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Independents “no ties with PKR”

PETALING JAYA, 1 April 2009: Two independents in the Bukit Selambau by-election who were previously connected with Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) no longer have any ties with the party, Dr Syed Husin Ali said.

The PKR deputy president said that Md Radzi Md Lazim and A Jayagopal, both former PKR division chiefs, are no longer party members.

“(Md Radzi) was sacked from PKR following his statements in the media disparaging the party, and the declaration that he had left the party,” Syed Husin said in a press statement today.

The Baling PKR division, which Md Radzi headed, was dissolved in 2007. Md Radzi, who resigned, alleged that the party’s top leaders were sidelining those at the divisional level.

“He then tried to apply to become a new member (with PKR), but his application was rejected. It is clear that he is not a PKR member,” Syed Husin said.

Md Radzi, also a former Umno member, previously revealed that he joined PKR without formally informing Umno that he quit the party.

As for A Jayagopal, Syed Husin explained that Jayagopal’s decision to run in the by-election as an independent had automatically severed his ties with the party.

“Because he is now running against the official PKR candidate (S Manikumar), in accordance with a regulation put in place by the party this year, his membership with the party has been terminated,” Syed Husin said.

“So, he now has no connection with PKR,” Syed Husin added.

Jayagopal has been suspended from PKR since last year, as the party disciplinary committee was investigating several cases implicating him.

Md Radzi, whose symbol for the polls is a chair, and A Jayagopal (symbol: umbrella) are among 13 independent candidates running in the Bukit Selambau by-election.

Three of these independents have already indicated their willingness to withdraw. The rest will continue to contest with Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate Datuk S Ganesan and PKR’s Manikumar for the state seat in Kedah.

The 7 April by-election is being held because the incumbent assemblyperson V Arumugam, an-independent-candidate-turned-PKR-member, quit on 8 Feb citing pressure and threats to cross over to the BN.

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