After Pakatan Harapan chairman Tun Mahathir Mohamad urged PH leaders to stop their fights, there are hopes for a reconciliation between PKR president Anwar Ibrahim and his deputy Azmin Ali.
The question now is whether the party’s leadership will take disciplinary action against the mastermind behind the sex video scandal.
During the opening of PKR’s retreat in Port Dickson, Mahathir urged PH component parties to stop the infighting or the coalition could lose the ruling power.
PPBM does not want PKR to become too strong, but intense infighting will also affect the coalition’s focus of running the country while tarnishing the coalition’s image. This is what PPBM leaders cannot accept.
Mahathir’s advice has been reciprocated well by Anwar and Azmin.
Anwar, in particular, has tweeted to urge party members not to forget the more important issues facing the party. He later announced that PKR accepted the IGP’s statement on police investigation that Azmin was not involved in the video, and that he would continue to work with Azmin as a team.
Now that Anwar has released a “truce” signal, it is believed that his camp will stop launching more attacks on Azmin soon.
Meanwhile, Azmin said he was willing to continue working with Anwar, as they had done for so many years. However, he stressed that it was absolutely necessary for politicians to be loyal, but not blindly.
Azmin needs to convince his family and supporters that he was not involved in the sex video. A true unity will only be possible after the identity of the people involved in the scandal is revealed by the police, and disciplinary action taken against the perpetrators.
Both Anwar and Azmin are smart people. They know how to weigh the pros and cons. A total confrontation at this moment will not do anyone any good.
Even though Anwar has the support of more MPs, Azmin’s clout must never be underestimated.
If Azmin leaves the party with his 14 supporting MPs, Anwar’s succession plan could be affected.
Moreover, Azmin is Mahathir’s darling boy and there is no good reason to offend the prime minister now.
Anwar is also considering the damage that could be done to the party’s image.
Indeed Malaysians have grown extremely frustrated with PKR’s political tussles and the involvement of some of its members in dirty political tactics.
There is a need for Anwar to draw a line between him and such dirty politics in order to build up a positive image of him as the country’s next prime minister.
Meanwhile, Azmin is also considering what will happen to him if he quits PKR now.
For sure he can join PPBM, but what about his non-Malay supporters? If he were to start a new party that may not get the blessing of other PH components, he may have to relinquish his ministerial position as he is no longer a member of the ruling coalition.
Both Anwar and Azmin are basically the same type of leaders: those trying their best to avert any political risk.
Anwar is waiting to take over the PM post after one year, while Azmin is prowling for a chance to ascend to the top post. Azmin is still young, and he can do this progressively while waiting for the right time.
The ongoing PKR infighting and the current sex video scandal have given the opposition a good chance to fight back.
PAS deputy president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man proclaimed that PH had failed to stabilize the country’s political situation and the Parliament should therefore be dissolved immediately to pave way for fresh elections.
In the meantime, Umno supreme council member Lokman Noor Adam pointed out that experts from Indonesia had confirmed the authenticity of the video, and an investigation report would be submitted to Opposition Leader Ismail Sabri Yaakob so that the latter could push for Azmin’s resignation in the Parliament.
Azmin is never the target of Umno-PAS, but the federal administrative power of PH is.
The sex video scandal can be used as a potent weapon against PKR, including its president Anwar Ibrahim, and to dilute PKR’s Malay votes, in particular those from predominantly Malay rural areas.
PH’s approval rate has been steadily declining over the past one year.
According to Merdeka Center’s survey, PH’s approval rating among Malay voters stood at a pathetic 32% this June, compared to 75% shortly after GE14.
PH’s approval ratings among Chinese and Indian voters stood at 51% and 59% respectively.
Among those aged between 21 and 30, some 42% said they were not happy with PH’s performance, while 43% in the 31-40 age bracket voiced their disappointment.
Although Tun Mahathir’s approval rating has climbed back from a low in March to 62% now, he will leave his office sooner or later. Will Anwar and other PH leaders be able to recoup Malaysians’ lost confidence?
The IGP said the sex video scandal was a waste of police resources and time. Indeed the same is true for PH and PKR. This whole thing must be put to a stop immediately.