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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Anwar must stand firm as Zaid and group tries to rock PKR


Anwar addressing a crowd

Wong Choon Mei,Malaysia Chronicle 


Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim is unlikely to be browbeaten into accepting the demands of losing leaders in the PKR's historic direct elections, especially given that the loyalty of at least one of the complainants is suspect.

"So far, all we have received are complaints. Everybody grouses, everyone bellyaches especially when they are losing. This is what we wish to remind all PKR members and Malaysians - do not be taken in," PKR strategic director Tian Chua told Malaysia Chronicle.


"A complaint does not equal proof. My supporter can also complain on my behalf, but where is my proof? Are PKR members and Malaysians three-year old children to be fooled by sore losers grumbling without thought for the party. It is strange that Zaid as lawyer does not recognize this."

Inflicting as much damage as he can before he leaves


Tian was referring to Zaid Ibrahim, the former Umno leader who joined PKR in 2008. Zaid is widely seen as a Trojan horse with his own motives for his actions against the party, in particular his animosity towards Anwar and long-time vice president Azmin Ali.

Zaid - his final lap in PKR
However, despite all his efforts, Zaid is trailing badly in the balloting exercise which has another two rounds to go. Many in PKR also believe he has managed to pull vice president Mustaffa Kamil Ayub into his camp.


In fact, it was in a statement issued at a press conference in Zaid's house that Mustaffa gave Anwar a 48-hour ultimatum to postpone or cancel the polls.


"We are giving them 48 hours to postpone or call off the elections. The elections have so far seen 162 complaints of malpractices. The committee cannot ignore this,"Malaysiakini reported Mustaffa as saying.


But Mustaffa drew little sympathy from party loyalists. According to Malaysiakini's unofficial tally up to the last weekend, Azmin's overall position stood at 6,925, while Zaid is said to have netted 3,905. Perak PKR chief Mustaffa Kamil Ayub trails far behind with 1,215 votes.


"When people trail, they often try to find excuses. This issue has exploded into more than just excuses but it is clear there may be ulterior motives involved to destroy PKR. If there is concrete proof, I will also fight for clean polls. But till now, I see nothing but vested interest and so and so being dissatisfied," said Tian.


"So far, the secretariat led by Saifuddin Nasution has given explanations backed up by concrete details. The feeling within PKR cannot be denied that the small group led by Zaid could be trying to create as much damage as they can before they leave. Even now, when Zaid says he wants to build PKR, isn't he is actually destroying it? We urge PKR members and Malaysians to view the conduct and behavior of his group and decide for themselves - does the group work for the interests of PKR, the nation or for themselves?"


Becoming a matter of personal jealousy 


Zaid had a day ago announced his wish to drop out from the polls. He also resigned from his party positions but chickened out on surrendering his PKR membership.


Yet today, he issued a fresh press statement that again underscored his grand ambitions.


"When Zaid pulled out of the No.2 race, he showed he had no respect for the grassroots and at the same time denied the membership a choice. Again, we would reiterate, if he has evidence – and not just complaints – please show it. Do not destroy PKR because of personal jealousy against Anwar because this is how the fight is now descending into," said Tian.


Other party stalwarts also blasted Zaid for trying to blame Anwar for his own shortcomings. Zaid had pinned his hopes on Sabah divisions to support him, but they gave their votes to Azmin instead. Many PKR watchers attributed this to the fact that Zaid had not helped PKR campaign in the recent Batu Sapi by-election in Sandakan.

"This was also another factor that made Sabah members think twice about Zaid. They saw Anwar working round the clock, they also saw Azmin flying in to help as did Khalid Ibrahim. But no sign of Zaid. When it mattered, no one saw Zaid, nor did he articulate his vision for PKR, Pakatan or Malaysia," Nik Nazmi, PKR communications chief told Malaysia Chronicle.


"At a time when we were running against BN, Zaid kept his mouth shut. But now when it comes to fighting internally - tough fights that can split the party - suddenly Zaid is in the forefront."

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