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The PKR feud and its implication on Malaysian politics

  • Anwar needs to fix such an imbalance through a party election in a bid to water down the confrontation. Photo courtesy: Sin Chew Daily

By TAY TIAN YAN
Sin Chew Daily

PKR's party election will be held in a few days' time, but many see it as merely a piece of gossip or social news.

Indeed, past PKR elections were characterized by protests, chair-throwing, fights...

But that was something in the past, and must indeed be so because the party is today the country's largest ruling party.

The upcoming PKR election comes much more important than what most people might think, as it will decide the candidate for the country's next prime minister or even for the next DPM, and could affect the structure of PKR as well as the future direction of Pakatan Harapan.

1. What is the significance of Anwar Ibrahim contesting the party presidency? Will he be challenged?

Anwar wants to be the next PM, and before he can do that, he must be elected the party president in order to lead the party legitimately.

The party presidency must ideally be free from challenges. This is to prevent unforeseen circumstances that may upend the PM succession plan and cause an internal split.

No one in the party has the ability to challenge Anwar for the time being, and indeed no one would want to do so, including Azmin Ali.

2. What about Azmin? Why is his attitude so ambiguous?

Azmin's close aide Zuraida Kamaruddin has claimed that Azmin might eye the presidency, which Azmin himself has not denied. As a matter of fact, this is part of the strategy of Azmin's camp.

Azmin plans to defend his deputy presidency and keep his ministerial position and future political career. In post-Mahathir era, PKR deputy presidency could translate into DPM post.

And DPM will be the natural heir to the PM post. So long as PH remains in power, Azmin will be Anwar's successor.

So, Azmin's best bet is not to challenge Anwar's position, just wait to inherit Anwar's political legacy.

To fulfill this goal, he must make sure his deputy presidency will not fall into the hands of Rafizi Ramli

3. Why is Rafizi so fervent about confronting Azmin and how big is his chance?

It is obvious that within the party Azmin and Rafizi are not in good terms. The difference is, Azmin gets the support of PM Mahathir, and Rafizi's has to bet on the deputy presidential race to seal his political future.

Rafizi's advantage lies with the support from new age members and leaders of the party, unlike Azmin whose support has been established through the "Reformasi" generation.

Besides, Rafizi gets the backing of the Anwar family, in particular Kak Wan and Nurul Izzah.

So, he is not completely hopeless.

4. Kak Wan's attitude

Kak Wan's primary mission is to book a seat for her husband, both in the party and government.

She will retreat as soon as Anwar gets elected party president and PM. Anyway, neither the party nor the government is a family business. Moreover, she must also give her daughter Nurul Izzah some space to advance her political career.

Of course, if Anwar has a health problem, or if he is being checked by Mahathir/Daim, then she cannot back off just that.

Kak wan's secondary mission is to bring up Rafizi and Nurul for family interest. If her 2-decade conflicts with Azmin could not be settled now, it will be much more difficult to do so in the future.

5. The PKR election will dictate the power distribution of Anwar family and Azmin's camp, both mutually dependent.

And now, Anwar needs Azmin to help maintain his relationship with Mahathir although he is also worried a too intimate Mahathir-Azmin relationship will threaten his position.

After GE14, Azmin and his people have been brought into Mahathir's cabinet, tipping the delicate balance between the two rival factions within PKR while triggering a great deal of grumbling.

Anwar needs to fix such an imbalance through a party election in a bid to water down the confrontation.

After he becomes president, Anwar will have to renegotiate with Mahathir on a new platform and not to allow the power to tilt towards Mahathir/Daim.

In the meantime, Anwar must also come to terms with the rise of Azmin, and must learn to live peacefully with him. He must allow Azmin to assist him and not to confront Azmin.

 

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