PKR strategic director must deal with feuds, factions

Lee Chi Leong

PKR strategic director Sim Tze Tzin says it’s crucial to manage differences among the party leaders well, and his priority is to ensure quarrels don’t spill out and affect government policies. – Facebook pic, January 22, 2020.

PKR’S new strategic director Sim Tze Tzin has his work cut out for him and topmost on his agenda is managing the party’s internal turmoil.

Sim told The Malaysian Insight his role is to manage the differences between the party’s leaders and members to ensure PKR remains united and strong.

Sim, who held the post for five years prior to the 14th general election (GE14), said the scenario now is different from during his previous stint, as PKR is no longer the opposition.

The deputy agriculture and agro-based industry minister also acknowledged that there are factions within the ruling pact’s largest component party – one aligned to president Anwar Ibrahim and the other to his No. 2, Mohamed Azmin Ali.

“I will not deny that we have internal problems to overcome. My duty now is heavier than before, as we also have our roles to play in the government while the party has faction problems and so on,” he told The Malaysian Insight.

However, he said, the existence of factions within a party is normal, adding that even Umno had similar problems in the past.

Sim, who is also Bayan Baru MP, said it is crucial to manage the differences well and his priority will be to ensure quarrels don’t spill out and affect government policies.

A key task, he said, will be to communicate with all quarters to ensure they put aside their differences and work together to strengthen the party.

Opposition strategy

It’s also important for the government to get its message across to the people on the actions and reforms it is undertaking for the benefit of the rakyat, he said.

Dissatisfaction from the people stems mostly from the opposition’s influence, especially former prime minister Najib Razak, who often takes swipes against the current administration on social media.

“Pakatan Harapan’s weakness, meanwhile, lies in its inability to set the record straight.

“For example, many came to know about former education minister Maszlee Malik’s good deeds only after he resigned.”

The opposition has also been fanning racial and religious sentiments with the hope of destabilising the government and gaining political mileage in its bid to topple the government, Sim said.

PKR is a party beset with factions buti ts strategic director says this is normal and a challenge even Umno faces. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, January 22, 2020.

“It is a clear objective of Najib and Barisan Nasional because they are afraid to go to jail and they want power back so that they can continue abusing power,” Sim said.

“This is their only way to destabilise the government. So, PH must return to its core principal of doing its very best to put the people’s interests first. Our strategy is to make sure all Malaysians feel the changes.”

He added while the government’s measures may not yield immediate results, they will bear fruit in the long term.

On ties with other PH component parties, Sim said PKR leaders are aware that the survival of the pact depends on political stability.

This stability is essential to attract investors and spur economic activities, without which there will be more challenges to grapple with.

He said while the party’s leaders are aware of this, the grassroots have yet to fully understand that national interests should be put before self-interest and that infighting is pointless and will not benefit the government.

“People must understand. They now know from the Kimanis and Tg Piai by-elections. There is more awareness among leaders that they must put the coalition, national and party interests above personal interests.”

Zuraida’s show-cause letter

On the show-cause letter issued to PKR vice-president Zuraida Kamaruddin on January 17, Sim expressed confidence that the matter will be resolved.

“Politics is about the art of the impossible; I am confident and optimistic that we will manage our internal affairs.”

Sim said due diligence has to be done in accordance with proper processes, adding that the matter is best left to the party’s disciplinary board to handle.

Zuraida has 14 days to respond to the show-cause letter.

Her case was among complaints referred to the disciplinary board at a party meeting last Sunday. Sim’s appointment as strategic director was also announced that same day.

Nine state chiefs have urged the party to expel Zuraida for defying Anwar, making inflammatory statements in the media and failure to attend party meetings. – January 22, 2020.

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