PKR deputy president Mohamed Azmin Ali and Selangor PKR chief Amirudin Shari are among party leaders who have given the PKR leaders’ retreat, which kicked off in Port Dickson this evening, a miss.The event, held in PKR president Anwar Ibrahim’s constituency, is largely seen as a move to consolidate party support for him, especially as the next prime minister.The party is currently embroiled in an internal tussle following a sex video scandal implicating Azmin, who is also economic affairs minister.
Nine men, including Anwar’s aide, have been remanded by the police in connection with the production and distribution of the sex clips.
Azmin had said the release of the videos was a conspiracy aimed at ending his political career.
The retreat will be officiated by Pakatan Harapan chairman and Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
According to the retreat’s itinerary, Azmin is scheduled to deliver a speech as the deputy president tomorrow.
Meanwhile, Amirudin – known to be an Azmin loyalist – has submitted a medical certificate to the party over his absence.
Another known Azmin supporter, party supreme council member Azmizam Zaman Huri, is also absent from the retreat following his admission to a private hospital in Klang earlier today.
During the retreat, which will take place until Sunday afternoon, party leaders are expected to show their support for Anwar.
Earlier today, six PKR state leaders signed a letter of support for Anwar. Another eight are expected to sign it at the retreat tonight.
The smmering tension between Anwar and Azmin spilled out into an open feud after the president released a statement saying that his deputy should resign from cabinet if he is indeed proven to be one of the two men in the sex video.
In Port Dickson town, banners have been put up urging for Dr Mahathir to step down and allow Anwar to take over.
The banners, which read “Mahathir letak jawatan, serah negara pada Anwar (Mahathir step down, leave the country to Anwar)” were spotted in a few areas across the army town.
Ahead of the retreat, Anwar had called for party leaders and members to close ranks and address the needs of the people.
“Let’s take a step back and not lose sight of the issues that matter.
“Looking forward to the Keadilan retreat – we stand united in addressing the plight of the rakyat,” he had tweeted.
Other leaders who were not present at the retreat included vice-presidents Zuraida Kamaruddin, Chua Tian Chang and Ali Biju. – July 19, 2019.