By Syed Jaymal Zahiid
VIDEO INSIDE KUALA LUMPUR: PKR deputy presidency contender and former party deputy secretary-general PS Jenapala today claimed there are fraudulent and underhanded tactics practised by de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim and his right-hand man, vice-president Azmin Ali, at the current party polls.
The alleged furtive acts, said Jenapala, included abuse of Selangor government machinery, pressuring challengers to divisional polls candidates aligned to the Anwar-Azmin "cartel" to withdraw and bribery by offering positions to their supporters.
He cited the Permatang Pauh divisional polls over the weekend where Deputy Chief Minister II Mansor Othman had won uncontested after both the challengers, incumbent Che Mat Hashim and Roselai Muhamad, withdrew from contesting.
"After submitting his name, Roselai suddenly withdrew on the day of the nomination after intense pressure to do so. In the case of Che Mat, he withdrew on the day before election and his supporters claimed there was pressure for him to do so by Anwar," he told a press conference here.
“How can they ask Che Mat to withdraw even after his name was listed on the ballot paper?”, asked Jenapala.
He also said Azmin had allegedly abused the Selangor state machinery to campaign for his deputy presidency candidacy, claiming that state executive councilors aligned to him are using their offices and allocations for the party elections while state information officers are coercing and inducing those at grassroots level to support him.
"This is an insult to our Pakatan (Rakyat) partners DAP and PAS and also the people of Selangor who elected them," he added.
He also claimed that Azmin in a visit to Tuaran, Sabah, had in an open gathering told party members there that Ansari Abdullah, the division chief there, would be a candidate for the general election should he win. He also offered federal Cabinet positions to those who support him and ensure he becomes number two.
Manipulations in Sabah
In a surprising move, several divisions in Sabah had nominated Azmin for the closely watched deputy presidency contest despite the pervasive anti-Azmin sentiment in the state.
The PKR vice-president was forced to relinquish his post as the state party chief following a mutiny by several division leaders aligned to former vice-president Jeffrey Kitingan. Ansari was made the new state chief amid demands by local leaders that a native, and not a Malay, be made the Sabah PKR chief.
Sabah is also known to be a stronghold of supreme council member Zaid Ibrahim, the leading challenger to Azmin's deputy presidency quest.
The sudden turnabout by Sabah divisions to nominate Azmin could be attributed to manipulations, claimed Jenapala. Citing the Kudat and Silam divisional polls, the ex-PKR secretary-general claimed there were discrepancies that took place during polling.
"In Kudat, over 800 people turned up with incumbent Mursalim Tangul, most of whom had only temporary ICs and were identified as illegal immigrants. In Silam, incumbent Youth chief and his deputy Johan Nul's names could not be found on the membership list despite their nominations being accepted earlier.
"Johan was subsequently disqualified and he could not compete. The winner, Johani Abdul Halim, is a known Azmin supporter," alleged Jenapala.
There was also a recount at the Bandar Indera Mahkota and Raub divisional polls in Pahang, which he alleged was the interfering work of Azmin's camp. Candidates aligned to Zaid were initially announced as winners but a recount, after some members claimed they had yet to cast their votes, gave Azmin's candidates the win.
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Anwar and Azmin must confirm or openly deny
"I now want to challenge Anwar and Azmin to confirm or openly deny their involvement in the incidents I have highlighted," said Jenapala, who also alleged that a senior party leader had called a fellow Indian leader a "pariah" and demand to know if an apology had been made to the leader.
He also accused Dr Molly Cheah, the head of the party polls' ad hoc central election committee, of favouritism.
Asked if he has lodged a formal complaint to the election committee pertaining his allegations, Jenapala said he has yet to do so, claiming that he wants to gather more evidence first.
Party leaders however have questioned the validity of Jenapala's allegations and also on his membership in the party. They claimed that he has been dismissed from the party.
But Jenapala, who is the Ipoh Barat division chief, insisted that he was still a member and that the party has yet to prove the validity of his sacking.
"Up to the production of the current party's electoral roll, I was still listed as a member. Only when I announced my candidacy, did the claims of my dismissal were raised," he said.
Divisions from seven states have met over the weekend to elect divisional leaders with the rest holding theirs in three weeks.
Azmin is currently ahead of the pack with 39 nominations against Zaid's 15. Jenapala said he has received the minimum two nominations required to contest from Beruas and Ipoh Barat.
National party elections will take place in late October and early November where some 400,000 members will be directly voting for candidates vying for the party's 25 central posts, including the presidency and the deputy presidency.
Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, the president who has so far received 36 nominations, will not be challenged at the party polls.