THE MAD­DEN­ING CIR­CUS IN PKR

Will there be enough time for Azmin to re­pair the dam­age be­fore GE14?

New Straits Times - - News -

SIX months ago, PKR top lead­ers, in­clud­ing No. 2 Datuk Seri Azmin Ali, thought this year’s party congress would only have to come out with res­o­lu­tions to bring Pas back into the fold, or at least fur­ther their side pact in Se­lan­gor to so­lid­ify his po­si­tion as men­teri be­sar.

After all, Pas was in­stru­men­tal in the op­po­si­tion pact re­tain­ing the state through Malay-ma­jor­ity polling dis­tricts, as well as be­ing loyal to Azmin’s lead­er­ship as he was per­son­ally en­dorsed by Pas pres­i­dent Datuk Seri Ab­dul Hadi Awang. But, all things changed when Pas de­cided to sever ties with PKR. The mat­ter was pre­ceded by strong calls from Pas grass­roots, and even Azmin’s diplo­macy did not rem­edy the sting.

The prob­lem snow­balled into a headache that proved too much to bear, with hard-boiled lead­ers such as PKR vice-pres­i­dent Tian Chua said to have taken time off dur­ing the Pas muk­ta­mar by fly­ing to the an­cient city of Luang Pra­bang in Laos just to clear his mind. Tian Chua used to enjoy warm ties with Pas. But, he knew all hell had bro­ken loose and any con­cil­ia­tory ef­fort was moot.

Rafizi Ramli sat on the side­lines when Tun Dr Ma­hathir Mo­hamad moved and led the charge. But fi­nally, last month proved to be fruit­ful for Rafizi — the PKR vicepres­i­dent’s salvo against Pas has re­turned him to the cen­tre of at­ten­tion again.

His al­le­ga­tions against Pas and its for­mer deputy pres­i­dent Datuk Dr Nasharudin Mat Isa, cou­pled with be­lit­tling Hadi right after the tabling of the pri­vate mem­ber’s bill to amend the Syariah Courts (Crim­i­nal Ju­ris­dic­tion) Act 1965 (Act 355), was more than enough to ig­nite the fire.

There were other rea­sons that led to the dis­so­lu­tion of the pact be­tween Pas and PKR as out­lined by Syura Coun­cil (Pas’s high­est de­ci­sion-making body) sec­re­tary Datuk Dr Nik Muham­mad Zawawi Salleh last week, in­clud­ing go­ing against Pas in the Kuala Kangsar and Sun­gai Be­sar by­elec­tions and al­legedly not be­ing sup­port­ive of Pas’s Is­lamic cause. It must be noted that strained ties first be­gan when PKR de­cided to stick with DAP and Parti Amanah Ne­gara (PAN) in the Pakatan Hara­pan pact; a play deemed as both reli­giously and po­lit­i­cally blas­phe­mous by Pas.

“Who was the one that di­vided Pas to the point some mem­bers be­came ‘drunk’ and formed PAN? (It’s) DAP,” said Pas cen­tral com­mit­tee mem­ber Nik Mo­hamad Ab­duh Nik Ab­dul Aziz.

, or your hum­ble pan­dan, has a num­ber of medic­i­nal uses, and ex­tracts from leaves have been thought to re­lieve fever, in­di­ges­tion and flat­u­lence.

Con­versely, its name­sake par­lia­men­tary con­stituency’s Yang Ber­hor­mat re­mains to be among the main fac­tors of op­po­site prop­er­ties; Rafizi is also said to have long drawn the ire of sev­eral top lead­ers in PKR, es­pe­cially Azmin and party le­gal ea­gle, Latheefa Koya.

It is no se­cret that Rafizi is not the favourite of ev­ery­one in PKR, save for fel­low vice-pres­i­dent Nu­rul Iz­zah An­war, sec­re­tary-gen­eral Datuk Sai­fud­din Na­su­tion Is­mail and a few youth among the rank and file. As re­ported ear­lier, ob­servers had sus­pected that Rafizi’s over­tures against Pas were aimed at Azmin’s po­si­tion as Se­lan­gor men­teri be­sar.

