All is not well in PKR

Kajang by-election

The Kajang by-election is a crucial test for Anwar to gauge his effective or ineffectiveness in the eyes of the rakyat

Jeswan Kaur, FMT

Former deputy prime minister and current opposition de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim has set his sight on Putrajaya and decided ‘the journey of a thousand miles” starts with one first step.

The first step in this case would be Anwar’s battle for the Kajang state seat, which fell vacant after state assemblyperson Lee Chin Cheh vacated his seat on Jan 27 to make way for Anwar to join the 56-seat state assembly.

While tongues wagged and gossiped as to the real reason behind Lee’s unexpected decision to quit, the fact that it is Anwar who is eventually the opposition candidate who is eyeing the state seat has not gone down with the Barisan Nasional leaders.

As always, former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad has plenty to say. To him, his deposed deputy premier has embarked on his life-long mission, that of someday becoming the prime minister of Malaysia.

Mahathir sees Anwar’s move to contest in the Kajang by-election as “baby steps” to fulfilling his ambition of making it as the country’s premier.

For that to happen, Anwar has to prove his mettle to the rakyat and what better way than to become the menteri besar of the country’s wealthiest state, Selangor.

While that is not wrong in the books of an overzealous and highly ambitious politician, Anwar in Mahathir’s judgement will always be an opportunist politician, one whose vested interest and not the desire to serve the rakyat, is always top priority.

In an interview with Bernama Radio 24 on Thursday, Mahathir claimed that Anwar had an agenda when he joined Umno – to be part of the ruling coalition and become prime minister.

A foregone conclusion by Mahathir. And by the way, which politician does not harbour the same sentiments as Anwar does?

The issue here is that it is none other than Anwar who has decided to face the heat in the Kajang by-election; the very same Anwar who makes no bones about his wanting to go down in Malaysian history as a ‘prime minister with a difference’.

Kajang, PKR’s lifebuoy

Whilst only time will tell as to whether Anwar will ever occupy the PM’s seat, the Kajang by-election is a crucial test for Anwar to gauge his effective or ineffectiveness in the eyes of the rakyat.

With the present day Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim being portrayed as having ‘overstayed his welcome’ as the state’s leader, the decision as to whether Anwar is the best candidate for the job is best left to the people of Kajang.