In the wake of chronic political conundrum which resulted of the domino effect from the pre-emptive exercise to prop Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim as Menteri Besar Selangor days before Court of Appeal decided on the acquittal ruling of Sodomy II case
Former strategist for Batu MP Tian Chua and Harvard Alumnus Nathaniel Tan wrote in Malaysiakini:
11:00AM Jul 31, 2014
PKR’s obsession tearing Pakatan dream apart
What is the top priority of Anwar Ibrahim and PKR?
Is it to keep nurturing Pakatan Rakyat as a strong coalition that presents a united front in replacing Barisan Nasional in GE14, or is it to install Anwar’s wife as menteri besar of Selangor, at any and all costs?
The question seems to be a pertinent one as we look at the unfolding crisis in Selangor, and the options available to PKR.
The first option is to leave things as status quo, which results in stability all around (except of course for those desperate to make Selangor their personal piggy bank).
The other option is for Anwar and PKR to continue with their efforts to forcibly replace Abdul Khalid Ibrahim as the head of the Selangor government.
Let us examine the consequences of this course of action. We will begin with a brief recap of the latest developments.
PKR in Pakatan like Umno in BN?
First, PKR announces that internally, it has decided to replace Khalid with Anwar’s wife, Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, who is also PKR president.
A Pakatan meeting is held, attended by Anwar, Lim Guan Eng and Mohammed Sabu – all top ranking leaders of Pakatan, except for Mat Sabu, who is only second in command in PAS.
Following the meeting, a statement is issued stating that Pakatan has ‘accepted’ the proposal for Wan Azizah to take over as Selangor menteri besar, and the leaders will take the matter back to their respective parties for discussion.
PAS number one Abdul Hadi Awang soon after releases a statement saying that PAS’ position is for Khalid to stay as menteri besar.
Saifuddin Nasution then releases a response saying that this should not be, because at the aforementioned meeting, a decision was already made in support of replacing Khalid with Wan Azizah, and that this was agreed to by the three parties.
This is very confusing. If the matter had already been decided, then what need was there for the three party leaders to go back to their respective parties for discussion, as stated in their original statement?
(There is also some confusion as to whether it is ethical or technically correct for Saifuddin (left) to currently be issuing anti-Khalid statements as secretary general of PKR while he runs for deputy president against Khalid. It is worth noting that voting results clearly demonstrate that more than a third of PKR members support Khalid versus Azmin Ali, with about half or Anwar’s man Saifuddin trailing a very distant third.)
Is Pakatan becoming like BN, where Umno calls the shots, and the other parties are mere rubber stamps?
(For those who like primary sources, both press statements can be compared in verbatim here).
Anwar driving a rift within PAS?
Now, the two most respected leaders in PAS, Hadi and Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat, have come out publicly in support of Khalid remaining as menteri besar, the latter rightfully lamenting that this polemic should not have tainted the holy month of Ramadan.
Their voices are added to that of Iskandar Samad, the Selangor PAS commissioner, meaning all the most directly relevant PAS leaders speak with one voice on this issue.
It is clear that there are a number of second tier PAS leaders who support PKR in this matter, despite the clear signal given from both Hadi and Nik Aziz.
The question is, what will happen if PKR persists in its attempted coup?
Will the PAS Anwaristas try to force the matter within PAS, and declare open war against Hadi and Nik Aziz? Or perhaps attempt a coup of their own within PAS?
If they do, then this opens one more in a series of debilitating rifts: within PKR, within Pakatan, and now within PAS.
PAS’ discipline is its core strength
Any observer of Malaysian politics will note that PAS is possibly the only party in Malaysia that is built on genuine institutional strength.
Whether we agree with all of its principles, there is no doubt that PAS is more grounded in those principles than in individual leaders that come and go.
The same cannot be said of other parties, and nowhere is this more apparent than PKR’s intensely individual-centric feudal politics.
