Friday, September 24, 2010

Undercurrent in PKR Bayan Baru

Zahrain Mohd. Hashim may have quit Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) but his influence still runs deep and wide within the party. As an Independent Member of Parliament for Bayan Baru, he allegedly has a vested interest in the ongoing PKR party elections especially in the Bayan Baru and Bukit Gelugor divisions.

Jurinah bt. Hassan, a contestant from Bukit Gelugor was allegedly asked to withdraw from contesting in the PKR election, and subsequently to resign from PKR altogether. She was branded as a traitor to Zahrain by Ismail Ali, personal assistant of Zahrain.

The Bayan Baru division election is touted to be the second most important division election after Permatang Pauh. During the 2008 General Elections, PKR Bayan Baru had won all three state seats and one parliamentary seat it contested.

Jurinah the traitor?

Jurinah, or Kak Inah, is also the chairperson of Single Mother’s Association of Daerah Timur Laut, Penang. According to her, she had bumped into Jamil Mohd. Nor and his wife Fauziah Mahadi at Rope Walk while having breakfast one morning. She said that Jamil had asked her to contact Zahrain if she needed financial assistance to aid the Single Mother’s Association.

“I spoke to Zahrain on the understanding that this contribution was for the Single Mother’s Association and has nothing to do with politics. We accepted the donation in the capacity of the association and had used the association’s letterhead for all communications”, claimed Jurinah.

Upon her announcement to rally behind Raveentharan, she received an sms from Ismail Ali accusing her as a traitor and threatening her to expose her pictures taken with Zahrain during the presentation of gifts to the single mothers.

She also claimed that Ismail asked her ‘kenapa nak sokong orang India itu?’ (translated as: why would you want to support that Indian?).

However, Jurinah reaffirms her loyalty to PKR and Raveentharan.

“They can publish the pictures if they want to. I will not back out and will not withdraw”, she said with conviction.

Bukit Gelugor division

Incumbent for head of Bukit Gelugor division is Raveentharan A/L V.Subramaniam. His lineup for the party election includes Johan Johari as deputy chairman; Cheah Peng Guan as vice chairman; Muhammed Annaruddin bin Akbar Ali as youth chief; and Jurinah binti Hassan as women’s chief.

Lim Boo Chang spearheads the other team with Roslan bin Ramansiah as deputy chairman; and Asokan A/L Kannan as vice chairman. Other names have not been announced.

“Birds of a feather flock together”, said Raveentharan. “However, we will not give up without a fight”, he continued.

To date, Raveentharan has received several notices of defamation from Lim. This is with regards to a police report which was made against Lim in reference to a Raya open house gang fight which broke out at Hamna, Sg. Dua. Police were there to ease the tension by firing a warning shot. It is claimed that playing cards and some beer bottles were found in the premises.

Bayan Baru division

Two opposing teams will be contesting to head the Bayan Baru division this Saturday at the Silver Jubilee hall in Sungai Dua. `Team Reformis’ is headed by Sim Tze Tzin; and `Team Rakyat’ by M.Ngnana Sagaran.

Sim Tze Tzin, has a clean record and is a tested candidate; and currently the state assemblyman for Pantai Jerejak. His line-up includes Hj Mohd Rashid Hasnon as his deputy chairman; Zainuddin Hanif as his vice chairman; Azriral Tahir as youth chief; and Kak Pah as women’s chief.

M.Ngnana Sagaran on the other hand was initially from MIC then hopped to Gerakan, and then hopped back to MIC. His last held position was as the division head of MIC Bayan Baru. After the 12th general election, he again hopped over, this time to PKR Bayan Baru division and was appointed by Zahrain to be the vice-chairman for the division and also the assistant state secretary. His line-up includes Sallehuddin bin PDK Abdullah for deputy chairman; Swee Tuck Wah for vice chairman ; Hazril bin Hassan as youth chief; and Safinas binti Salleh as women’s chief. Seven of his committee members are ex-MIC members.

Sources from the Bayan Baru division office reveal that M.Ngnana Sagaran, Anuar Ismail amd Jamil Mohd. Nor frequently meet up with Ismail Ali at the Bayan Baru Old Town CafĂ©. Ismail Ali is the special assistant to Zahrain. Anuar Ismail will be contesting as a committee member in M.Ngnana Sagaran’s camp; whereas Jamil, frequently known as JJ6 (Jamil Jari 6) mediates between parties.

In the run-up to the division election day which is just two days away, this heated contest is worrying to Sim as M.Ngnana Sagaran may have the upper hand considering that he has managed to register 3500 Indians as PKR Bayan Baru member since joining in 2008.

“We may lose by between 50-100 votes if party members do not fully come out to support us”, quipped Sim Tze Tzin.
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