SUNGAI BESAR – Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) today attempted to defend the complete absence of its deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali in the Sungai Besar by-election campaign by giving the reason that he has prior commitments as Menteri Besar.
PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah AnwarÂ when asked by reporters on Mohamed Azmin’s no-show, said the matter had been agreed upon by the leadership of Pakatan Harapan.
“Apart from that, he was required to accompany the Sultan of Selangor in his daily programme and this was already agreed to by Pakatan Harapan leadership.
“However, all senior PKR state assemblymen in Selangor such as Dr Xavier Jayakumar (Seri Andalas state assemblyman) and Zuraida Kamaruddin (Ampang MP) are in Sungai Besar (to campaign),” she told a media conference, here today.
Nurul Izzah added that Mohamed Azmin was scheduled to be in Kuala Kangsar with PKR president Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail after settling his commitments in Selangor.
Meanwhile, Amanah director of strategy, Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said he was arranging for the presence of Mohamed Azmin in Sungai Besar soon.
The absence of the Menteri Besar in the Sungai Besar campaign which entered its eighth day today was the talk of many parties.
Unlike its coalition partner leaders such as DAP advisor Lim Kit Siang and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, the name of the PKR deputy president had yet
to make it into the list of Pakatan Harapan leaders to campaign for Amanah candidate Azhar Abdul Shukur.
Barisan Nasional (BN) Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin was earlier reported as saying that the absence of Mohamed Azmin to assist Amanah candidate in Sungai Besar seemed to confirm rumours that the menteri besar did not approve Amanah’s candidate to represent Pakatan Harapan.
The last time Mohamed Azmin appeared in Sungai Besar was on nomination day on June 5 in which he was seen meeting Amanah candidate as well as PAS candidate Dr Abdul Rani Osman.
The Sungai Besar parliamentary by-election will see a three-cornered fight between Azhar, who is Sungai Besar Amanah chairman, with Barisan Nasional’s (BN) Budiman Mohd Zohdi who is Sungai Panjang state assemblyman and PAS which is fielding its Meru state assemblyman, Dr Abdul Rani Osman.
The seat fell vacant following the death of its incumbent MP Tan Sri Noriah Kasnon who was Plantation Industries and Commodities Deputy Minister in a helicopter crash in Sarawak on May 5. – BERNAMA