Pakatan Rakyat Row Hots Up: Meeting to delve into party row

KUALA LUMPUR: Parti Keadilan Rakyat will hold a meeting on Dec 31 to resolve public disputes between its leaders and elected representatives in Selangor.

The meeting will seek to investigate the threat by Kapar MP and PKR supreme council member S. Manikavasagam to quit the party over his unhappiness with Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim's administration.

The DAP is also investigating reports of a tiff between the Selangor State Assembly Speaker Teng Chang Khim and Klang MP Charles Santiago.

"We are looking into it," said DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang, when contacted.

He, however, refused to comment when asked whether the party had issued a plea for its leaders and rank-and-file to not speak out on the issue.
Teng had allegedly accused Santiago of being bought over by the Barisan Nasional when the latter raised concerns over the plan to move transport operators to the new Klang Sentral bus terminal.

In response to Manikavasa- gam's accusations, Khalid's political secretary Nik Nadzmi Nik Ahmad claimed that the Selangor administration had introduced several people-centric policies in the nine months it has been in power.

"If Khalid had been an aloof corporate figure, there would be no free water or senior citizens' insurance scheme," Nik Nadzmi, who is also Sri Setia assemblyman said.

The bus terminal project was carried over from the previous BN administration, Nik Nadzmi said, and the justification for it has been repeatedly explained to those affected.

"While the project is a legacy of the previous administration we should have some continuity when it comes to policy," Nik Nadzmi said.

Party insiders opined that the disputes rose from the financial and legal limitations faced by the Selangor administration in trying to live up to its promises and the contending demands of a public who expect miracles from it.

The friction was exacerbated when those demands were forwarded by first-time MPs who themselves were pressured by their constituents.

Manikavasagam's complaint of limited funds also made his job of servicing his voters all the more difficult since many still look to a wakil rakyat for financial aid.

A former MP who declined to be identified revealed how his poorer constituents had often approached him for help to pay for their electricity bills and to ask for grocery money.

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