Thursday, June 6, 2013
New Details of PKR’s Internal Schisms Revealed
PKR grassroots and division leaders, understandably upset about a poorly-run general election campaign and PKR's subsequent net seat loss – including the loss of so-called 'safe' seats – have begun leaking details of PKR's shambolic approach to everything from candidate selection to internal party management to campaigning.
It is not a pretty picture.
The Choice reported yesterday, PKR division leaders and grassroots have run to Free Malaysia Today as the web portal of choice to air their grievances, likely because of The Malaysian Insider's strong pro-PKR bias and Malaysiakini's aversion to negative coverage of Opposition leaders. And so FMT has broken more news of grassroots discontent – and worse for Anwar – one of the greatest strikes possible against his potential leadership of anything more than a holiday outing.
"PKR has internal problems in every state, but these are especially serious in Kedah, Perak, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang and Terengganu," a source told the web portal, explaining that this infighting dates back to 2008, and has gone unchecked by party leadership.
According to the sources who spoke to FMT, Anwar "often told grassroots leaders not to bother him with issues that could be resolved at the local levels."
"I agree to that 100 per cent," said a divisional leader. "Problems in the divisions should be settled at state level. But then, how do we do that when the state leaders themselves are squabbling?"
This was obviously the case in Selangor, one of the half-dozen states in which the infighting was "especially serious" and where battles between Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim, party president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and deputy president Azmin Ali raged in the years before GE13.
Yet it now appears that this situation had spread to fully half the states.
The indictment against PKR's leadership is damning. Anwar, it has been alleged, was so intent on capturing Putrajaya, rewarding his cronies and appearing at ceramahs, that basic leadership was neglected. The party's nominal president Wan Azizah is nowhere to be heard in this story. Azmin is judged an incompetent who damaged PKR in Selangor. The party's secretary-general fouled a safe seat.
And the grassroots are livid, and willing to talk.
It is hard to imagine Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak allowing this sort of mess to fester in Umno or Barisan Nasional; that is perhaps why it has been reported that the grassroots are coalescing around him and mooting to simply have an uncontested Presidency this year at the Umno General Assembly.
It would rankle Anwar to hear this, but yet again, he could do worse than to learn from Najib.
It will be interesting to see what comes next for PKR's dirty linen airing – and it is now certain that there will be more.