PKR closes its door to ex-UMNO leaders

KUALA LUMPUR :- PKR will not consider accepting former UMNO leaders to join the party, despite several requests being made.

Its president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said PKR currently focused on its reformation agenda championed by the party for the past 20 years.

“I made it very clear to them (that) they could remain in their party, (or) become independent but it would be difficult at this juncture for us (PKR) to accept because the general mood of the public as I understand is to support the Pakatan Harapan in our reformasi agenda,” he told reporters after the launching and dialogue on Tian Chua’s book, “Lakaran Jiwa Merdeka: Catatan Dari Penjara Kajang” at the University of Malaya, here today.

Anwar also admitted that PKR had been approached by several former UMNO leaders, however, the party refused to accept them.

“But I do appreciate the fact that they made the approach but I made it very clear to them that we are a party committed to reforms. We fought in the election together against corrupt kleptocracy government and therefore you must allow us to pursue this without any hindrances,” he said.

Yesterday, the entire Sabah UMNO liaison committee, including chairman Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor, and almost all the divisional chiefs announced their resignation from the party

The announcement made by Hajiji at a press conference that five Members of Parliament (MPs), nine state assemblymen and two senators from Sabah UMNO had quit the party with immediate effect.

Meanwhile commenting on Datuk Seri Ronald Kiandee’s position as the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairman since he was one of the five Sabah UMNO MPs who left the party, Anwar said the matter would be discussed in parliament soon.

“We will of course discuss this but the understanding initially in Parliament (was) to appoint someone from the opposition, we will deliberate this issue in parliament soon,” he said.

The Pakatan manifesto had stated that the PAC chairman must be from the opposition, as a way of reforming Parliament.

In another development, Anwar said he had met and had an open discussion with Padang Rengas Member of Parliament Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz recently, with the gist of the meeting on the PKR and Pakatan Harapan (PH) Reforms agenda.

“The discussion was held openly. However, I replied consistently that we were willing to discuss but our discussion was not on joining the party but discussed on the need for all to support the reforms agenda,”he added.

Anwar said this when asked on the report by a local portal that claimed that Mohamed Nazri, who is also the Secretary-General of Barisan Nasional, had met with Anwar during the second week of the last Parliament session.

According to the news report, Mohamed Nazri had requested for four things from Anwar when he (Anwar) becomes Prime Minister including that UMNO will not be dissolved and that former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak would not be abused.

Anwar said he supported the government’s decision to prosecute Najib in the interest of the nation.

“It is disreputable to shame someone through a case, but the fact is that there are grounds for the investigators and attorney-general to report the prosecution because the nation is burdened by the loss of massive funds, I support the decision of the government to prosecute (Najib),”he added.