PKR reach­ing crit­i­cal mass


THE sim­mer­ing in­ter­nal con­flicts in PKR have come to a boil, as ev­i­denced by Rem­bau di­vi­sion chief Yusuf Tapa’s call on Aug 28 for an ex­tra­or­di­nary gen­eral meet­ing (EGM) to de­cide whether the party should con­tinue work­ing with PAS.

Party vice-pres­i­dent Rafizi Ramli had a day ear­lier sug­gested that a spe­cial congress be held for the same pur­pose.

These devel­op­ments, com­bined with the res­ig­na­tion of Se­layang MP William Leong from PKR’s po­lit­i­cal bureau af­ter dis­agree­ing with the party’s de­ci­sion to ne­go­ti­ate elec­toral seats with PAS, and signs of grass­roots dis­con­tent with PAS, are enough to put the party in stormy wa­ters, Nanyang Siang Pau said in a com­men­tary yes­ter­day.

While party chief Datuk Seri Dr Wan Az­izah Wan Ismail urged PAS to choose be­tween Pakatan Hara­pan and Umno, ad­mit­ting that the party is split over the mat­ter, deputy pres­i­dent Datuk Seri Azmin Ali said calls for an EGM or spe­cial congress were in­di­vid­ual re­quests as the party had never broached the sub­ject.

But Azmin’s re­mark does not seem to hold wa­ter.

Firstly, the first per­son from the party to pro­pose a spe­cial congress to dis­cuss party over­tures to­wards PAS was none other than Rafizi, who is hold­ing a very se­nior party post.

Se­condly, as long as a third, or 73 of the party’s 218 di­vi­sions req­ui­si­tion an EGM, PKR has to hold it un­der the party con­sti­tu­tion. Ac­cord­ing to Yusuf, 56 di­vi­sions have al­ready given their en­dorse­ment for the meet­ing.

To be fair, said the com­men­tary, PKR stands to gain should it suc­ceed in forg­ing an elec­toral pact with PAS in the com­ing polls but any per­son worth his salt can see that as men­tri be­sar of Se­lan­gor, Azmin’s im­me­di­ate con­cern is the sta­bil­ity of the state gov­ern­ment. An­tag­o­nis­ing PAS at this junc­ture might well cost Pakatan Hara­pan the state.

As for Wan Az­izah, it is laugh­able that she should ask PAS to state its stand as the Is­lamist party has long made it clear that it had sev­ered ties with PKR.

Time will tell if PAS is re­ally in­dis­pens­able to Pakatan Hara­pan, but PAS had not done well in gen­eral elec­tions ex­cept in 1999, 2008 and 2013 when it got a help­ing hand from DAP and PKR.

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