Bureau leaders endorsed 13,000 Julau members, says Saifuddin

GEORGE TOWN: The 13,000 new members from the PKR Julau division in Sarawak were endorsed by the party's political bureau. Most of the bureau leaders are now questioning the validity of the membership process.

PKR secretary-general Datuk Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said he didn't have the power to make any decision on the membership process, which is in the bureau that meets weekly on the matter.

“My job is just to issue circulars on the decisions reached by the political bureau besides administrative matters,” Saifuddin, who is also the Domestic Trade, Consumerism and Cooperatives Minister, said after visiting the SK Sungai Nibong school here.

According to him, PKR witnessed a surge in party membership after the historic general election victory on May 9.

Previously, the membership was fixed at 560,000 before it shot up to 960,000 by June as some 400,000 people decided to join the party following its impressive performance in the election.

People were also drawn to the party after its founder Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was released from his prison.

“But there were protests over some members and after a screening process. It went down to 842,000, which is now the current number,” said Saifuddin.

Saifuddin said that most of the contestants in the ongoing party election were members of the political bureau so they shouldn't turn a blind eye to what they had accepted earlier.

He said the Julau division was helmed by Larry Sng, who joined PKR in June, after contesting as an Independent in the last election.

“Subsequently, he decided to bring in all of his supporters.”

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In Julau, most of the residences are longhouses unlike in the peninsular where PKR members usually live in housing estates and villages as well as high rise units.

Hence, Saifuddin said there was a surge in membership.