Anwar’s obsession with becoming PM caused the ‘Sheraton Move’

I refer to article published in Malaysiakini today entitled ‘Yoursay: How Azmin turned a dream into a nightmare’.

It amounts to irresponsible, shameless character assassination of Dato’ Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali by the news portal Malaysiakini. It is merely abuse and personal insult masquerading as reportage.

Malaysiakini has of course been carrying out this type of unrestrained attacks upon Azmin and many others for a long time now.

That they are a pro-Pakatan Harapan organ is undeniable and obvious from the selection and tone of their news pieces and articles. That is their prerogative.

However, responsible journalism means not allowing themselves to be used as a platform for daily abuse and propaganda against select political targets. Strong criticism of public figures is encouraged in a democracy, but continuous long-term insults and personal abuse is sickening and unacceptable in any democratic polity. It is a perversion of journalistic freedom.

Azmin could have sued many times. But unlike certain other leaders who preach freedom of speech but sue at the drop of a hat, Azmin does not believe that public figures should resort to defamation actions.

As regards the so-called ‘Sheraton Move’, it has been used as a fig-leaf by Pakatan Harapan (PH) to hide their failures and bankruptcy of ideas and solutions for the rakyat. PH has resorted to blaming every failure of theirs upon the ‘Sheraton Move’.

Azmin, myself and others had not only the right, but also the duty, to be critical of a political party and political coalition in which we no longer had any faith or trust in. PH had betrayed the rakyat by failing to uphold and implement the reforms pledged in the general election. This was a serious matter, no less than our solemn undertakings to a country hungry for change. It took a backseat to the political chicanery of Anwar Ibrahim’s gang in Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) which undermined and agitated continuously for an early transfer of the premiership to Anwar. All the pledges were forgotten and went out the window. The rest of PH kept silent while this disgraceful scramble for power continued. Was this a political coalition we could honestly support anymore ?

We also believed that there was an irreparable failure of the leadership of Anwar Ibrahim and PKR. We spent many long painful years of trying to change things from within the party, to no avail. Finally, we were all sacked because we would not toe the line or act against the dictates of our conscience.

Subsequent events have justified our move. Today PKR is a shambles, continuing upon petty internal struggles with little regard for the plight or problems of ordinary Malaysians. It is frightening to think of the fate of the country if this totally dysfunctional party were still in federal power. Could they govern ?

Worse, PKR and it’s leadership made sordid deals with the UMNO ‘court cluster’ in a failed attempt to make Anwar Ibrahim, prime minister of Malaysia. Ironically, this was the very same party that labelled us as ‘traitors’ for forming a new government with the BN.

Traitors and such epithets regularly hurled at us by PKR/PH, which Malaysiakini reproduces daily without any compunction, are only used by fascist or communist political parties which do not allow dissent. Ours is a democratic polity, and the right to freedom of association is guaranteed under our democratic constitution. We no longer believed in our party or it’s leader; were we supposed to stay silent despite that ? Is PKR or PH a cult or a communist body that those who criticise them or are unjustly sacked become ‘traitors’ ?

It is time to stop the childish abuse and think about the future of our country. We can differ in our respective visions for the nation, without overwhelming hatred and enmity.

I would urge Malaysiakini to uphold journalistic ethics and refrain from publishing personal abuse and insults in the guise of press freedom. We will not sue, but let the public judge.

Perikatan Nasional Negeri Selangor