June 5, 2016
PKR’s rejuvenation is long overdue–Time for Fresh Talent
by Scott Ng
What has become clear now is that PKR needs fresh blood at the top. With the wealth of talent it has in its cadre of young leaders, the only thing preventing its rejuvenation is probably the egoism of some party veterans.–Scott Ng
Perhaps all that talk about Wan Azizah languishing into irrelevance was merely talk after all. Until recently, she was largely seen as a reluctant politician who could not wait for her husband’s return so that she could relinquish power. She now seems to have sprung back.
During Wan Azizah’s perceived withdrawal from her leadership of PKR, it seemed like Azmin Ali was poised to take power. For example, he was prominently in the newspapers as the voice of PKR in the dispute with DAP during the Sarawak state election.
Azmin has not been absent from the news since. There are, for instance, fresh whispers of the Kidex Highway being resurrected and leaked messages from Rafizi Ramli warning party members against graft in the Selangor Government. Of course, that’s not the kind of media exposure an ambitious person like him would appreciate.
The Selangor Menteri Besar has squandered any goodwill his Jokowi-aping entry into office might have gained him as more and more whispers of corruption swirl around the Selangor Government.
And now Wan Azizah has returned to the fore. She has told Azmin she expected him to act upon reports of graft in the Selangor Government. She has also advised him against attending the ceremony where Pakatan Harapan would announce its candidates for the upcoming by-elections, explaining that he had responsibilities to PAS by virtue of the fact that Selangor residents had indeed voted for PAS under the auspices of Pakatan Rakyat in 2013.
Another blow has come with Rafizi’s lodging of a report with MACC regarding the allegations of graft involving PKR in Selangor. Rafizi, who is PKR’s Secretary-General, is seen as one of Wan Azizah’s people. He made the report after the Party President told him to do so. Surely, the MACC will be more than happy to be thorough in its investigation.
Regardless of whatever words Rafizi may use to explain his action, it is unusual to see a prominent party member lodge a corruption report that could be detrimental to another prominent party figure.
While it remains to be seen whether or not the rumours surrounding Azmin can be substantiated, it has had the effect of halting his ascent to the top of PKR. Azmin has an image problem now, and he probably has only himself to blame. He has been far too closely associated with many of the disasters involving PKR and Pakatan.
Wan Azizah’s sudden return is a virtual announcement that she has no intention of relinquishing control of the party to Azmin, and many probably see this as long overdue.
What has become clear now is that PKR needs fresh blood at the top. With the wealth of talent it has in its cadre of young leaders, the only thing preventing its rejuvenation is probably the egoism of some party veterans.