SUNGAI PETANI, 31 Mar 2009: The dramatic departure of B Kalaivanar from Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) is no loss to the party, supreme council member Dr A Xavier Jayakumar said.
“Good luck to Kalaivanar, and good luck to Umno and the Barisan Nasional (BN) now that they have Kalaivanar on their side,” he said today at a PKR press conference.
Xavier Asked whether the former Jerai PKR chief quit the party because he was not selected as PKR’s candidate to contest in Bukit Selambau, Xavier said, “If he’s disappointed that’s his business, not ours.”
Xavier said that party members should acquiesce and support whomever the party chose to field in an elections.
He also doubted that any other local PKR leader would be following in Kalaivanar’s footsteps, or that Kalaivanar’s decision would affect support for the party.
“Kalaivanar is from the Jerai division, not from Bukit Selambau. We’ve met with the local Indian [Malaysian] community, and their support for us is unaffected by his decision,” said Xavier.
He also questioned Kalaivanar’s timing in announcing his decision to quit the party during the Bukit Selambau by-election campaigning period.
“He has been contributing for a long time to the party, and was one of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s strong supporters, and there was no problem all this while, so why quit now?” said Xavier.
Xavier also said that Kalaivanar had no power to dissolve the Jerai PKR division.
“That is a decision for the party’s secretary-general to make,” he said.
He also challenged Kalaivanar to prove that 500 other Kedah PKR members had left the party, as some reports have stated.
“I only saw 20 supporters at his press conference, not 500,” said Xavier.
Xavier, however, said that he respected Kalaivanar’s, or any other member’s, right to quit the party.