SHAH ALAM: Minister of Works and PKR Head of Sarawak, Baru Bian (Pic) was one of the party's leaders who was visibly absent during the three-day PKR National Congress without any reason, says new chairman Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
He said he did not know why Baru was absent.
"Baru Bian, I do not know, did not give a reason, that's why I invoked this behavior in my speech," Anwar said in a press conference after the Congress ended on Sunday (November 18th).
Two other party leaders and ministers – Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah and Minister of Waters, Land and Natural Resources Dr Xavier Jayakumar – were also absent from Congress but had official duties abroad.
"Saifuddin is with the Prime Minister's entourage in Papua New Guinea (for the Apec Summit), while Xavier leads an international delegation (in Egypt)," Anwar said.
Anwar, who is also Deputy Port Dickson, drew attention to the position of PKR's de facto leader (Ketua Umum).
"The position was never in the constitution of the party and it was just a resolution.
"Now we have the Party Consultative Council, chaired by Datuk Seri Dr. Wan Azizah Wan Ismail," Anwar said, but he did not elaborate this position.
Anwar has assumed the role of de facto PKR leader for more than 10 years, dating back to early 2008.
When asked about the ratification of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD), Anwar said the government should ensure the Malays are not losing their special position and the position of the Malay and Malay leaders to be undermined.
"People want to know that their rights are protected as they are enshrined in the Constitution," Anwar said.
He hit PAS and Umno, which he said exploits the ICERD issue to create the impression that the position in Malay would be compromised.
"It is purely hypocritical that they should play the problem of the rights of malay minors when they condemned the excesses of the past, scattering billions of hearts in 1MDB funds," Anwar said, while also pointing to faulty management of Felda and other agencies during the era of Barisan Nasional.
The party, he said during the press conference, must also switch from the Julau PKR controversy.
During his speech at the congress he promised that the PKR and its members would cooperate with bodies such as the police, Malaysia anti-corruption commission and Malaysia's communications and multimedia commission investigating alleged mistakes in recent party elections.