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.