PETALING JAYA: Factions within PKR are spreading fake news and misinformation ahead of the upcoming Seri Setia by-election, potentially causing rifts in the party, say sources.
According to a highly-placed PKR source, certain groups with vested interests are trying to influence the central committee's choice of candidates in the by-election, which will run concurrently with the Balakong polls on Sept 8.
The source was commenting on reports that PKR vice president Nurul Izzah Anwar has been proposed as a candidate to stand in the Seri Setia by-election.
According to the report, Nurul Izzah will vacate the Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat, allowing Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to contest in a by-election.
This will start the process which will allow Anwar to replace Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as prime minister, as agreed to by all four Pakatan Harapan component parties prior to GE14.
"Someone is leaking it to them (the media) and they are doing it to please Anwar. That is why they want to lobby for this (Nurul as candidate).
"This is just like the 'Kajang move'," the source told The Star.
"I think the source of the report is some 'rich man', who is trying to gain favour," the source added without elaborating who it was.
The "Kajang Move" was a political manoeuvre that attempted to displace Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim as Selangor mentri besar and put Anwar in charge of the state.
However, the move failed and Datuk Seri Azmin Ali ultimately replaced Khalid as the mentri besar.
The source, however, reiterated that Anwar is in no hurry to make a return to Parliament, adding that the incoming PKR president has no particular endorsement for any party leader to take on the by-election.
"There are two types of factions in PKR – the kaki bodeks (apple polishers) and another group who want to show Anwar that they are able to gain favours," the source added.
Another source in PKR claimed that there are certain factions within the party that are trying to cause a split between the party and the Anwar clan.
"Who knows what their intentions are. But there is a trend (in PKR) to attack the entire Anwar family to blacken its name."
The Seri Setia by-election was called following the death of its incumbent Dr Shaharuddin Badaruddin on Aug 2, who won the seat in a four-cornered fight with a 19,372 majority in GE14.
Meanwhile, another source revealed that a leader from Barisan Nasional is taking the opportunity to manipulate the already-strained relations between different factions in PKR.
"They want to take advantage of the bad relationship between Azmin and Rafizi Ramli, and also try to cause a strain between Dr Mahathir and Anwar," the source said.
"It is a good opportunity to cause a split within PKR and also Pakatan," the source added.
Political pundits have previously touted the upcoming party polls as a battle between the Azmin and Rafizi factions, as the duo is set to cross swords over the PKR deputy president's post.
Speculation is also rife that Anwar is not comfortable with Azmin's appointment as Economics Affairs Minister and Khazanah Nasional Bhd board member, as it is seen as a move by Dr Mahathir to keep PKR and Anwar in check.
The PKR polls, which will see more than 900,000 party members casting their votes, will take place over the course of nine weeks starting in September.