No one can deny the power of PAS’ party discipline. Any organiser of mass rallies in Malaysia knows that whether there is a massive turnout depends on whether the PAS leadership issues a directive for party members to show up or not.
This sense of discipline, unity of purpose, and fervent belief in maintaining the chain of command has always defined PAS.
PAS members take the long view in believing that no storm is so bad that it necessitates breaking discipline aboard the ship.
This means that while internal democracy and airing of views are never suppressed, the heart and soul of the party is faith in and adherence to its internal structures, processes and elected leaders. To lose that is to lose PAS, and every member understands this.
An open rebellion against this time tested system could have unimaginable costs, including losing even more ground where Pakatan needs it most – the rural heartland of Malaysia.
Guan Eng sulking like a spoilt child?
Soon after Hadi’s announcement, Lim Guan Eng essentially threatened the break-up of Pakatan Rakyat because of the Selangor menteri besar issue.
I cannot say I am entirely surprised, but I did not expect Lim to play the big card so quickly.
This can only mean that all this while, the single biggest decision maker in DAP has long prioritised DAP’s own power base over the overarching goal of maintaining a united front to overthrow BN.
I suppose with megaprojects like the Penang undersea tunnel to keep DAP in the money for a long time to come, they can afford to pander to their hardline backers, with no concern over the larger picture of Malaysia’s future.
Despite the controversy over hudud, in which PAS eventually backed down, never once has PAS spoken openly of leaving the Pakatan family. It seems Lim is rather more practised at playing the spoilt child.
Both PKR and DAP would be complete fools to think that they can break BN’s hegemony by themselves. No one knows this better than they themselves.
Their actions then point to an increasingly simple conclusion: that they would rather fight like warlords over the scraps they currently control, than actually keep to earlier promises of putting their differences aside to concentrate on the changes we all know Malaysia so desperately needs.
Nothing but a sham marriage of convenience?
How shameful for so many of us who cried ‘No!’ when people accused Pakatan of being nothing but a sham marriage of convenience. When push came to shove, it looks like they were right and we were wrong.
Despite Anwar now scrambling to do damage control, and playing good cop to Guan Eng’s bad cop, his and PKR’s obsession with power, money, and water payouts fundamentally still eclipses any understanding that voters – especially those in the pivotal middle ground – are beginning to see Pakatan cohesion as a joke.
The way things are clearly going, there will be no doubt any more that a vote for Pakatan will come to mean a vote for instability. After all, who could trust a party that fought so pettily and cannot agree on the most fundamental questions of choosing chief executives?
The first failed experiment in opposition unity was Barisan Alternatif, which lasted six years. Six years after the formation of Pakatan, it seems history is repeating itself.
I strongly doubt Malaysians will ever place any faith again in this particular experiment, should it fall apart again, as it inevitably will if Anwar and PKR stay their course.
When that happens, any project to take Malaysia back from BN would then once again be set back by decades – all because the man who failed his bid to become Prime Minister of Malaysia insists that his wife becomes the menteri besar of Selangor.
NATHANIEL TAN wishes everyone, including Anwar and all his supporters, Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri! Maaf zahir dan batin.
– See more at: http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/270214#sthash.WbbyP6lz.dpuf
It is obvious wishful or more likely, wet dreamers amongst Opposition supporters who dream for the unholy-marriage-of-(in)convenience-between-backstabbing-strange-bedfellows to take control of Federal Government aka Putrajaya is going through a process of horrid daytime nightmare.
Hence, they started to look for plausible options to salvage what ever they thought theoretically could be done.
Sin Chew Jit Poh story:
What other options does Pakatan have?
Opinion 2014-08-01 15:08
By TAY TIAN YAN
Translated by DOMINIC LOH
Sin Chew Daily
The Selangor MB crisis has now moved into a stalemate with the following possible eventualities in near future:
1. Anwar gives in, and Khalid Ibrahim continues to become the MB: The impending crisis is temporarily solved, but Anwar’s Kajang plan fails completely. Everything is back to square one. However, the damage on PKR has been done, internally and externally.
