Anwar putting PKR above Malaysia, say analysts

Analysts say that Anwar is putting his party’s interest above the nation’s following his decision to contest in the Kajang by-election. The move, according to them, would weaken Pakatan’s position in Selangor. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Afif Abd Halim, January 29, 2014.

By Elizabeth Zachariah and Md Izwan, TMI

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is putting his party’s interest above the nation’s following his decision to contest in the Kajang by-election, say analysts, who add that the opposition leader’s actions showed “complete disrespect” to the voters and will weaken Pakatan Rakyat’s (PR) position in Selangor.

Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) chief executive officer Wan Saiful Wan Jan said the upcoming Kajang by-election will cause “unnecessary problems” for the people.

“It really is the worst possible decision to make at this point of time. It only shows that Anwar has put the interests of the party before the people’s.

“The people would be upset about this as it shows complete disrespect to voters and indicates internal political bickering,” he told The Malaysian Insider, adding that it will set a bad precedent for the future.

Universiti Utara Malaysia political analyst Mohd Azizuddin Mohd Sani also agreed, adding that the people would question Anwar’s decision as it is the people’s right to decide their leaders.

“The people will surely feel this is not right as internal bickering has caused them to once again go to the polls,” he said.

Both Wan Saiful and Azizuddin questioned the cost of the by-election, saying that it would involve using more public funds at a time when the people had to tighten their belts due to the rising cost of living.

“He (Anwar) will now make the country pay for another by-election. We are talking about saving money but he wants to spend more,” Wan Saiful said.

Azizuddin added: “This by-election is a waste of money. The Election Commission spends at least RM4 million for each by-election.”

Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim announced yesterday that Anwar will contest the Kajang state seat which was vacated on Monday by the resignation of its assemblyman Lee Chin Cheh.

Speculation had been rife that the PKR de facto leader was tipped to take over as menteri besar at a later date to resolve a feud between the Selangor PKR and Khalid. Anwar, however, denied this.

“If the Menteri Besar is changed, I fear that there will be repercussions as Khalid is well-liked by the people because of the transparency in his management. This might strain relationship between the people and Pakatan,” Azizuddin said.

“When this happens, it only shows problems in Pakatan… it is not good for them.”

However, political analysts Wong Chin Huat and UMCEDEL director Prof Datuk Dr Mohammad Redzuan Othman predicted a good future for Pakatan following Anwar’s decision to contest the Kajang seat.

“In a presidential system, chief executives of sub-national government command more resources and opportunities to showcase their ability to govern than senior national lawmakers,” Wong said in his Facebook page today.

“The logic is the same for Malaysia, even though we are a parliamentary system.”

Bill Clinton, he said as an example, was the governor of Arkansas from 1983 to 1992 before moving on to become the 42nd president of the United States.