Another joins the PKR Deputy President race

Posted on September 17, 2010

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Former PKR Deputy Sec-Gen Jenapala a/l Perumal Subaan announced today that he would be contesting for the position of PKR Deputy President in the forthcoming party elections.

In his press statement released today, which I reproduce below, he advances 4 reasons for contesting.

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Some time back, I made the decision to resign from the post of Deputy Secretary General of PKR due to the personal financial difficulties I was experiencing.

I am a working class Malaysian and today I would like to announce my candidacy for the post of Deputy President of PKR in the upcoming party elections.

My decision to contest is based on four clear objectives as follow:

(1) Fair representation and respect for the Indian Community within PKR.

Our party membership data shows us that approximately 40% of PKR membership is made up of Indians. Yet we remain under-represented in this party. Some members have also questioned if Indians are even treated with dignity to begin with.

Some time back there emerged a story of an incident where a well-known senior PKR leader openly called an Indian leader “pariah”. If this is indeed true, this sort of disrespectful name-calling goes against all that the party stands for. I believe that as a party, PKR stands for respect for one another, regardless of who we are.

(2) Test the democratic process in PKR – does it truly exist?

In regards to my candidacy for the post of Deputy President of PKR, I want to know if this free and fair election is indeed for all or just a select few. I want to know if the rest of us who offer ourselves as leaders will be labelled saboteurs or enemies from within for choosing to take this path.

(3) Re-affirm PKR as a plural, multi-racial party.

In the beginning PKR was seen as the new frontier, or symbol if you like, for multi-racialism in Malaysia. Today it feels more like a party that promotes ‘ketuanan Melayu terpilih’ or in other words, a party for and of a few chosen Malays.

(4) PKR must return to the people, to the grassroots members.

PKR must return to being a party of the people. After all, it was the people who supported us during the country’s last general elections. Yet sadly today there is widespread frustration among party members at the way current party leaders are running PKR.

I have a deep respect for Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim but this is not Anwar Ibrahim’s personal party, nor of a few super MPs trying to be power barons. This is a party for all Malaysians. This is what the party promised us prior to March 2008 when Datuk Seri Anwar called on all Malaysians irrespective of race, colour or creed to join PKR in the fight for justice and a better Malaysia. To me, it seems that this promise has been left largely unfulfilled.

These are the four objectives upon which I shall base my campaign.

Having said that, I am prepared for the mud slinging and slander that will most surely follow this announcement. For the record my financial problems are almost all resolved. As such it is my sincere hope that the leaders of PKR respect the right of every individual party member to contest in the upcoming elections without resorting to smear campaigns.

Before I close, I would like to once again announce my candidacy for the post of Deputy President of Parti Keadilan Rakyat. I thank you all for your presence here today.

Jenapala a/l Perumal Subaan

Former Deputy Secretary General of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR)