SUNGAI PETANI, 30 Mar 2009: Jerai Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) chief B Kalaivanar announced today he was quitting the party and that he has applied to dissolve the entire Jerai division.
He said he had consulted the division and there was an overwhelming loss of confidence in what PKR stood for.
“At one time the Reformasi movement dubbed (former Prime Minister Tun Dr) Mahathir (Mohamad) the ‘firaun’ (pharaoh), but now we can see that (PKR adviser Datuk Seri) Anwar (Ibrahim) is also a pharaoh and a dictator,” he said.
Kalaivanar He was, however, unable to provide concrete incidents and examples of how Anwar had been a dictator.
Kalaivanar said he was motivated by a desire to defend true democracy, and would still go on campaigning during the Bukit Selambau by-election.
But when asked who he would be campaigning for, he said, “It will not be the PKR candidate, and it will not be any of the independent candidates.”
That would leave only the Barisan Nasional candidate, Datuk S Ganesan, left to campaign for.
Although Kalaivanar said he would start campaigning today, he did not reveal to reporters where and when he would start his campaigning activities.
Kalaivanar accused PKR of manipulating the sentiments of Indian Malaysians to support the party without ever having done anything concrete to help the community.
He also claimed that PKR was every bit as undemocratic as it accused the Barisan Nasional (BN) of being.
“Since 2004, there have not been any elections to appoint office bearers at the state level, for example for state information chief,” he said.
“There have also been no Chinese [Malaysian] or Indian [Malaysian] deputies at the state level of leadership,” he said.
Kalaivanar claimed that PKR itself was guilty of fanning racial sentiments, and playing to different racial galleries when it was expedient for the party.
He also claimed that the governing coalition in Kedah did not uphold Pakatan Rakyat (PR) as a coalition.
“The state government always refers to and regards itself as the PAS government, not the PR government,” he said.
He also accused PR of indulging in excesses and cronyism as well, claiming that there were contracts and government-linked companies now in PKR’s pocket.
When asked for proof of his claims, however, he was unable to provide any, saying instead: “I’m not delving into details today. Today, I just want to announce my quitting the party.”
When asked also if his decision to quit had anything to do with PKR fielding S Manikumar as its candidate in Bukit Selambau, he said, “I don’t want to comment on that. I don’t know him that well anyway.”
Kalaivanar was also asked the reason why he chose to announce his decision during the by-election campaigning period.
“I will reveal my reasons tomorrow, step by step. I am not looking for cheap publicity, because I am a seasoned politician,” the 45-year-old said.
Kalaivanar said he would not be crossing over to or joining any other political party.
He said he would concentrate instead on his two NGOs — the Malaysian Indian Efficiency Movement and the Alternative Action Team — to become pressure groups on social issues.
“I agree with the approach taken by Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye. When he found that he could no longer work with the opposition parties, he started working in the NGO sector,” he said.
Kalaivanar was accompanied by around 30 supporters at his press conference.
He also announced the resignations from PKR of five village council heads — R Vijayan, M Latha, Low Hwa Weng, S Vasudevan, and N Sanggkar — and the resignation of Kedah PKR Wanita deputy chief and Jerai Wanita chief K Deivanai.
Bakar Arang village council head R Vijayan taking off his PKR party shirt. “I am sick of the party,” he said
At the closing of the press conference, Kalaivanar and his supporters also raised their fists, coining several new slogans including “Makkal Poratham” (people’s struggle).
After the press conference, Kalaivanar was spotted by reporters shaking hands with newly elected Umno deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin at the Cinta Sayang Resort here.
Asked about Kalaivanar’s announcement at another event, PKR information chief Tian Chua said Kalaivanar’s move showed he no longer supported PKR’s struggle to uphold justice and multiracialism, Merdeka Review reported.
Chua also noted that the Jerai division would not dissolve just because of Kalaivanar’s resignation from the party.