In The Malaysian Insider’s PKR confirms Surendran’s membership we read of a PKR member’s dissent, dissatisfaction and disgust. I’m talking about N Gobalakrishnan’s accusation that the appointment of N Surendran as one of three newly appointed PKR VPs is illegal because Surendran is not a registered member of the party.
My post is not about the issue of Surendran's membership, but rather the story of an anwarista scorned wakakaka. As the saying goes (paraphrased) ‘Hell hath no fury like an acolyte scorned’.
And the story is not just about poor Gobala, once chief bodek-er of Anwar Ibrahim, but about the nature of Anwar’s leadership (or lack of) in PKR and the paradox of his role in the Pakatan Rakyat coalition.
First, let’s get the ‘minor’ wakakaka issues out of the way.
Party secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution said he had directed his staff to check with the party’s membership listing and discovered that Surendran is a registered member with the Lembah Pantai division.
He said: Gobalakrishnan’s accusation is not true. Surendran is a party member.
Now, that may well be so, but alas, Saifuddin Nasution had said a lot of things, which I am tempted to ask: Have those promised to Chegubard, Zaid Ibrahim and a few others (including outsider Haris Ibrahim) come to fruition or been fulfilled meaningfully?
Take for example, the recent case of Badrul Hisham Shaharin, better known as Chegubard, who had complained about irregularities in PKR party polling process. According to Chegubard, Saifuddin promised in November that investigation into Chegubard’s complaint had been initiated and the finding would be revealed in a couple of weeks’ time. Now it’s already the end of the year, well over a month since Saifuddin’s deadline promise, and Chegubard is still asking about the finding of that so-called investigation.
The party leadership had appointed Chegubard to the position of party deputy secretary-general, perhaps believing that should mollify and quieten him down over his earlier complaints about the irregularities in the party polling process, but unlike that 3rd candidate for the deputy presidential post, Chegubard refused the appointment, insisting on first knowing what the finding of the so-called investigation is.
As Penangites would comment, with some people, yes, you can cheet haw ch’ooi (keep the tiger’s mouth closed by filling it with goodies), but with others you just can’t!
Chegubard is not the only person in the party to complain. Leaving aside people like Zaid Ibrahim, Gobala, even Anwar’s personally (last-minute) nominated candidate for Kelana Jaya Loh Gwo Burne wakakaka, Jonson Chong had written a personal letter to the party president Dr Wan Azizah about the questionable party polling process – see my earlier post Dr Wan Azizah ignores Jonson Chong's plea?
Renowned activist Haris Ibrahim praised Jonson for his constructive approach but alas, not so Dr Wan as she ignored him completely. Why did a party president ignore a constructive proposal from a sensible, fair and balanced gentleman like Jonson Chong which would have put to rest all complaints if the polls had been conducted fairly, unless of course she knew it was far too embarassing to her hubby and blue-eye boy, Azmin to take up Jonson's proposal?
Anyway, Jonson has been so disappointed with the arrogance of the Anwar-Azmin-Saifuddin coterie in its refusal to truly investigate into party members’ complaints about the dodgy party polls that I believe he will leave PKR (not that Anwar-Azmin care two hoots) or remain a passive-inactive member until the Anwar-Azmin-Saifuddin coterie has been removed. No doubt anwaristas will describe Jonson as a frog – it’s their usual puerile self-delusional escapism from the ugly reality of their icon cum inner core associates.
Read also Haris Ibrahim’s Khalid and Azmin, please respond immediately. Time for another Penang saying: Tarn koo koo
Back to the main issue – Saifuddin Nasution said Gobala should have consulted him first before going public with his allegations. He stated: He could have referred to me and I can check for him. It is just a matter of a click on the mouse and we can trace back the membership list. But making a public statement as if he knows the truth that is inappropriate.
Technically and theoretically, Saifuddin is correct. But if one has been following the history of Saifuddin’s proclivity to brush aside any party members' criticisms and the quantum of substantialness in his promises to people such as Chegubard (still no revelation of the finding of an investigation into PKR party polling irregularities) and Zaid Ibrahim’s agent (gross irregularities in the Kubang Pasu branch polling still unanswered), one would understand, or at least sympathize with why Gobala has done what he did.
Then there was the case of Haris Ibrahim's pointed query as to how party ballot papers were floating around freely, which till today has not been answered to Haris' satisfaction. The worst has been Saifuddin’s claim that the previous party secretary-general had sacked party member Jenapala – see Jonson Chong’s revelation in my post De facto, my foot! What about de facts! where Jonson wrote (extracts only):
Now I share my true feelings not because I want to embarrass the party but because I sense the presence of foolish arrogance in the voice of the party’s secretary-general. And I simply cannot remain silent in the face of bold-faced lies because I know it will eventually bring the party to its knees. Yes I am talking about his statements vis-à-vis the sacking of Jenapala. […]
For me, just the stupidity of how this Jenapala issue was handled is enough to tell me that the judgement of the people who are purportedly in charge of the party are seriously impaired. […]
But what really sickens me to the core of my being is that I know for a fact that someone in the party HQ knows that the letter is a forgery. […]
Then before I knew it I saw a letter with the previous sec-gen’s signature which was purportedly sent to Jenapala to sack him way back in February 2009. I was speechless.
I was speechless because there is no doubt in my mind that the letter is a forgery, and I am dumbfounded that they could resort to such a thing to cover up an honest mistake, for which they could have just humbly informed the media and move on.
Now, in light of the police report lodged by the previous sec-gen, this matter cannot be swept under the carpet anymore, especially not the way the current sec-gen attempted to do it. I’m amazed that he doesn't see the gravity of the situation.
I know, in politics perception is everything. But I also know, in a court of law evidence is everything. And when the judiciary is not on your side, it doesn’t even matter if they don’t have the evidence. All they need is a good reason to put you away.
If the president still does not take some serious action to remedy this situation, then I’m afraid the party’s days may be numbered with or without a new line-up. And let me unequivocally state that I am not addressing the de facto leader on this matter because I no longer recognise the validity of that position.
And has the PKR party president taken any action to remedy the issue of forgery? I leave that for you to answer.
As Jonson said: ... perception is everything ... thus to Gobala, whether Saifuddin has the true answer doesn't matter anymore. He just doesn't want to rely on Saifuddin anymore.
Should we then, in all fairness, expect Gobala to follow strict protocol and seek Saifuddin for the details of Surendran's membership?
[to be continued …]