AS Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) gets pummeled with a series of defections, it was hit with another blow today as its long-time vice president, Dr Xavier Jayakumar announces his departure from the party.
Explaining his decision, Jayakumar said that he had become frustrated with the recent turn of events.
“I have been with PKR since 1998. However, following the events which have unfolded in the past year, I have grown extremely frustrated.
“While there are parties discussing the possibility of elections, this not necessary and viable at this point. Therefore, I announce my immediate resignation as party vice president and member of PKR.
“I will continue to serve my constituency and support the Government as an independent MP, and I’m confident that I can fulfill my election promises to the people of Kuala Langat,” he said in a statement.
On Feb 28, two PKR MPs, Larry Sng and Steven Choong quit the party and signed Statutory Declarations (SD) to support Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin-led Perikatan (Perikatan) Nasional Government.
“Alhamdulillah, the support will strengthen the Perikatan Government in our effort to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and revitalise the economy,” Muhyiddin was reported saying then.
With Jayakumar’s support, Perikatan now has a three-seat majority at the Dewan Rakyat.
Elaborating on his decision, Jayakumar said that the current priority for everyone is to support the Government’s efforts to contain COVID-19, create jobs and revitalise the sluggish economy.
He added that such effort needs at least 18-months of support just to complete the mass vaccination programme, with another two years to rejuvenate the economy.
“And this needs bipartisan support, to make the sure all the Government’s efforts are fulfilled. For that, we need to work together, not against each other,” the Kuala Langat MP remarked.
Jayakumar served as the Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister during Pakatan Harapan’s short 22-month hold on the Federal Government.
On a related matter, FocusM was unable to reach PKR secretary general Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution for comments as of press time. – March 13, 2021.
Photo credit: Bernama