Azmin – PKR’s Renaissance Man or Judas?


Hazlan Zakaria, The Ant Daily

PKR deputy president Azmin Ali is reinventing himself, from de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim loyalist and long-serving party member to an idealist espousing his own strong ideas, to expand the focus of the party to more universal values.

Or perhaps to plough the ground not only for the fermenting of political discussion, but also an actual transition of behind-the-throne influence and leadership in the party’s game of thrones.

In essence, turning him into the Renaissance Man who looks set to steer the party away from its Anwar-centric focus to a more nationalistic stance.

Into which he has resurrected and enlisted the ideas, political philosophies of luminaries like Burhanuddin Al Helmy, Rabindranath Tagore Ibrahim Yaacob, Gandhi, Okakura Tenshin, and Soekarno, via his campaign for deputy president in the upcoming polls with the slogan “KeadilanRaya” which roughly means greater justice.

Perhaps he is looking to build a political ideology for the party which up until now has been fuelled by the force of Anwar’s personality, more than anything else.

However, observers see this as more a desperate tactic to try and wrest whatever benefits due to him for his years of loyal service to the party, benefits which were denied him by the party leadership, despite his years of silent service.

Like the Selangor MB post which he once said was promised to him, but was given to current MB and challenger for the number two party post, Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, being unable to run for the party presidency with the Anwar-Azizah nomination caper, and others like state GLC postings that he has campaigned for.

In this, he is backed by his own “personality cult”, mostly intelligent new age men and women he had groomed and integrated into the party who are of the same mind with him.

Many of them have already been seeding PKR with the seeds of political ideological discussion through forums and programmes. Some were recruited by him, others helped by his largesse during their early days and owe him a debt of gratitude.

However, despite the high-minded motives of Azmin and his circle of intelligentsia, there are examples and tales of them going after party rivals with vindictive methods, through both underhanded and out and out in the open attacks.

After all, the Renaissance not only saw the renewal of knowledge but also the development of political intrigue ala Machiavelli. A blade that cuts both ways.

But political commentaries on his methods and the conduct of his supporters aside, Azmin’s KeadilanRaya may just be the renewal that can help inject new and much needed life into the party.

A rejuvenation from being just the party seeking justice or keadilan for Anwar, to a party that is truly seeking keadilan for all.

And this is precisely the object of Azmin’s KeadilanRaya campaign to defend his deputy presidency.

As if looking to divorce himself from being just the loyal follower of opposition leader Anwar to indeed a political personality in his own right.