Where internal damage is concerned, the three factions within PKR–the Anwar faction (his family and close aides), the Azmin faction and the Khalid faction–will no longer be able to get along properly. The Anwar faction will take control of central leadership, but Azmin gains foothold among the grassroots as Khalid’s faction remains firmly in power in Selangor.
Externally, PKR’s image and reputation will suffer yet another blow thanks to this squabble, its support rate fast dropping.
As the supreme leader of Pakatan Rakyat, Anwar and his leadership capacity will once again come under public scrutiny.
2. Hadi Awang gives in, and Khalid bows out, Kak Wan taking his place (but then she still needs to get the nod from the Sultan).
The consequences: Pakatan is saved from disintegration, the Plan B (Kak Wan in the place of Anwar) of Kajang plan works. Anwar has had his purpose fulfilled (whatever that is).
Power shift takes place within PKR. Khalid is out of the picture, leaving Anwar and Azmin’s people now counteracting each other.
As for PAS, the erdogans (typified by Mat Sabu) who support Anwar Ibrahim have scored some points in this battle, and PAS will remain very much in the embrace of the opposition pact.
Party president Hadi Awang and the clerics suffer thumping defeat, calls for PAS-Umno cooperation dying down.
3. Anwar and Hadi are mutually non-compromising, and the choice of MB now goes to the state assembly. Pakatan is on the verge of disintegration. Due to absence of consensus, PKR will have to table a no-confidence motion against Khalid Ibrahim. The votes in the hands of PKR and DAP reps, along with the combined votes of PAS and Umno reps, will determine whether the motion will eventually be passed.
The influences: Once the motion goes into voting, competition is expected to be very intense. Whether Khalid is eventually unseated, the relationship between PAS and Pakatan Rakyat will invariably be bruised
If the motion fails, Khalid will retains his MB office. He will then form a new state administration anchored by his own people. Because of PAS, this will also spell the collapse of the Pakatan state government.
If the motion is passed, Khalid will have to step down from office whether he likes it or not. But whether Kak Wan will get to become the new MB with the consent of the Sultan remains a major challenge.
4. Khalid will seek the Sultan’s consent to dissolve the state assembly to pave way for fresh elections. The election outcome: There is no way for the three parties within Pakatan Rakyat to remain in a coalition. PAS will contest on its own, or perhaps work with Umno to confront PKR-DAP.
Of the 56 state constituencies in Selangor, about 40 are Malay-majority. Any party or coalition that wins the favor of the Malays will take Selangor.
If PAS goes with Umno, chances for them to win in these Malay constituencies are very high. But, BN’s other component parties might not be happy with Umno. Neither will non-Malay voters.
If PAS were to run on its own, it can decide which camp to join after the elections. Of course, this will have to depend on how many seats it has won.
Whatever it is, it has become a sure thing that domestic politics will be reshuffled. Pakatan Rakyat will no longer be a three-party pact as only PKR and DAP will still be in the play. If PAS chooses to align with Umno, the erdogans within the party might flee en masse.
On the contrary, if the party chooses to play lone ranger, its future influences will very likely be confined to only the northern states of Kelantan, Terengganu, Kedah and Perlis.
The sacking of Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim as MB Selangor and appointing former0abuse-of-power-convict Anwar Ibrahim’s wife and puppet PKR President Wan Azizah Wan Ismail instead is reported by Malaysiakini:
11:56AM Aug 4, 2014
SACKING OF KHALID DISCUSSED AT PKR MEETING
Abdul Khalid Ibrahim may be sacked as a PKR member if he continues to cling on to his Selangor menteri besar post, a party insider said today.
The possible sacking of Khalid from the party was discussed at the PKR political bureau meeting at its headquarters in Tropicana, Petaling Jaya, last night, the source said.
“Although we see this as one of the ways to make Khalid vacate the post, it will look bad on the party,” the source told Malaysiakini on condition of anonymity.
