By Zefry Dahalan
SEREMBAN: The contest for the PKR youth chief is showing signs of heating up, with one camp accusing its detractors of carrying out a whisper campaign that smacked of racism.
Zulkifli Ibrahim, the campaign coordinator for Badrul Hisham Shahrin, today issued a statement that defended Badrul’s choice of Teja state assemblyman Chang Lih Kang as his running mate.
He said there was a “silent campaign” to undermine Badrul, popularly known as Cikgu Bard, for preferring a Chinese for the post of deputy youth chief.
"What kind of mentality is this?” he said. “This is Umno style. We are supposed to be a party of free of racism."
Zulkifli criticised the management of PKR youth under Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin, who is defending his post against Cikgu Bard’s challenge.
He noted that the youth wing had a presence in only 163 of 202 PKR divisions nationwide and that only 41 of the 163 had sent in complete nomination forms.
A complete nomination form from a youth division must show that at least 15 persons are seeking election to the divisional youth committee and at least one for each of the following positions: youth chief, deputy chief and vice chief.
"This indicates that almost three quarters of the divisions don’t even have full committees, including the Petaling Jaya Utara division lead by Khairul Anuar Ahmad Zainuddin,” said Zulkifli, who is a member of the PKR youth executive council.
Khairul, who is the youth leader for Selangor PKR, is running for deputy youth chief in the national contest as Shamsul’s running mate.
"I'm not condemning Samsul Iskandar, but this is the best that he can deliver after four years in charge of the youth movement and we need to change the leadership to strengthen the movement,” he said.