Mahathir emerge the winner in the Anwar-Azmin rift

(Sin Chew) – The split between PKR’s top two has proven that the rumors which have been circulating for so long have not been unfounded.

The sex video scandal has brought to light PH’s internal conflicts lurking deeply inside Pandora’s box.

Prior to this, some PH leaders have alleged that all the rumors circulating wildly in the social media have been stories created by critics and the press.

Now that there is no way for us to put the lid back on Pandora’s box, why not let history tell us whether all these stories have been fabricated or real?

We can understand that a lot of effort must have been put in for PH in order to win the elections, and all the leaders with vested interest hope everything will go on smoothly at least until after the next general elections.

So, all the “stories” that have found their way into public knowledge must be denied outright, including the hope that all the things that “may happen” will not happen at all.

No doubt PH is racing against time. Not only do the leaders need to spend a lot more time and effort to undo the many problems left behind by the previous BN administration, they also need to confront mounting challenges both internally and externally.

All that PH can do now is to pray unceasingly that nothing bad will happen half way, and then speed up the reform so as to keep itself continually in power past the next general elections.

As a matter of fact, there have been too many unfulfilled election pledges over the past one year.

Many have anticipated immediate recognition of UEC certificate, shutdown of Lynas plant, re-investigation of Teoh Beng Hock’s untimely death and the abolition of highway tolls, for instance, but have been largely disappointed.

To be honest, of the five “Pillars” the PH coalition has emphasized, save for the return of Sabah and Sarawak to the equal partnership status which was on the right track but was unfortunately rejected, the rakyat have indeed seen some positive changes taking place in the two “pillars” of institutional and political reforms, and creation of a more inclusive, moderate and globally respected country.

As for reducing the people’s burden, the “feel good” mood is obviously still not there yet. In its stead, many local businesses have grumbled about the increasingly tough business environment. They complain that PH leaders have spent more time on politics than fixing the ailing economy.

As for spurring more sustainable and equitable economic growth, the leaders’ mindset is nothing different from that of Umno during BN’s time. Non-bumiputras remain sidelined in the new government’s policy.

The ruling coalition will need more time to make amends and implement the promised reforms. PKR’s infighting will only complicate things further, much to the restlessness and helplessness of the other component parties.

Now all eyes are on what PM Mahathir is going to do next. Many people tend to believe that Mahathir and his PPBM will emerge as eventual victors in the Anwar-Azmin rift.

Everything that the prime minister has said since the very beginning of the male sex video scandal has everyone interpreting that he is siding Azmin Ali, and this makes Anwar and his supporters feel increasingly uneasy.

The PM-in-waiting has recently posted large numbers of his pictures taken with the PM in an attempt to refute rumors that the old man will renege on his promise of handing over the baton to him.

When the rift with Azmin peaked last week, he still claimed that he had enough people to support him as the country’s next PM, not to forget to reiterate that he was “meeting the prime minister every week”, and had the “support of PH and PM”, which to my ears sounded more like he was a desperate man.

Sin Chew Daily reported recently quoting a source that Anwar is about to outline the country’s economic direction after he becomes the 8th prime minister in a seminar at the Parliament this Friday, seen by some as a move to get Mahathir out of office.

Additionally, the fact that the police could only confirm the authenticity of the video but not the identity of the men in video — given today’s technology — is poised to spark more speculations and conspiracy theories, as the police are more inclined now to probe the mastermind behind the incident and not the two men in video.

Anwar’s journey to the premiership has never been smooth and indeed few are optimistic about it. The latest sex video scandal will only add to the unpredictability.

In this whole thing we have seen that Anwar’s attitude has been softening, from asserting that Azmin must go on leave to accepting the police statement that “Azmin was not involved” in a bid to ease the tension.

On the contrary, Azmin has remained at ease, responding coldly to everything Anwar has said. Even when Anwar stooped down in humility, PKR’s second-in-command was still reluctant to back down, saying: I know who is behind all this!

Azmin and about a score of his supporters absented themselves from the party’s retreat in Port Dickson on various excuses, but everyone else knows that Azmin’s camp has already drawn a line between them and Anwar. They even wanted the police to publish the identity of the mastermind behind the sex video.

Will Anwar have a Plan B to secure the PM post? It is said that Azmin has approached Gerakan Rakyat. The follow-up development is what many should focus their attention next.

As a matter of fact, “internal deals” and negotiations within parties on both sides of the political divide have never ceased to take place, and are indeed gaining momentum now.

Umno president Ahmad Zahid’s return to power and Najib’s appointment as BN advisor are not mere coincidence but are possibly a prelude to a dramatic reshuffle in the country’s political ecosystem on both sides of the divide.