The reason why PKR is in strife today is its lack of endurance. What do I mean by that?
PKR like its principal predecessor KeADILan has been built as a sprinter, a one-issue party, to get to the finishing line of a political 100 metres as swiftly as possible. And the ‘finishing line’ (at the end of that political 100 metres) is the restoration, the return, the resurrection of Anwar Ibrahim in UMNO.
Of course many well meaning members in PKR, especially those coopted from PRM, have no idea of the covet objective of PKR’s inner/core leadership.
Remember, there was G.A.N or Gerakan Anti Najib, a parallel organization working against Najib (but not/never AAB) while KeADILan/PKR promoted Anwar Ibrahim … to an UMNO audience – basically a classic military pincer attacking movement, to (a) remove Najib from Anwar’s path back to UMNO’s NO 2, while (b) preparing UMNO to re-admit Anwar, hopefully as No 2 again. After that, getting rid of AAB should be (theoretically) a cinch.
Recall, the crooked bridge issue and how Anwar Ibrahim made cooing sounds to AAB? I stated in my post A Bridge Too Far - Anwar Ibrahim 3.5 years ago that Anwar eagerly offered (unsolicited) assistance to AAB on the crooked bridge business. I wrote:
Anwar has offered assistance to the government, saying he could draw from his experience in the government, including as finance minister between 1993 and 1998. That’s a fantastic CV, man.
Anwar continued: “I would not discount any possible meeting with Abdullah if he were to ask my views on the issues ... like the negotiations with Singapore on the bridge and even information on the negotiations with Indonesia on border issues.” […]
Mind you, Anwar assured us his offer does not imply a wish to rejoin UMNO - of course not! Everyone knows the UMNO-led government always gets ‘outsiders’ to negotiate with foreign governments on its behalf.
Alas for him, AAB snubbed him.
Recall, his court case challenging his dismissal from his No 2 position in UMNO. What for, if not to explore such a possibility.
Then there was his eagerness to be seen with AAB – read Anwar Ibrahim - AAB: Encounter of the thirsty kind.
Alas, I couldn't but help notice his very obvious and painstaking efforts to stand at arms’ length from PKR itself, the very party that has fought so valiantly for him ..... I suppose, so that he may remain ‘untainted’ as a true blue UMNO man ...
... until of course Sodomy II forced him (apart from running off to the Turkish Embassy and wearing flak jacket) to quickly seek parliamentary sanctuary by becoming a federal MP, where his long suffering but faithful wife had to vacate her Permatang Pauh seat for him.
Anwar hadn’t expected the March 08 general election to put him so close to his obsession, the PM position. He was no doubt as shocked as AAB or Najib with that amazing tsunamic result.
With such an amazing result, can you blame him for suddenly going ape-crazy with his 916 - all his long pent-up frustration at missing the PM job at the 11th hour in 1998 had then (finally) boiled over.
In reality Anwar had more modest expectations from that general election, namely, to get just enough federal seats (held by his inner core group) in order to pose that bloc as a strong bargaining chip in his wheeling and dealing with UMNO.
Even if Pakatan had won that election and he become PM (after Wan Azizah had vacated her seat to allow him to become MP in order to assume the PM position), I suspect he wouldn’t have been as comfy as he would as an UMNO PM ..... because PAS and DAP won't be as compliant and subservient as MCA, MIC or Gerakan, etc; indeed PAS and DAP could prove to be too difficult for him as PM.
Shadow cabinet? Sure it’s a hard task, divvying up the ministerial positions among PKR, PAS and DAP (not forgetting PSM), but it’s do-able. That's the job of a strong leader. But Anwar has studiously avoided that … because I suspect it’s not important enough to him as he really wants to be PM when in UMNO, not outside.
Besides he probably doesn't have any visions of Pakatan becoming government even in the long run. Yes, in my opinion, to Anwar, Pakatan serves him, not him Pakatan.
Apart from his charisma and his gift of the gab, which probably is the main (though not all) ingredient holding Pakatan together, he hasn’t done much for the loose alliance in terms of nurturing it into a viable and credible alternative government, despite his experience in government.
As I said, his inner support group has been built as a sprinter, not a distance runner like PAS or the DAP.
He may yet reap from what has been his gross neglect of PKR let alone Pakatan. Already he has lost significant grounds in Sabah and Sarawak, Najib’s so-called ‘fixed deposit’. It’s becoming all unstuck for Anwar.
Pakatan (TGNA, Lim KS and the non-UMNO people in PKR) must now consider a future minus Anwar. While Pakatan winning state governments again in 2013 is not impossible, I believe the prospect of winning federal rule is fading fast. It must re-shape the alliance as an Anwar-less distance runner, for victory in 2018 if not 2013.