Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Azmin and Democracy Are the Big Losers in PKR's Selangor Debacle

After more than a week of speculation and infighting, Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim was sworn in as Menteri Besar of Selangor Tuesday. He was endorsed by the DAP, PAS and PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.

It was a happy day for Khalid. It was an unhappy day for the former head of his exco and party deputy president Azmin Ali, and for democracy in Pakatan Rakyat. And it was a damning day for Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Mere days ago, Azmin held a press conference pointedly declining to endorse Khalid and decrying "nepotism" and a lack of democracy inside PKR after Wan Azizah had sent a letter to the Sultan endorsing Khalid for the job. He was particularly perturbed that the letter had been sent without consultation of the PKR Selangor assemblymen, who traditionally vote on their choice.

After some non-committal noises from Anwar about consensus, Azmin publicly backtracked, endorsing the Sultan's right to decide on his MB and even Khalid. It is rumoured that Anwar took his wayward lieutenant to task behind closed doors.

So ironically, while Anwar is on his nationwide protest tour calling Malaysia's democracy fraudulent, his party has once again put aside democracy when it is inconvenient in order to quell the latest round of the PKR civil war.

After PKR's leadership trampled on the democratic principles they claim to honour, the most recent, tawdry Pakatan embarrassment has temporarily ended, and Selangor finally has its MB just over a week after the election.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has called this hypocrisy. He is correct.
But this has always been Anwar's way. The self-styled Voice of Democracy has for years decried Malaysia as repressive and un-democratic (invariably after he loses an election). But in party politics, he has never been terribly interested in practising what he preaches.

From the election for deputy president of Umno in 1993 where credible allegations of vote-buying were rampant and in which Tun Ghafar Baba was shoved aside for Anwar, to the infamous 2010 PKR party elections that saw more credible allegations of vote rigging and vote buying (and the subsequent protest departure of Datuk Zaid Ibrahim), Anwar has shown no interest in consensus and democracy in his political party of the day.

This time, the victim is poor Azmin, who has been Anwar's faithful aide for over two decades. Azmin has made a poor secret of his desire for Khalid's job, and given Khalid's lacklustre administration in his first term, clearly believed he would have it.

But neither Azmin's loyalty, nor Khalid's relative ineptness as MB nor the principles of democratic consensus Anwar claims to hold dear mattered when it came time to apply power politics. Khalid – often Anwar's party adversary – is now beholden to him, and Azmin looks the fool.

Do not expect this to come up at Anwar's next rally. After all, there, he will only speak of democracy.


Anonymous said...

Well written! and if only PKR people could open a little bit of their concrtized thinking which has led to the arrest of good thinking among them!

Anonymous said...

Khalid , Rafizi and many others are from the old school..the elite MCKK where boys were taught to consume liquor, smoke and also playing truant..then also play other boys backsides esp the jambu ones.Azmin didn't go to MCKK so sorry lah
Today we see three Khalids in the news..Khalid Abu Bakar the new IGP, Khalid Nordin the new Johor MB and Khalid Ibrahim aka Kalid the gagap (stammer)Wish the first two Khalids good luck and Congratulations.But for the last Khalid..I don't wish him well.I only want to wish him to solve the water woes, stop yr plans to give the water supply treatment contract to Chinese Spore and DAP linked company . Plse solve the water woes so that we don't have to carry water up the staircase..its hurting my back!!!