Is there really no one else, PKR?


Even after a decade, the party has yet to groom a single new leader in their backyard

Hafidz Baharom, Free Malaysia Today

And thus, the president of the People’s Justice Party (PKR) will once again challenge for the Permatang Pauh seat which was vacated when her husband went to jail.

Welcome to the political roundabout world of Malaysian politics, where even after a decade the party has not yet groomed a single new leader in the backyard of the president and the de facto leader.

It was bad enough that she had to be forced to stand in the Kajang state assembly seat in Selangor, marketed as “a step towards Putrajaya”.

Now she has to take on the role of president, most probably head of the parliamentary opposition, assemblywoman for Kajang, and MP for Permatang Pauh?

Was there not a single other candidate available?

Is the naming of Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah as the candidate for Permatang Pauh truly proof of an obvious lacking of any new politicians groomed from within the ranks of PKR?

Or is this just the familiar plan to simply use the emotional card worthy of Politiko as it seems PKR wants to do these days?

Whatever the reasoning, I am not so much baffled as I am disappointed.

The choice of Wan Azizah for the by-election raises more questions about the inner workings of the party, if anything else.

Yes, they may win the election simply from the fact that they chose a safe candidate in the safest seat for the Anwar Ibrahim dynasty.

That will be an issue to be continually brought forward: is PKR bereft of candidate potential, to the point that members of the Anwar household will forever be the only glue to hold the house of cards together?

Is the membership of PKR Permatang Pauh so limited as to narrow the choice of potential candidates to only two people, either Anwar or Wan Azizah?

I ask these questions because I do not see a PKR succession plan for the coming general election. Will Wan Azizah run to and fro between Selangor and Penang yet again?

The last time PKR rushed to find candidates in 2008, it became a frog festival. In 2013, it suddenly became a free for all in multiple seats, out of the distrust of political ally PAS of PKR candidates pulling frog stunts, while also vying for more power.

It should be time now for PKR to come up with viable candidates for the next general election. Quite frankly, placing a Selangor assemblywoman in a Penang parliamentary seat spells disaster.