Saturday, February 20, 2010

Weak leadership and not 'wrong candidates' the cause of PKR's bickering
By:Joseph Kaos Jr

Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s confession that he fielded the “wrong” candidates in the March 8, 2008, general elections didn’t impress his political foes in Barisan Nasional (BN).

The normally self-assured Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) adviser dropped a bombshell during his party’s Chinese New Year open house function in Penang when he apologised and owned up to the crowd for his poor selection.

Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein ridiculed Anwar’s confession and dismissed the notion that his selection was the cause of the current bickering in the party.

“What is currently happening within the party is not a matter of 'wrong' candidates but a case of Anwar’s candidates finally seeing the light,” Hishamuddin told The Malay Mail.

“They have eventually realised that Anwar could not deliver the many promises he made before the elections,
especially after he was given the chance to do so in the five States Pakatan won in 2008.”

Almost two years after its remarkable March 8 success, PKR and the Pakatan Rakyat coalition are suffering from constant internal squabbling.

Early this month, Bayan Baru MP Datuk Seri Zahrain Hashim became the first PKR lawmaker to storm out of the party in anger.

Controversial MPs Zulkifli Noordin of Kulim-Bandar Baharu and Tan Tee Beng of Nibong Tebal have both publicly spoken out against the party and are speculated to follow in Zahrain's footsteps.

“You can fool some of the people all of the time, you can even fool all of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time,” said Hishammuddin, borrowing some of the famous lines from US President Abraham Lincoln.

Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin is also not convinced with Anwar’s reasoning. "I don't believe for a minute that all of PR, or PKR's problems for that matter, can be explained away by the fact that Anwar picked, in his own words, shaky candidates,” Khairy told The Malay Mail.

He said PKR’s infighting stemmed from something more fundamental.

“To suggest that the problems we are seeing today would not surface had other individuals become candidates and subsequently elected representatives, is extremely presumptuous,” said Khairy.

“There have been many well documented instances, particularly vis-a-vis PKR's relationship with its partners in PR, which has caused many of its own members to speak out against the party leadership.” Khairy said: “Loose cannons exist in all political parties and it's up to the leadership to deal with these elements. If the PKR leadership can't even satisfactorily manage internal dissent, how can the people be confident of its ability to lead a diverse country like Malaysia?”

Kedah Gerakan Youth chief Tan Keng Liang, meanwhile, challenged Anwar to not waste time in identifying all the “mistakenly fielded” PKR candidates – if the de facto PR leader is sincere about his mistake and his apology.

In a statement to The Malay Mail, Tan urged Anwar to issue a list of all the “wrong” candidates, and give an assurance to the voters that all those disclosed in the list would not be fielded again in the next election.

He said the people who voted for PKR in the 2008 elections have a right to know who the “wrong” candidates were.

“It is inappropriate to label any assemblyman or Member of Parliament from PKR or Pakatan Rakyat as 'unqualified' only after they decide to leave PKR and PR.”




  © Blogger templates Newspaper by 2008

Back to TOP