Amanah’s problems traced to 2019 party elections

Mohd Farhan Darwis

Amanah president Mohamad Sabu (left) with his deputy Salahuddin Ayub at the party’s congress in 2019. Pakatan Harapan’s smallest party has lost six assemblymen since the pact lost power a year ago. – Facebook pic, March 5, 2021.

OPPOSITION party Amanah has been in crisis since 2019 after the party elections and losers were sidelined, said insiders following the defection of several of its assemblymen recently.

The move to sideline those who lost created anger and is one of the factors behind the recent departures, one party source said.

Another source of confusion within the party is the lack of clarity as to whether the leadership supports opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim or Pejuang chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad as the prime minister candidate.

To date, Pakatan Harapan’s smallest party has lost six assemblymen – two from Selangor last year, one from Perak and three from Johor last week.

“After the December 2019 party elections, there were some people appointed into certain positions who tried to sideline those who were defeated. We don’t feel this is right and proper,” the source told The Malaysian Insight.

The two Selangor assemblymen were Mohd Fakhrulrazi Mohd Mokhtar (Meru) and Ahmad Mustain (Sabak). Both joined PKR.

The three from Johor who quit the party last week also joined PKR. They are Khairuddin A. Rahim (Serom), Faizul Amri Adnann (Senggarang) and Muhamad Said Jonit (Mahkota).

Another Amanah assemblyman from Perak, Hasnul Zulkarnain Abd Munaim (Titi Serong) has also exited the party and is now an independent.

A source from Johor Amanah told The Malaysian Insight that the trio who left last week were not happy after being sidelined by certain leaders and not being able to hold any position after losing in party elections.

The source, who wishes to remain anonymous, said the party’s top echelons are well aware of the internal issue which started after the 2019 party elections.

Amanah president Mohamad Sabu has expressed his uneasiness at how some leaders treated election losers during the party’s convention the following month after the polls.

These internal conflicts have now spawned new tensions with PKR, an ally in the PH coalition.

PKR should not have taken advantage of the situation by accepting the Amanah defectors, said another leader.

The Amanah leader, who also wishes to remain anonymous, is disappointed with reports that PKR will field the defectors in parliamentary seats.

“All parties have internal conflicts, all organisations, too. We just feel it is not proper for an allied party to take advantage of our situation.

“If PKR does not like their elected representatives quitting their party, we feel the same, too.
Members of the same coalition should act with mutual consideration and good manners between each other,” he said.

“The elected representatives were baited.  They told friends that they were offered to contest a parliamentary seat if they cross over.

“Some even dreamed of becoming a menteri besar. What kind of politics is this, if not the politics of betraying your comrades?”

The offers to contest parliamentary seats under PKR allegedly started after Mohamad floated the idea of a grand opposition coalition in December during Amanah’s annual convention.

Dr Mahathir formed Pejuang but did not want to be part of PH. Also threatening the opposition’s unity are the frosty ties between Dr Mahathir and Anwar over the latter’s bid to become prime minister.

Mohamad said Amanah could be a bridge between all the heads of opposition parties, warning of consequences if the opposition is split. – March 5, 2021.

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