Khalid: Political parties more volatile than stock market


(MM) – Claiming there is no such thing as a stable political party in the country, Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim today shrugged off caution that PKR’s infighting ahead of its internal elections could cost its de-facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim the Kajang state seat.

The embattled Selangor mentri besar who has openly challenged incumbent PKR deputy president Azmin Ali for the second-in-command’s hat, said no party can say it has had a smooth ride since its founding.

“I am new to politics, so I studied the political conduct of all parties and they all suffered from internal squabbles. Be it DAP, or PAS, or Umno who enjoy the squabbles, MCA who today are still trying to recover, or MIC who break and regroup, and break and regroup again,” he said at a press conference here.

“If you want an example of a steady political party, we don’t have any. This is a worse pattern than the stock market prices… there is so much volatility,” he added.

Senior DAP leader Lim Kit Siang yesterday warned that endless feuding in PKR and Pakatan Rakyat (PR) could spell the end of Anwar’s Kajang bid this March 23.

The Gelang Patah MP said all PR partners — DAP, PAS and PKR — need to close ranks and put aside their differences for the sake of the coming by-election, which he labelled “the by-election of the century”.

Lim said Anwar’s “real enemies” in Kajang were not his opponents, whether from MCA or the independents, but from within PR and PKR, which have been making headlines of late for locking horns over a number of issues.

Khalid today argued that the situation was not as dire as Lim had made it out to be, saying that political norms here are structured well enough to handle hot-button issues that could otherwise bring the nation into turmoil.

Pointing to on-going strife in neighbouring Thailand and the civil unrest in countries like Ukraine, Venezuela and Egypt, the second-term Selangor mentri besar said Malaysian politicians have proven their maturity in dealing with domestic disputes.

“We are lucky… we should continue to use intelligence to deal with issues while we are still competitive, but the people’s development and growth must be a priority for us,” he said.

Khalid is seen as being part of the reason for the fractious politics in PKR, due to his long-standing feud with incumbent party deputy president Azmin Ali.

Khalid was Selangor PKR chairman before being succeeded by Azmin, and the two are expected to face-off for the party’s number two post this April.

His tendency to unilaterally make decisions in administering the country’s wealthiest state has stirred some dissatisfaction among Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders, especially PKR leaders in Selangor.

Khalid’s rivalry with Azmin for control of Selangor has been chronicled in local news reports, and is expected to manifest during the party’s upcoming elections.

It was this rivalry that kick-started the on-going drama unfolding in the upper echelon of the Selangor administration, and is believed to be the reason behind Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s “Kajang move”.

The nomination date for all top PKR posts will be on March 29, while nominations for divisional posts will be from April 4 to April 13.

Voting will begin on April 25 and end on May 11, and the results will be announced either on May 12 or May 13.

PKR recently amended its election rules to ensure a clean and healthy polls this May.

Under the new rules, individuals can now nominate themselves, instead of relying on proposals from the divisions. The duration for the voting process will also be shorter than previously.