KUALA LUMPUR July 13, 2012: Malaysia Today webmaster Raja Petra Kamarudin claimed today that PKR deputy president Azmin Ali may try to dominate the party by fielding his candidates in the upcoming general election.
This will strengthen his position as the undisputed successor to Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim in a grim picture that would rattle Pakatan Rakyat and disrupt the cooperation among the three component parties, said the exiled blogger.
In his latest posting titled “The weak link is getting weaker”, Raja Petra claimed Pakatan’s inability to resolve its seat allocation talks signalled growing internal disquiet over Azmin’s alleged plan to control PKR’s electoral candidacy.
Although Pakatan has repeatedly denied allegations of a deadlock over seat allocations, saying that discussions are ongoing, several mainstream newspapers, quoting its top leaders, reported that the talks would be finalised before nomination day.
Raja Petra claimed that Azmin’s candidates will likely be “loyalists who, when asked to jump, will ask, ‘how high?’” These supporters could help him quell any challenge to his place as Anwar’s successor – a scenario that could likely result in the pact breaking up following its inability to agree on who will lead in the future.
“Those in PAS and DAP say that the offer [for prime minister's post] is only to Anwar and not to any successor to Anwar, especially if this successor happens to be Azmin… many in PAS and DAP are sitting back to watch the whole thing unfold with great interest.
“If Anwar no longer exists, then Pakatan would have very little choice, just like how they have very little choice now and have to nominate Anwar as their choice of prime minister whether they like him or not,” he said.
Anwar, who is also PKR’s de facto leader, is seen as the only factor that keeps the secularist DAP and Islamist PAS together. His moderate image and politics are seen as a key appeal to Malaysia’s mutiracial electorate.
Both parties have agreed that Anwar was the most suitable candidate for the prime minister’s post should Pakatan wrest federal power, but when he faced the prospect of incarceration after he was charged with sodomy for the second time, it exposed the pact’s frailty in that there was no successor in sight that all the parties could agree upon.
Raja Petra also claimed that the political future of Anwar’s wife and PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail is in jeopardy.
If Azmin dominates the candidacy, Wan Azizah and her daughter, PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah, could easily be isolated from mounting any challenge to his position as Anwar’s successor.
The rivalry between Azmin and Wan Azizah and Nurul Izzah is an open secret. When the PKR president announced that she would contest for a state seat in Selangor, the Malaysia Today webmaster said it was indicative of the ongoing tussle between the party’s No1 and No 2.
“Azmin is a master of distraction. The Gerakan Anti-Faekah movement was aimed at ousting Wan Azizah’s nominee in the Selangor Menteri Besar’s office,” he said, referring to the pressure for Faekah Husin to quit over the alleged support letter scandal.
Faekah is the secretary to Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim, who is also an enemy of Azmin.
“Wan Azizah countered this by announcing that she is probably going to contest a state seat, and this has pissed Azmin off big time. He is beginning to see Wan Azizah and Nurul Izzah as hindrances to his plan to take control of the party. And with them allied to Khalid, that makes it even worse.”
Raja Petra said with Azmin gunning for total control of PKR, this could lead to deep factional fighting that would also affect PKR’s allies, the DAP and PAS, as the pact’s future is hanging by the thread.
Azmin has not responded as yet for comment on this matter.