Monday, October 04, 2010

PKR must appreciate and respect new members

4 October 2010

PKR must appreciate and respect new members

I am dismayed that PKR leaders are repeatedly belittling new members of the party, either branding them untrustworthy or novices.

Previously, a warning of “trojan horses” in the PKR was made by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in reference to new members, especially those who offer themselves as candidates in the party elections.

Now, I read in today’s newspapers that PKR Vice President Azmin Ali, who is vying for the Deputy President position, put down his opponent Datuk Zaid Ibrahim simply because he is new in PKR.

The tone taken by these leaders contradict the aspirations of the Party when initiatives were made to amend the constitution. The party’s leadership was welcoming new members with open arms after the 2008 general election and intentionally specified a short qualification period of one year membership to allow them to be candidates in party elections.

Now, however, new members are cast as suspicious characters and made to feel unwelcome. Are we saying that any new member who wishes to offer their commitment to the party’s struggle are now automatically suspected as “trojan horses” simply because they are not aligned to the faction preferred by some party leaders?

This seems to be case considering that the appointee to the senior position of Treasurer-General after the party election in 2007 was a new member and virtually unknown in the party. Yet, the appointment was made without any objection whatsoever.

If this is the case, then democracy will not be able to grow in the party, as originally intended when the system of direct election was introduced. Democracy must be based on the power of members and not be dictated by a select few.

I call on party leaders to appreciate and respect new members who contribute to the strength of the party and many of whom are keen to actively support the party’s struggle.

Saidil Simoi

Ketua Cabang Kota Belud

Parti Keadilan Rakyat

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