A civil war imminent for PKR?By Hafidz Baharom
May 23, 2016 8:00 AM
News has now leaked that PKR’s own heralded whistleblower and secretary general Rafizi Ramli is about to expose graft within their own stronghold of Selangor headed by Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Azmin Ali. Apparently, there have now been allegations that demands of cash and women when dealing with the state government.
At the same time, jailed PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has sent out a letter from prison calling the Citizen’s Declaration “flawed and inconsistent” with his idea of reform – for those who may not recall, PKR’s Azmin and Rafizi both signed the document.
Of course, apparently the letter is now said to have been a “private matter” or an internal one for PKR, even if it involved a declaration that involved every opposition party, a few non-government organisations and even some members from across the political aisle.
At the same time, the declaration has now garnered over a million signatories, right before the letter from Anwar was leaked. Perhaps there is a correlation between the two, perhaps not.
PKR President Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail had not signed the document, argued by Rafizi to the media as a “safety valve”, just in case the party suddenly found itself no longer supporting the declaration.
Thus, it needs to be asked; is a civil war brewing between factions within the PKR?
At the same time, there are intra-party issues after what happened between the party and allies DAP in Sarawak which may or may not blow over.
But let’s be frank, the Pakatan Harapan no longer has a leader that could guarantee party unity, which was perhaps why some people went to the Citizen’s Declaration launch with placards asking Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed to be made interim Opposition de facto leader.
There would be too much strife between DAP and PKR, internal politicking within the latter as well as the total lack of recognition for Parti Amanah Negara’s ability to rally the Muslim vote.
However, if a PKR civil war is true and happening, then there truly is a very likely chance that the Opposition will see itself too fractured to get themselves united towards the common goal of forming a proper functioning shadow cabinet, or even winning a general election in the next two years for that matter.
With all that is happening these days – from floods being dealt with ad hoc policies, national audit reports detailing continued leakages from government agencies and more recently, the blocking of anyone who has been critical of the government to leave the nation – one would have expected some suitable reaction by a united opposition calling for better governance.
Unfortunately, we will be stuck between a rock and a hard place, between a rather impertinent government and an Opposition which is unable to coalesce into finally becoming a single entity which would have a chance to run Putrajaya in give or take the next decade.
Chances are, the impertinent one will live on for another two elections simply because the Opposition is stuck in a see-saw of politics – they are unable to control themselves from spiralling out of control whenever they get too close to power.
You could call it arrogance, a total lack of ability in gelling together or just the fact that each and every individual political party within Pakatan Harapan believes at one point or another that sharing power without the ability to rule by a defining majority would be unacceptable.
So, where do we go from here? Can we still expect a united opposition simply for the fact to take over Putrajaya, regardless of how united they are in the past and the future?
Can we simply settle with them for the simple fact that we want to get rid of Umno and Barisan Nasional, regardless of how they run the Federal Government, even if it includes alleged blatant demands of cash and women with the hypocritical call of ending corruption?
I think the Malaysian public should know exactly what they are voting for thoroughly.
The new Pakatan Harapan seems set to repeat the very same mistakes that took place in the last general election, though this time the coalition cannot blame it on PAS.
Reported in the news over the weekend, both DAP and PKR are expecting to clash against one another in five state seats come May 7 — Tasik Biru, Mambong, Simanggang, Bukit Semuja and Mulu.
Adding to this, the PKR is avoiding any seats contested by PAS, the very member it kicked out of Pakatan Harapan to favour Amanah.
Thus, the first question to raise is simply what is going on?
Does the PKR still have ties with PAS that it will not deny, much to the criticism of its allies in the new alliance? This question has been raised before with the continuing members of the Islamist party still serving as part of the Selangor government.
Secondly, why are PKR and DAP contesting against one another?
While it is true that both Sabah and Sarawak are not the same as the politics we have here in the peninsula, it is still a necessity for the three parties — DAP, PKR and Amanah — to strategise and show a united front for both states and federal levels.
This is contrary to what is happening in Sarawak right now.
Historically, the Sarawak Pakatan Rakyat was the first blown to smithereens compared with that on the peninsula, when the state DAP chapter decided that PAS was deviating from the common framework the three Opposition parties set up.
A three-way split in votes — two in favour of the individual opposition parties — could sabotage the win for the pro-government parties.
To have PKR and DAP butting heads now, brings back the memories of how the contests for seats during the last General Election showed the questioning public whether there was a problem between the then Pakatan Rakyat allies.
It shows us watching that perhaps the concept of an alliance is not exactly gelling as well as anyone hoped for the national opposition parties.
And we cannot exactly call these “teething problems” because they’ve practically coexisted for two general elections (somewhat) — a decade already and tripartite ties have existed even before that under the Barisan Alternatif dating back to 1999.
Thus, perhaps it would be good for everyone for the Pakatan Harapan to come out and explain just what is going on in Sarawak as a united front. Because right now, it truly reads that there is perhaps a different concept of unity coming out from each party.
It is a necessary question to ponder right now, especially with a general election coming up in two years and we may see such shenanigans come up again. Till then, these questions need to be answered.
Even with a common framework, is there a common organisation structure among DAP, PKR and Amanah for Pakatan Harapan?
Will they be looking towards introducing such a common framework in the future, in order to come up with a proper shadow cabinet now, or even next year, or even ever?
Will Pakatan Harapan be ensuring that there will be no seat clashes among themselves for seats contested on either state or parliamentary seats in the future, or will we see the same issue raised again in Terengganu and Penang — which was what happened in 2013?
These three questions are important in order to ensure that the path towards a Pakatan victory come 2018 is even possible, to remove the excuses questioning their ability to govern (still no shadow cabinet till now) on a federal level or even to not cause petty power struggle issues to cause the loss of entire states.
And no, you can’t use the governance of one state to compare running an entire country, dream what you may.
Simply put, regardless how poorly Najib does, until there is a proper, united coalition by the Opposition parties, they may continue to dream of remaining with that label for another decade — harsh as that is.
I do believe the question is a valid one, now that the police have taken down the billboards. Deputy Home Minister Nur Jazlan Mohamed believes that the police does have the authority to take down billboards approved by local councils if the content is political.
This is actually true.
In fact, it goes back to Selangor’s decision in 2010 not to allow 1Malaysia billboards for the very same reason – that the 1Malaysia message was a pro-government gimmick.
And personally, it was a gimmick that lacked substance – similar to these billboards by the PKR.
But let us do a comparison for the sake of argument.
Continue reading “Should the Free Anwar billboards come down?”