PKR’s drama needs to stop

PKR’s continuous drama is beginning to get tiresome for the ordinary people

pic by BERNAMA

THREE political parties held their assemblies over the weekend, but the one that was certainly “dramapacked” and stole all the attention for the wrong reason must be PKR Congress.

From street brawls to endless squabbling and “unwarranted statements” from party leaders, PKR’s continuous drama is like a gift that keeps giving to an extent that it is beginning to get tiresome for the ordinary people.

The bad news from PKR Congress began with reported fistfights that broke out during the party’s youth meeting, where supporters of one faction allegedly threw stones at their rivals.

The hostilities between two camps in PKR — despite denials by party leaders that any divide existed — intensified when deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali (picture; left) walked out of the congress hall during president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s (right) speech.

Azmin’s move indicated that the truce between him and Anwar — as portrayed in convivial pictures that earlier went viral on the Internet pre-Congress day — had effectively ended.

Azmin took out his frustrations in a press conference, claiming that Anwar had broken his promises on several agreed matters which, among others, included that speakers were not allowed to mock or attack any party.

According to reports, Azmin said by using a classic Malay tale of Si Kitol and Raja Mendeliar in his speech, Anwar had provided ammo for PKR members to attack each other and disrupt unity.

In response, Anwar said the Si Kitol’s tale is merely a part of The Malay Annals.

“It is a historical fact,” he said.

It is interesting to note that neither Anwar nor Azmin had attempted to portray a united front for PKR this time around.

Their rift — believed to have originated after the infamous Kajang Move in 2014 — worsened after Anwar’s release from prison last year.

It was said that Azmin had betrayed the party by obtaining support from PAS leaders to have him installed as the Selangor mentri besar, as opposed to Anwar, resulting in the situation PKR is in now.

It is an open secret that PKR is run by two major factions, one called Istana Segambut — basically a group of Anwar loyalists and the Kartel group, which majority is of Azmin’s supporters.

To be fair, it is common for any political party to have different factions.

Let’s not pretend otherwise, but none is as messy as PKR’s.

For the past few years, both group or camp have managed to keep its house in order under Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail’s leadership.

So, the most pertinent question is — why can’t they do the same now?

Detractors have repeatedly argued that this is what happens when a party, that was “born in the street”, has no clear direction or principles of what it wants to achieve, except making Anwar the nation’s prime minister (PM).

When Anwar’s camp labelled those who do not support the president as the nation’s future PM as traitors, Azmin’s supporters responded that PKR was not founded by principles to make someone a PM.

The party was born as a multiracial organisation that represents all, celebrates freedom of speech, democratic principles and ideals of reformation and justice for all.

After more than 20 years of establishment, PKR has grown tremendously in strength and in its efforts to bring about all of its principles to shape Malaysia.

The fact is, Pakatan Harapan (PH) would have not won the 14th General Election if PKR is not a part of the coalition.

There will be no PH government if the party did not allow its logo to be used by PH candidates. One can argue that without PKR, and its journey of reformasi, Malaysians might not be able to topple the “kleptocratic government” last year.

Still, PKR needs to be reminded that the people who voted for PH on May 9, 2018, did not brace the midweek polling day, the long hours of waiting to vote, only to see its representatives behaving in an unbecoming manner, worse when they are a part of the government. This is not what they signed up for.

The time is nigh for PKR to look back at its own principles and ideals, to be reminded of what they are actually fighting for.

If it fails to put the nation’s interest above its own, the people might one day decide that they’ve had enough and there will be nothing that PKR can do about it.

Azreen Hani is the online news editor of The Malaysian Reserve.