Recent reshuffling shows party’s willingness for reform, say experts

PETALING JAYA: The recent reshuffling of PKR’s states and territories leadership is timely as it signifies the party’s willingness for reform and leadership renewal.

The move by PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to change the chairman and deputy chairman post in Sarawak, Sabah, Pahang, Johor, Terengganu, Kelantan and Federal Territory, was said to ensure a smoother leadership transition process for the party.

Ledang MP Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh, who was part of the new batch of state PKR leaders, said the plans of a reshuffle was discussed for months prior.

“It wasn’t a sudden reshuffling. The discussion about state leadership has been going on for months.

“As the president, Datuk Seri Anwar consulted all the states before making the appointments,” the new Johor PKR chairman said when contacted yesterday.

Syed Ibrahim added that reshuffling would ensure a smooth transition between the previous and current leadership.

Last Sunday’s announcement saw deputy president Rafizi Ramli and vice-president Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad removed as heads for Federal Territories and Johor, as well as Kelantan and Terengganu, respectively.

“The change of leadership is timely allowing the deputy and vice-presidents to focus on their responsibilites such as delivering national and party policies.

“And the new state leadership could focus on strengthening party machinery and activities including for Pakatan Harapan and the unity government,” said Syed Ibrahim.

Political analyst Prof Datuk Dr Sivamurugan Pandian of Universiti Sains Malaysia said the reshuffling of state-level PKR chiefs would reposition the party at national and state levels in line with the party’s deep affiliation with the government.

Sivamurugan added it would strengthen the leadership of Anwar as the party president and Pakatan chairman, going forward as a party that is part of the government.

“The party also has to start its internal succession plans so that the transition is smooth and to avoid any internal conflicts later when the time comes for party and general elections.

“The Sabah chapter turmoil was a classic saga that PKR would want to avoid in other states,” he said.

Sivamurugan added the reshuffle would also mean that Anwar wanted to maintain peace within the party following the crisis in Sabah.

“Anwar may want to make sure as a mainstream party now, the last thing is to face any internal conflicts (caused by) personalities.

“The reshuffle is to make sure that there is only one captain, and others have to follow as he leads.

“Whether it’s to clip the wings of others, I think it’s too early to predict.

“At this point, I think he would like to see smooth sailing of the party with others following his stewardship,” he said.

Universiti Malaya’s Prof Dr Awang Azman Awang Pawi said reshuffling is a way for PKR to show the party is ready to groom the next generation of leaders.

The new state leaders, Awang Azman said, would be a better choice considering they are locals and have served their respective areas.

“The appointment of Rafizi and Nik Nazmi was a temporary one as the announcement proves that the party leaders prefer someone who had the experience and had served locals, so it would benefit the party in the upcoming by-election and state elections,” he said. Deputy Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Minister Fuziah Salleh, who had previously served as the Pahang PKR chairman between 2019 and 2022, said plans to strengthen the party at the division level and women as well as youth wings are already underway.

“In Pahang, it is led by the Barisan Nasional-Pakatan government.

“Pakatan helped form the state government and contributed one-third of the seats.

“It is Pakatan’s wish that the representation is also implemented at the local council level as well as the committee level of the respective villages and other political appointments,” the new Pahang PKR chairman said.

Meanwhile, new Sabah PKR chairman Datuk Mustapha Sakmud has called on party members to close ranks to prepare for the state election.

Mustapha, who is Deputy Higher Education Minister, also gave his assurance that Sabah PKR and its state Pakatan Harapan partners will continue to support the state government led by Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) chairman Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor until the dissolution of the legislative assembly, due by September next year.

The Sepanggar MP replaces Datuk Dr Sangkar Rasam, who faced a rebellion from 15 of the 26 Sabah and Labuan PKR divisions which had called for his ouster for failing to strengthen the party in the state.

PKR information chief and Communications Minister Fahmi Fadzil announced that the party’s central council decided upon leadership changes involving seven states and territories in a meeting last Sunday, without revealing the reason for the reshuffle.

Other appointments following the reshuffle were Roland Engan as the Sarawak PKR chief, Ahmad Nazri Mohd Yusof as the Terengganu chairman, Datuk Seri Mohamad Suparadi Md Noor for Kelantan and Datuk Azman Abidin for the Federal Territories.

Both Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari and Negri Sembilan Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Aminudin Harun retained their positions in their respective states.

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