Reflections on 25 years: Can PKR realise its reform goals?

“This situation poses the biggest dilemma for PKR because the party is now seen to compromise with parties in the Madani Government, especially Umno, on issues involving integrity.

(Sinar Daily) – Founded following Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s dismissal as Deputy Prime Minister on September 2, 1998, and as Umno Deputy President shortly thereafter, PKR has played a significant role in Malaysian politics, advocating for reform.

Originally established as Parti Keadilan Nasional (Keadilan) in 1999 before rebranding as PKR, the party has shaped Malaysian politics as a prominent opposition force.

Anwar, a key Opposition figure in Malaysia and now the 10th Prime Minister (PMX) following the 15th General Election (GE15), has ensured PKR’s relevance in the political landscape.

The party has notably strengthened its presence in Selangor since GE12, contributing to Pakatan Rakyat’s (PR) dominance in Selangor, Penang, and Kelantan, which led to Barisan Nasional’s (BN) failure to secure a two-thirds majority in Parliament for the first time.

Despite PR’s dissolution, PKR continued its Opposition role under the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition, securing victory over BN in GE14 with the support of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who led PH at the time.

With over a million members, PKR has undergone political maturity despite post-GE14 internal challenges.

However, as PKR gears up for a special event on April 21 to celebrate its 25th anniversary, Pasir Gudang MP Hassan Karim questions the party’s commitment to its long-touted reform agenda.

In an open letter, Hassan raised six critical questions regarding the party’s current direction, commitment to institutional reforms, and strategies to garner support from Malay Muslim voters within PH.

Former Umno Youth Chief Khairy Jamaluddin commended Hassan’s questions as bold, precise, and relevant, echoing concerns about PKR’s focus on securing Malay voter support while upholding its reform agenda.

Khairy highlighted the dilemma PKR faces in balancing these priorities, particularly in light of its role in the Unity Government.

“The question is, can PKR rely on Umno to regain Malay voter support for the Unity Government when the series of state elections and by-elections post-GE15 showed PN’s domination over that segment?

“Anyway, I believe PKR and PH will not be able to hold Putrajaya without the support of the ‘four inches’ segment of Malay voters.

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