Former PKR No 2 Syed Husin Ali said today PKR renegade Ezam Mohd Noor was attempting to throw up a smokescreen over the issue of his motive for quitting the party.
Syed Husin, in his memoirs launched last Wednesday, revealed that the former PKR Youth chief had resigned from the party for monetary gain.
In a swift response, Ezam admitted he was broke at the time he quit PKR but had not done so from pecuniary gain.
Further, he claimed, Syed Husin had in frequent chats with Ezam at a favourite restaurant in Petaling Jaya criticised Anwar and Azmin for what he perceived as their lavish lifestyles.
“In general, I criticise any and everybody who offends against the unspoken rule against ostentation in their lifestyles,” said Syed Husin in remarks made to Malaysiakini.
“We are fighting for the have-nots in Malaysian society; it requires we be modest in our lifestyles,” parried Syed Husin in reply to what he claimed was Ezam’s attempt to divert from the main issue of the motive behind his departure from PKR.
Ezam claimed the main reason for his leaving was his dim view of the leadership of Anwar Ibrahim.
Syed Husin expanded: “I know this is coming down to a ‘I said, he said’ sort of thing but if you look at page 157 of my book, you will find that Hishamuddin Rais says in a letter that he wouldn’t be surprised if Ezam leaves PKR. That letter was written in 2002.”
Ezam left PKR in 2007.
“In the same breath that Ezam told me he was a kept man, reliant on his wife for his maintenance, he said he needed to get onto the boards of some companies,” said Syed Husin.
Resignation letter sent to S'gor PKR
“He did not send his letter of resignation from PKR to the party’s secretary-general but instead sent it to the party’s Selangor chapter secretary.
“He was too embarrassed to send it to the proper authority, so he chose a diversionary tactic, sending it instead to the Selangor secretary.
“He said he needed to show proof that he had indeed quit PKR to the people who would then recommend him to become a board member in some companies.
“He chose an indirect channel rather than a direct one to announce that he was quitting and that, to me, showed his embarrassment over the whole matter,” said Syed Husin.
The issue of politicians repudiating the party of their initial - or in Ezam’s case - newfangled allegiance (he was from Umno before he enlisted with PKR, and now is back to his original confession) is a highly vexed question in Malaysian politics.
It has led to the downfall of state governments, in Sabah in 1995 and in Perak in 2009, causing huge dismay among voters and party supporters.
Syed Husin Ali, whose memoirs ‘Perjuangan Politik’, launched earlier this week, dwells on this topic, is equipped to talk on the issue because his career has been singularly free of the malady.