PKR deputy president Azmin Ali is likely wondering where things went wrong. Not only is PKR’s leadership turning on him; now it appears that the grassroots has as well.
Grassroots leaders and members have dispatched a wave of letters to the party’s disciplinary committee, demanding that Azmin be disciplined for his attacks on party president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim at his recent and now-infamous press conference.
The letters, spearheaded by former Pahang PKR Youth chief Kamarul Hatta Mohamed Ali, have demanded immediate action against Azmin. Kamarul is reported to have written, “Any criticism against party leaders should be made internally, not in the public space. With this, I urge the party to take stern action against Azmin for his transgressions.”
The party’s disciplinary committee is begging members to submit formal complaints against Azmin rather than merely providing Opposition portals copies of their dirty linen.
Continuing the trend previously noted by The Choice, this ‘grassroots’ surge is very likely a stalking-horse for Azmin’s enemies in the party, who are working through proxies to eliminate him from leadership. With the announcement that PKR’s party elections will likely be postponed this year, it is beginning to appear that the party is preparing to clean house, and Azmin will be one of the ones swept out.
Once de facto PKR leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s blue-eyed boy and one of the founders of Keadilan in the wake of Anwar’s failed coup attempt against Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and subsequent sacking as DPM, Azmin has found his power severely curtailed after GE13, firstly by finding that he had not been suggested for Menteri Besar.
This is probably doubly a surprise to Azmin, who as the head of Selangor PKR undoubtedly played some role in the party’s and Pakatan Rakyat’s success in the state at GE13. His all but open quest for the position of MB was widely-seen as likely to succeed before GE13.
Azmin also apparently discovered for the first time that nepotism and a lack of consensus also play roles in PKR’s governance. This raises critical questions about his intelligence and self-awareness.
It is not too much to say that Azmin now finds himself beset on all sides, with his long-time sponsor and saviour, Anwar, conspicuously absent.
Yet in the end, this may be merely the logical conclusion of Anwar’s party – a party headed and controlled by his family and proxies, where hard work and dedication matter less than connections to the ruling family.
It will be interesting to watch these events unfold over the next several months. Azmin is a survivor, but he appears now to be on the outside, and Anwar’s party never rewards those on the outside.