Will PKR’s leadership bickering spell its downfall in Selangor?


Cecilia Jeyanthi Victor, The Ant Daily

The seemingly protracted internal bickering among PKR leaders is threatening party unity.

In the ongoing party elections, camps initiated by party leaders have become very apparent, raising concerns of the extent of damage to PKR.

Claims of party election irregularities such as blackouts in Batang Sadong, Sarawak, and also of vote tampering allegedly involving party number two Azmin Ali are serious.

Among other external controversies surrounding PKR is the water crisis in Selangor, possibly undermining the rakyat’s support for Pakatan Rakyat in the next general election.

With the puzzling uncertainties of what is really happening in the state government under the leadership of Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, many have raised doubts and worries whether Pakatan would be able to retain Selangor in GE14.

In an exclusive interview with theantdaily, PKR Wanita chief Zuraida Kamaruddin shared some of her opinions over matters concerning the party leadership and issues surrounding the water crisis in Selangor.

On Khalid’s handling of the water crisis in Selangor, Zuraida who is also Ampang MP, reiterated that Khalid should have first and foremost discussed the matter with knowledgeable MPs.

“Even Datuk Seri Anwar was not consulted on the decision and how to be prepared to face the rakyat’s grievances on the issue.

“Our stand was not to give up the water deal. When we did the U-Turn, there would have been a lot of questions. If he (Khalid) had discussed with knowledgeable MPs like Rafizi Ramli, things would have been different, but he made a unilateral decision.”

A known Khalid critic, Zuraida said: “The MB is known for not keeping his promises. One day he would say one thing and another thing another day. I would have to monitor whether he keeps his word, as he had said there would be press conferences on the water issue every two days. Let’s wait and see.”

On Khalid bragging about his ability to govern the state due to his experience as a corporate figure, Zuraida said: “He was a man who came from government-linked companies (GLCs). If you look at his career background, he was really just a top government servant. I do not think he was a full corporate figure.”

In a turn of events on April 29, Khalid did not show up at a crucial press conference to address the water issue. However, on April 30, he announced that the water rationing in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya since February will be lifted on May 1 and that state water concessionaire Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (Sybas) has been instructed to restore regular water supply.

Water issues have been a long and hard battle the state government has had to deal with especially after it refused to allow the construction of the Langat 2 water treatment plant since 2009.

Khalid had pretty much been blamed for insufficient treated water supply in the state today.

Zuraida, a known Azmin ally, also dismissed allegations of vote rigging by Azmin.

“The hotel room was a designated place to conduct the polling, so once it was over at 5pm, the officers stopped the voting process. I think these were groups who were not happy with the results and decided to come up with such allegations.

“I saw the pictures, but I just saw a few guys and the ballot papers,” said Zuraida.

“The matter is now being investigated by the party,” she said, adding it was uncalled for and the person responsible for making the “wild allegations” should be disciplined.

“How could they relate it to Azmin when he was not even there?” she asked.