Veep says PKR not ‘lost’, is consolidating

Tan Yih Pey

PKR vice-president Chang Lih Kang says former deputy president Mohamed Azmin Ali’s departure to help form Perikatan is a ‘major betrayal’, but not the party’s lowest point. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, July 12, 2020.

PKR is consolidating itself, said vice-president Chang Lih Kang, after losing hundreds of members following the defection of senior leaders to form Perikatan Nasional.

The party might not have the numbers to oust the PN government, but must continue to provide checks and balances as a member of the opposition, he told The Malaysian Insight.

“We must depose this backdoor government, and in our efforts to do so, PKR needs to perform its check-and-balance role against the government.”

He denied that the party has lost its way despite the perception that it is in a state of flux after the disciplinary board sacked and suspended several hundred members aligned with Mohamed Azmin Ali and Zuraida Kamaruddin, who were part of the change of government in late February.

In May, PKR booted out 348 members and suspended another 285, among them leaders of various ranks.

Chang said the perception that the party is at odds with the rest of Pakatan Harapan over the pact’s prime minister candidate arose from the other components pressuring PKR on its stand.

PKR still backs president Anwar Ibrahim as the prime minister candidate, while Dr Mahathir Mohamad and former Bersatu MPs in his corner want Parti Warisan Sabah chief Mohd Shafie Apdal to take the top job should PN be voted out in the next elections.

PKR in May sacked 348 members and suspended another 285. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, July 12, 2020.

Amanah and DAP, the other two parties in PH, support Anwar for the post in line with the pact’s original transition plan, but have left it to him to discuss the matter with Shafie.

Chang described former PKR deputy president Azmin’s move to help establish PN as a “major betrayal”, but said it is not the lowest point for the party.

“Remember, Anwar spent 20 of the party’s 20 years in prison,” he added, referring to the leader’s jailing over sodomy charges said to be politically motivated.

Chang said PKR is now a mainstream party, and its multiracial platform has shown voters a new kind of politics.

“People didn’t take PKR and its multiracial platform seriously then, and they didn’t see it as a viable platform in the 2004 elections.

“In 2004, PKR only had one parliamentary seat. But we survived, and now, we are a mainstream party.”

Political analyst Lau Zhe Wei from International Islamic University Malaysia said the party has to convince the public that it is done with infighting and factionalism if it wants to regain support.

“If you want to win the general election, you have to win the people’s votes, not political schemes.”

Though PKR has often said its internal bickering is part of “the nature of democracy”, he warned that continuous conflict will only leave a bad impression on the public, which may translate into a loss of votes. – July 12, 2020.

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  • PKR would be better without Anwar. Please moved on

    Posted 3 years ago by Mohammad Badry · Reply