PETALING JAYA: The turmoil in PKR over the past two days is a clear sign that the party is now in deep crisis from rival factions aligned to president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and his deputy Datuk Seri Azmin Ali.
Political analyst and Universiti Sains Malaysia social science lecturer Prof Dr Sivamurugan Pandian said this could be seen from three recent incidents.
The first one took place on Thursday when 28 party leaders comprising PKR central committee members, MPs and state assemblymen signed a statement expressing their support for Azmin.
The 28, who include 15 MPs and eight state assemblymen, also told Anwar off for calling on Azmin to resign if it was proven that he was one of the two men in a viral sex video.
The second incident happened yesterday when six out of the 14 PKR state chiefs expressed their loyalty to Anwar.
The third development was a PKR leadership retreat held in Anwar’s parliamentary constituency of Port Dickson last night, where Azmin and many of his loyalists were absent.
“The retreat is supposed to be for all leaders. If only Anwar’s faction turned up, it shows that the crisis has widened.
“This feud involving a few leaders arguing via statements has degenerated into a fight that has affected a party programme. To me, this is a clear sign of a party in deep crisis,” said Prof Sivamurugan.
Universiti Malaya political analyst Dr Muhammad Asri Mohd Ali pointed out that PKR is the biggest party in the Pakatan Harapan coalition government with 50 MPs and 79 state assemblymen.
He noted that the problems in PKR are taking place as the transition of leadership from Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to Anwar, that has been agreed by Pakatan, is approaching.
“It’s clear that PKR is in crisis. With PKR being the main component in Pakatan, a failure to resolve or manage the rift in the party well could cause PKR’s problems to spread to Pakatan as well,” said Asri.