Time for PKR mem­bers to close ranks

Party must show that it is a united or­gan­i­sa­tion that puts the na­tion be­fore self or any other per­son’s in­ter­est.

The Star Malaysia - - Nation - Com­ment TER­ENCE FER­NAN­DEZ news­desk@thes­tar.com.my The writer is a for­mer se­nior jour­nal­ist who is now in­volved in pub­lic re­la­tions con­sul­tancy.

ONE thing has been made clear. PKR is not Umno. For starters, there is no blind loy­alty in PKR. The party does not glo­rify (or in the case of Umno, pro­tect) its lead­ers who are in­volved in wrong­do­ings.

Mem­bers de­bate and dis­agree openly and are trans­par­ent in their pre­ferred choice of lead­ers.

This can be in­ter­preted as PKR walk­ing the talk as a demo­cratic party where no one is big­ger than the or­gan­i­sa­tion.

Umno learnt that bit­ter les­son when it put in­di­vid­ual in­ter­ests above the party and paid the price in the May 9 gen­eral elec­tion.

But the open crit­i­cisms, dis­agree­ments and caus­tic changes can also be con­strued as a party, that un­like Umno, does not know how not to air its dirty linen in pub­lic.

As a party that has been part of the fed­eral ad­min­is­tra­tion for only four months, it is prob­a­bly pru­dent for PKR to show the rakyat and in­vestors that it is a united or­gan­i­sa­tion that puts the na­tion be­fore self or any other per­son’s in­ter­est.

As the largest party within Pakatan Hara­pan, it is the re­spon­si­ble thing to do – al­lay­ing con­cerns that PKR seems to be con­firm­ing what its crit­ics and po­lit­i­cal ob­servers had feared all along: that greed for po­si­tions and in­flu­ence will spell the end of the party that was formed on the cusp of its founder Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s sack­ing as deputy prime min­is­ter two decades ago and the in­car­cer­a­tion he en­dured un­til his Royal par­don and re­lease a week af­ter the his­toric elec­tion.

Those who sup­ported Anwar also rode on his pop­u­lar­ity and the sym­pa­thy show­ered on him and his fam­ily to at­tain in­flu­ence and to­day, high po­si­tions in the new gov­ern­ment.

Granted, the sac­ri­fice is not ex­clu­sively Anwar’s and his fam­ily’s.

Other PKR lead­ers such as deputy pres­i­dent Datuk Seri Azmin Ali, vice-pres­i­dent Tian Chua and sec­re­tary- gen­eral Datuk Sai­fud­din Na­su­tion also en­dured im­pris­on­ment for stay­ing true to their prin­ci­ples in­stead of be­tray­ing their lead­ers and re­tir­ing to a life of lux­ury.

Since we are on the sub­ject, the “Johnny come lately-s” now feel they are en­ti­tled to dic­tate and amend the lead­er­ship tran­si­tion that was part of the Pakatan promise in the elec­tion cam­paign.

One un­der­stands the fa­tigue over an­other tai­lor-made by-elec­tion to fa­cil­i­tate Anwar’s as­cen­sion to power. First it was Per­matang Pauh, then Ka­jang and now Port Dickson.

But how else is he go­ing to be prime min­is­ter if he does not make it to Par­lia­ment? Or should he at all?

Agreed, it does not augur well for the fam­ily when many MPs in PKR were of­fer­ing their seats to Anwar while his wife and daugh­ter were silent on theirs.

Here is where per­haps Datuk Seri Dr Wan Az­izah Wan Is­mail is ex­pected to make the fi­nal sac­ri­fice – give up Pan­dan to her hus­band and re­tire to a dif­fer­ent life of ser­vice as the peo­ple had as­sumed.

If he is meant to ful­fil a des­tiny, Anwar’s pre­mier­ship should be brief and im­pact­ful.

Anwar, who is 70, should oversee a proper suc­ces­sion plan that could in­clude but goes be­yond the pop­u­lar Azmin, who is only 54 and has a long po­lit­i­cal life ahead of him.

It would also al­low Nu­rul Iz­zah Anwar to chart a po­lit­i­cal ca­reer and as­cen­sion into the fed­eral ad­min­is­tra­tion, in­de­pen­dent of her par­ents’ per­sonal am­bi­tions. It is the fa­therly sac­ri­fice that peo­ple would un­der­stand and re­spect.

The Malaysian elec­torate is not too fond of dy­nas­ties no mat­ter how like­able or lov­able the lead­ers are.

Mean­while, it would be best for PKR to close ranks and cease pro- ving that it is a seat-grab­bing party.

This has been the per­cep­tion of the party due to sev­eral frogs in its midst who had crossed over and caused a state to col­lapse and the con­stant bick­er­ing over posts, po­si­tions and seat al­lo­ca­tions.

Per­haps now that he is the pres­i­dent of the party he founded, Anwar’s lit­mus test for prime min­is­ter­ship is be­ing able to unify the var­i­ous fac­tions within PKR.

Anwar also finds him­self in an un­usual sit­u­a­tion of hav­ing to jus­tify why he de­served to be prime min­is­ter to a new section of the elec­torate who is too young to re­mem­ber or ap­pre­ci­ate the re­for­masi move­ment.

Once he suc­ceeds, those still ques­tion­ing his abil­ity to gov­ern would be bet­ter as­sured that his place in the suc­ces­sion plan is de­served and jus­ti­fied.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.