In re­tal­i­a­tion, we now have Latheefa and Youth leader Datuk Adam Rosly ques­tion­ing the fund­ing source of Rafizi’s non­govern­men­tal or­gan­i­sa­tion, In­voke. Rafizi then pro­vided the NGO’s fi­nan­cial state­ment, but de­trac­tors are al­leg­ing that he is keep­ing the fi­nanciers un­der wraps. And, the brouhaha was be­fore an email thread pur­port­edly in­volv­ing Rafizi, in which he had al­legedly sug­gested a young

SATUR­DAY, MAY 20, 2017 man em­brace ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity, made rounds via chat groups. Suf­fice to say, as sen­sa­tional as the claims Rafizi tends to make be­fore an au­di­ence, so are the re­bukes against him.

Rafizi is clearly em­bat­tled, with only Nu­rul Iz­zah lend­ing a hand to cool things down.

“He (Adam) is cur­rently on leave from PKR, so there is no need to give him too much at­ten­tion,” Nu­rul Iz­zah was quoted in a re­port. But, her hand has not been able to cool down the fire and brim­stone.

“Other than be­ing on the watch list of Azmin, Rafizi is par­tic­u­larly scorned by Latheefa. She just can’t get along with him.

(maybe she is dis­gusted by him),” said a party leader from Se­lan­gor.

Latheefa’s most re­cent vol­ley at Rafizi was on two pro­posed Pakatan Hara­pan lo­gos, where the de­signs be­came the butt of jokes among Ne­ti­zens.

“You have col­lected mil­lions from the pub­lic and you dare come up with this aw­ful look­ing de­sign? The cheek! Putting it for peo­ple’s vote? Em­bar­rass­ing!” Latheefa re­port­edly said on her Facebook page.

Some had re­sponded by la­belling her a “diva”, which in po­lit­i­cal speak means “con­de­scend­ing and overly dra­matic”. But, then again, there is Rafizi.

“Rafizi is young and am­bi­tious. From the looks of it, (ef­forts in rais­ing is­sues and to be un­der the spot­light) he is try­ing to mould him­self as a war­lord.

“To say he is a ‘po­lit­i­cal diva’, there is a pos­si­bil­ity that he is one (in the con­text of pro­jected be­hav­iour),” said com­mu­ni­ca­tions ex­pert As­so­ciate Pro­fes­sor Dr Mohd Ad­nan Hashim.

PKR vice-pres­i­dent Sham­sul Iskan­dar Mohd Akin has had enough of in­fight­ings that have veered the party’s fo­cus away from the 14th Gen­eral Elec­tion.

“We should stop fight­ing. What kind of a per­cep­tion are we giv­ing to the pub­lic?

“Of course, dif­fer­ences in views should be cel­e­brated, al­beit with re­straints, should things get heated. We should be re­cep­tive of crit­i­cism, make the best out of them and move on.”

Sham­sul, per­haps, is speak­ing of the need to jolt sev­eral PKR lead­ers on the pos­si­bil­i­ties of a dis­mal per­for­mance at the polls, with­out Pas’s vast elec­tion ma­chin­ery in ru­ral Malay ar­eas and cou­pled with the untested met­tle of Dr Ma­hathir’s Parti Pribumi Ber­satu Malaysia (PPBM). The worry cen­tres on PKR hav­ing to set­tle for less ex­pe­ri­enced ma­chiner­ies to win the Malay votes.

The ram­i­fi­ca­tions of pre­vi­ous and re­cent en­mi­ties and con­tro­ver­sies are ex­pected to be doled out to­mor­row dur­ing PKR’s 12th

It is no se­cret that PKR vice-pres­i­dent Rafizi Ramli is not the favourite of ev­ery­one in PKR, save for fel­low vice-pres­i­dent Nu­rul Iz­zah An­war, sec­re­tary-gen­eral Datuk Sai­fud­din Na­su­tion Is­mail and a few youth among the rank and file.

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