KUALA LUMPUR — Feb. 24, 2020: PKR has sacked its deputy president Datuk Seri Azmin Ali and a vice-president, Zuraida Kamaruddin, creating further problems for the ruling Pakatan Harapan coalition.
Further damage to the coalition followed the same day, when the two and nine other MPs announced they were leaving the party to form an independent bloc in Parliament, which will reconvene for its next session beginning March 9.
Party secretary-general Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail announced the decision on Azmin and Zuraida after a special meeting of the central leadership council.
Saifuddin said the decision was based on consensus by taking into account the latest political development, including their meeting with opposition MPs yesterday, with the council agreeing that there was a display of open betrayal and in conflict with the position of the party concerning the position of the next prime minister.
Azmin, the Gombak MP, and the other 10 MPs announced thir decision also this afternoon. Apart from Zuraida (Ampang), the others are Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah (Indera Mahkota), Baru Bian (Selangau), Datuk Kamaruddin Ja’afar ( Bandar Tun Razak), Datuk Mansor Othman (Nibong Tebal), Datuk Rashid Hasnon (Batu Pahat), Datuk Seri Dr. Santhara Kumar (Segamat), Ali Biju (Saratok), Willie Mongin (Puncak Borneo) and Jonathan Yasin (Ranau).
Apart from putting more pressure on Pakatan following the decision of Pribumi Bersatu to also desert the coalition, this move by the 11 MPs will also have a material effect on the federal Cabinet since four of the 11 are ministers.
The person who assumes the prime minister later will have a tough time deciding whether or not to retain the MPs in the Cabinet or look for replacements, something that is going to be tough considering that there are not many good choices available.