KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 9 — The controversial Julau branch of PKR has more members than 30 other party branches in Sarawak combined, central committee member Latheefa Koya pointed out today.
Accusing the PKR political bureau of endorsing fraud with its decision to clear the Julau branch over allegations of phantom voters, she said this was just one of several red flags that should have merited a detailed investigation by the party.
The Julau branch’s membership inexplicably went from 603 people to 13,178 overnight and drew a surfeit of complaints, allegations and formal reports. Against this backdrop, PKR said it found nothing irregular.
“It is also astonishing that the PKR political bureau saw nothing unusual or alarming in the fact that the 30 other PKR divisions in Sarawak have only 9,691 members in total, whereas the single Julau division suddenly has 13,178 members.
“This should have rung alarm bells in the mind of any reasonable person,” Latheefa said in a statement today.
Among others, she said a survey found 1,310 people who reported that they were registered without consent while many others were not even reachable.
Yesterday, the Malaysiakini news portal also reported that over 11,000 purported members of the Julau PKR branch share just 11 addresses.
Latheefa asked the PKR political bureau today to explain the surfeit of complaints alleging false and doctored membership registrations in the Julau branch vis-à-vis its decision that there was no wrongdoing involved.
Among the victims were PDP assemblyman Rolland Duat and members of Parti Tenaga Rakyat Sarawak (Teras) who have all categorically denied ever joining PKR, she said.
PKR said yesterday that its political bureau was told by secretary-general Datuk Saifuddin Nasution Ismail that the membership roll was updated only after vetting by the bureau itself or the central election committee, but Latheefa said that even this was dubious.
She alleged that there were two versions of a circular issued by Saifuddin on the Julau branch’s membership, with one showing it had just 66 members and another stating that this was 13,178.
“What is the explanation for these two versions and what is the real number of members in Julau division?”
The PKR central committee member said the party cannot keep ignoring the mountain of evidence suggesting fraud and irregularities in Julau, especially as it is now part of the government as a member of Pakatan Harapan.
She also said the continued denial and deflection of such allegations serve to delegitimise the party’s decades-long pursuit of reforms.
“The way PKR’s election has been conducted is even worse than the way the BN-era EC (Election Commission) used to conduct elections.
“It will be a shameful mockery of the election process if the voting proceeds in Julau on Saturday; hence, the PKR political bureau must come to their senses and suspend voting in the division immediately,” she said.