PKR polls infighting unbecoming of promised political reform


(The Ant Daily) – This brings about the ugly possibility that the party itself is not really interested in transparency. Either that or it has things to hide.

They say that there is nothing worse than when siblings fight and when it comes to political power plays, internal infighting in a party can be just as vicious and senseless as national politics, and the upcoming PKR polls are no exception.

Sparks are already flying after nominations on March 29, and smear campaigns already ongoing or continuing against some candidates, even before they can start to campaign on their merit or as PKR once vowed, on principles and policies.

One wonders if the party that calls for open debates with BN will also feature debates between candidates and if it is really going to practise what it preaches in policy-based campaigning.

Deputy president Azmin Ali is on record as loathing open debates between candidates, preferring to keep “internal party matters” under wraps.

“We can settle it internally. This is not about competition but who has something to offer. All candidates offer something,” he reportedly said.

“This matter is not for the media to judge but by party members themselves. This is not the general election but party election. We will not allow Utusan Malaysia, TV3 or other media portals to decide,” continued Azmin, explaining his reluctance.

This, however, runs counter to PKR’s self-declared commitment to transparency and as the party is gunning for national leadership, its top leaders and the ambitious candidates should be transparent to the public in general and not just the party.

This brings about the ugly possibility that the party itself is not really interested in transparency. Either that or it has things to hide.

And apparently, the incumbent deputy president’s seeming discretion is not shared by supporters of those throwing their hats into the ring, maybe even some who are in his corner.

In full swing now are smear campaigns, some in what ironically can be seen to be in concert with politically owned tabloid-size print media and its character killing exclusive breaking news articles.

PKR supporters of some candidates have been sighted on Twitterjaya, the blogosphere and other social media engaging in psychological warfare and indirect campaigning with spurious wit and saintly aplomb.

Coincidentally, Azmin’s rival for the party number two post Selangor MB and new kid on the PKR block, Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, was one of those hit with allegations that he was outwitted by a property developer in a state land deal.

Aspersions were also cast on the nature and timing of the deal, that not only demeans his business savvy but integrity too.

Previously, the same one-two knockout combination of tabloid-size politically owned media character killing article and insinuating tweets have been used to highlight the domestic issues of a party leader.

Some say the attack had effectively knocked the leader out of the deputy president’s race, though the same leader is defending a current post.

Another contender for a top party post was also hit with scandal over allegations of not paying for paintings supposedly bought from a national laureate.

The allegation surfaced soon after her nomination as candidate. While the issue seems to have corroboration, its timing smells complicit.

The conduct of some of those who tendered their candidacy is also in question, for example incumbent vice-president Tian Chua who is not only defending his post but had also thrown his hat into the crowded deputy presidential race.

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