KLANG: The storm in Selangor PKR seems to have blown over but there are still rumblings, with party president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail apparently stealing the thunder from her deputy during a rally where the names of the party candidates were finally revealed.
Dr Wan Azizah and her deputy Datuk Seri Azmin Ali have been locked in an alleged power struggle.
Azmin, the state party chief and Mentri Besar, has seen his loyalists being struck out of the candidates’ list.
He met party adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim at a hospital yesterday before the final list was unveiled at the Pakatan Harapan ceramah at the Kuala Selangor stadium.
It is learnt that Dr Wan Azizah was to have named the candidates for the parliamentary seats and Azmin was to have taken over to name the candidates for the state seats.
However, the party president prattled on, and named all the candidates.
She left out Pandan, a parliamentary seat that she is widely expected to contest.
Going by the selected names, it is clear that some form of compromise has been reached between the PKR’s top two guns.
A clear indication of this is the inclusion of several names that were dropped earlier such as Taman Medan assemblyman Haniza Mohd Talha and former Petaling Jaya Selatan MP Hee Loy Sian, who will now contest in Kajang.
Another incumbent – Kapar MP G. Manivannan – will be replaced by former Kuala Langat MP Datuk Abdullah Sani.
Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, the former Seri Setia assemblyman, has been moved to Setiawangsa under the Federal Territories.
Former Seri Andalas (Sg Kandis) assemblyman Dr Xavier Jayakumar has been moved to the Kuala Langat parliamentary seat.
Azmin will defend his Gombak parliamentary and Bukit Antarabangsa state seats.
There were also many new names among the candidates.
Azmin had his way with aide Hilman Idham named for the Gombak Setia state seat.
It was said that Dr Wan Azizah had rejected him as a candidate.
In addition, former Bersih chairman Maria Chin Abdullah has been named for the Petaling Jaya parliamentary seat.
According to a party source, the impasse in PKR was because of an internal rift between Dr Wan Azizah’s and Azmin’s factions.
Elected representatives who shifted their loyalty from Dr Wan Azizah to Azmin have also been punished, said the source.
“Some of those who were to be dropped such as Tian Chua (Batu MP) and Gan Pei Nei (Rawang assemblyman) are Dr Wan Azizah’s loyalists.
“Both are now throwing their support behind Azmin,” said the source.
Tian Chua will now stay in Batu but Gan has been dropped.
Yesterday, Gan revealed in a press conference that she was sabotaged from within the party with a poison pen letter accusing her of mismanaging state allocations meant for her constituency.
“What’s happening is terrible and our grassroots can see this and are beginning to get fed up,” added the source.
He said Dr Wan Azizah had also initially rejected the eight candidates’ names Azmin submitted which further aggravated the fragile relationship between the party’s top leaders.
Azmin’s meeting with Anwar at the Cheras Rehabilitation Hospital where he is receiving physiotherapy after a shoulder surgery may have led to the compromise.
Assoc Prof Dr Sivamurugan Pandian of Universiti Sains Malaysia’s School of Social Sciences said what is happening in PKR clearly indicates that the party is being torn apart by internal factionalism.
“This may put off the fence sitters from voting for Pakatan as their expectations are very high,” said Dr Sivamurugan.
The event at the Kuala Selangor stadium was attended by Pribumi chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Pribumi president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, DAP deputy chairman Gobind Singh Deo and Selangor DAP chief Tony Pua.
Meanwhile, Kuantan PKR MP Fuziah Salleh refuted news reports that there was a dispute in the party’s candidates list.
She said PKR members had full confidence in Dr Wan Azizah to make the right decision.