However when asked about this today, party secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution Ismail told Malaysiakini there was no mention of the word “sacking” in the meeting’s minutes.
Khalid’s defiance to the request by PKR to vacate the post of menteri besar has irked PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim, who appears to be in a quandary now.
This is especially so with PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang and the Islamic party’s spiritual adviser Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat expressing their support for Khalid to stay in his post.
The position taken by the PAS leadership has also opened the possibility of a split in Pakatan, although Anwar has dismissed this, saying there was no indication of this and that all the member parties were committed to the coalition’s spirit of cooperation.
Just before the Hari Raya Aidil Fitri celebration, Anwar announced that his wife and PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail will be new Selangor menteri besar, but this was not taken well by some factions within the party, even though no one defended Khalid to stay on.
The July 19 announcement came after an intense and heated meeting of the PKR leadership, including MPs and state assemblypersons from all over the country.
The source said last night’s meeting, which ended at midnight, also discussed putting up an alternative name for Khalid’s replacement.
Azmin’s name too comes in
The party, he said, would, besides Wan Azizah, propose another name as well for the post to the Pakatan Rakyat leadership council.
Gombak parliamentarian Azmin Ali, who is leading the race for the post of PKR deputy president, would be the other person the party would propose to its allies – DAP and PAS – so that the two parties can come to a decision on the matter in their respective central committee meetings on Aug 10.
The source said PAS would most likely accept Azmin, as the party has shown resistance toward putting up Wan Azizah as the head of the Sela gor government.
He said DAP leaders had no problem with either Wan Azizah or Azmin, as long as Khalid was replaced.
The source said DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng’s latest statement that all parties must first decide if they can accept a woman to be menteri besar showed the party was open to another candidate.
“The decision to name Azmin as an alternative is based on the fact that his name was proposed by seven people at the last special meeting PKR held at its headquarters before Hari Raya,” the source said.
“One of the leaders who proposed Azmin’s name is Penang PKR chief Mansor Othman, who is closest to Anwar in the northern region,” the source added.
He said the party may not have a choice but to propose two names, in order to appease the various factions in DAP, PKR and PAS that supports Azmin.
He added that these factions feel Azmin would be best to replace Khalid due to his loyalty to the party since 1998 – during the reformasi days – and due to his support from PKR grassroots especially in Selangor, considering his performance at the party’s internal polls.
Azmin has remained in the lead for the deputy president post against Khalid and Saifuddin.
This group feels that Selangor needs an MB who can come out strongly against arch rival Umno, and that Azmin is the best person to do so as he has led Pakatan Rakyat to victory in the 2008 and 2013 general polls.
Azmin himself has been very quiet about the whole Selangor MB fiasco and has declined requests for interviews with the press.
However, it is learnt that Azmin, since he returned from a 10-day pilgrimage to Mecca, has held serious and private discussions with Anwar, DAP and PAS leaders to find a solution to the Selangor problem.
Anwar Ibrahim’s minions within PKR is out to politically assassinate Khalid, left, right and centre.
Besides challenging Anwar Ibrahim’s minions like PKR Secretary General Saifuddin Nasution Ismail to make a report to MACC on the “Unexplained RM66 million arisen from settling debts with Bank Islam”, MB Khalid still has a last minute option.
Take Anwar Ibrahim and his minions like Saifuddin Nasution Ismail to court. This include PKR as the party.
Thats is the only language that Anwar Ibrahim understand. Challenge him in his own game and get to prove against his current political nemesis and his minions’ stories. Stretch the fight all the way.
After all, Khalid has many times proven that he is no push over.
That might actually scuttle a sinking ship in the current storm. However that is the right thing to do, against all of Anwar Ibrahim;s falsehood, being extended and spun till this very chronic political junction.
PKR common members have rights too. Rights to choose. Rights to be free from being hoodwinked. The right to disentangle themselves from a really chronic conundrum of one lie being compounded and infused after another.