Tonight we’ll have a quick peep at the PKR turmoil between Azmin Ali (backed by Anwar Ibrahim) and Zaid Ibrahim.
Anwar so loves Azmin that he once (pre 2008) told his erstwhile good mate Nallakarupan (then in PKR) not to stand for one of of the VP positions in order to allow/ensure Azmin secure that position.
At that time there were so many Indian members of PKR that Nalla would have been a virtual shoo-in, and with that, would probably have advanced by now to become the deputy president of PKR ... and probably one day, the party president – not an implausible outcome considering the number of Indian members in PKR at that time.
Itu ta’boleh lor (no can do) for a variety of reasons, so he (Anwar) was prepared to offend his matey Nalla, a man who was charged together with (and because of) him during Sodomy I, where Nalla had frighteningly faced the gallows for 'possession' of gun and ammo. Ignoring this 'bond under fire', Anwar told Nalla to withdraw from the VP race.
Naturally Nalla felt so betrayed that he left with a huff and puff. And not to be unexpected, the anwaristas condemned Nalla as a traitor and a BN running dog etc etc – ‘tis the nature of the anwarista beast lah!
However, what Nalla did out of revenge, like badmouthing Anwar etc at periodic intervals, was unfortunate because it merely justified the anwaristas’ claim that Nalla was the bad bloke while Anwar was of course pristinely pure and never at fault.
I saw the same happened to Khalid Ibrahim a year back, and now I see it happening to Zaid Ibrahim. Anwar has recently chided Zaid indirectly for giving an interview to Utusan - obviously the Great Leader supports Azmin.
Zaid has responded most appropriately, stating he would not boycott any media seen to be attacking the party or its coalition Pakatan Rakyat’s PR leadership. He asserted he didn’t ask who owns this or that paper nor did that matter. Finally he stated: No other newspaper has attacked me more than Utusan but when I was invited by Utusan I did not say boycott them.
These have been words of a mature politician – for more, please read The Malaysian Insider's Zaid Ibrahim says will not boycott Umno papers.
Meanwhile, Anwar’s blue-eyed boy, Azmin Ali, just can’t make up his mind whether he wants to be MB of Selangor (which means Khalid will be sabo kau kau, and indeed poor Khalid was for a while) or a federal minister (maybe Finance?) especially now when Putrajaya could possibly be within reach. I think he must have finally decided on Putrajaya because Khalid is currently off the hook, well at least for now ... but Zaid isn’t.
No doubt Azmin Ali will be the deputy president of PKR and the behind-the-scene de facto leader of that party. That’s probably the way Anwar wants it, whether according to his own preference or according to the demands of Azmin.
Now, what if Anwar is invited once again to makan nasi kosong at Kem Kamunting, and Azmin Ali becomes virtually El Supremo in PKR, what then for (a) Zaid, (b) Pakatan?
I'll leave Zaid to fend for himself, but let’s talk about Pakatan. As I mentioned in my article Ride the Islamic tiger, risk becoming cat food:
Apart from the obvious need to expand its Malay-Muslim base, there have been other compelling reasons for DAP to expedite its wooing of the Malays via the Islamic avenue. The party has been concerned about the future of Anwar Ibrahim as well as the politics of PKR.
Anwar has served a vital role as the bridge and glue for the new coalition, Pakatan Rakyat which has PAS and DAP with antipodal ideologies. If Anwar is forcefully removed from the Malaysian political landscape, it is unlikely that PKR will be able to provide a substitute of equal stature and charisma. Thus DAP has decided on the worst case scenario where it will be required to work directly with PAS. What better time than to start now, ...
In other words, Azmin ain’t no Anwar, and is unlikely to be accorded the same stature, respect and coalition leadership by PAS or DAP ... whereas Zaid might possibly be, much as PAS dislikes him for his liberal manners, though of course today a much older Zaid has already voiced his repentance.
Richard Teo, one of Malaysiakini’s more serious and prolific letter-writers, wrote Why Zaid must be elected PKR's No 2, where he stated:
... it is fait accompli that the government is hell bent on incarcerating the opposition leader before the 13th general election. That, of course, will be a fatal mistake of the BN government. But taking out Anwar from the equation of being able to lead Pakatan after the capture of Putrajaya simply means someone has to fill the vacuum left by the departure of the de facto leader.
That explains why the person who fills in the position of deputy president of PKR is of vital importance because that person could, in most probability, become the next prime minister of our country.
Zaid has proved his mettle. He relinquished his ministerial post from the government on a matter of principle. His vision and articulations on national issues resonate with people of different race and religion. On issues of vital importance he was not afraid to be vocal and candid. That is a mark of a great leader.
To deprive this man of serving this nation is not only a loss to PKR but a catastrophic loss to the nation at a time when our nation is in dire shortage of charismatic leaders.
I do not wish to disparage his opponent's ability to be a deputy president and I do not wish to undermine his ability to lead the nation if there are calls to do so. Azmin Ali's loyalty to Anwar and the party is without question. He is young and has tremendous energy to garner support from the grassroots but when it comes to articulation of national issues I cannot remember a single occasion when he has made a stand.
A leader who lacks the ability to articulate important issues publicly cannot be expected to lead. A person without vision cannot lead a nation because of his impairment to discern the path and route he has to take.
As a concerned citizen of this country, I humbly appeal to those who are empowered to elect the next deputy president of PKR to make your choice wisely because your choice could possibly determine the next elected prime minister of our country.
Sorry Richard, please permit me to somehow defend Azmin’s record, well ... at least on one specific stand – he was personally instrumental in removing Rosmah Mansor from her position as chancellor of UNISEL wakakakakakakakakakakakaka, and folks, that had been Azmin Ali’s major/sole visionary contribution – for more, see my Mean-spirited Malaysians.
The tussle between Azmin Ali and Zaid Ibrahim has been dirty, as to be expected, but it doesn't help when Anwar chose to chip in by chiding Zaid indirectly.
Even Anwar’s last minute-appointed candidate for Kelana Jaya, Loh Gwo Burne (wakakaka) was wont to condemn Azmin Ali in a letter to Malaysiakini titled No place for immature, childish leaders.
Loh said: I read with great disappointment the words used by Azmin Ali, a leader which many of us PKR members look up to, when the PKR deputy president hopeful, or deputy president-elect according to some of our friends, took a personal swipe at Zaid Ibrahim.
I read both the New Straits Times and Utusan Malaysia that covered Azmin's speech at the PKR Gombak AGM, in which Zaid was portrayed as a novice in the party. Not only that, Azmin also referred to Zaid as a 'desperado' in an interview with Berita Harian.
As a candidate for the senior position of deputy president of the party, I am saddened and disappointed if Azmin has decided to conduct himself in this manner. Personal attacks are unnecessary and uncalled for. Name-calling is childish at best and I read with disbelief that a veteran and mature leader like Azmin would say something like this.
Azmin Ali - that’s Anwar Ibrahim anointed future leader of PKR, so in some ways, much as I don’t feel comfy with the DAP and PAS making eyes at each other, I can understand why these two parties have been playing footsie-tootsies beneath the Pakatan table, when Azmin Ali is hardly in the league of the Pak Haji's from the East Coast and the Lim's (father & son).