the matter and take the necessary disciplinary action, PKR disciplinary chairman Ahmad Kassim said.
However, Zakaria was not informed about any report lodged against him with the disciplinary board, and he accused the party of acting without hearing his defence.
The “alleged incident of ‘wrongdoing’” had happened more than a year ago, Tian Chua said. He also questioned the “sudden need” to rush through such “drastic action”.
“We were told that the disciplinary board ‘just’ received a note from MACC. If so, why couldn’t the disciplinary board allow a proper duration for thorough discussion and investigation?
“As it stands, their action can also be read as improperly hasty and targeted, without due process of notifying members of their intention as well as giving the accused a chance to speak to the charges.”
His experience in previous meetings with PKR president Anwar Ibrahim was that the latter would normally prefer “a less harsh action” such as the suspension of membership or a request for show-cause rather than immediate and outright sacking, he added.
Yesterday, MACC deputy chief commissioner (operations) Azam Baki released a statement saying that the agency officials had made a mistake in advising PKR to take action against Zakaria and Ismail. MACC was only required to send reports of wrongdoing to government agencies or ministries, not to political parties, he said. Adding that the agency would send a letter of clarification to the PKR disciplinary board chairman so that future misunderstandings would not arise.