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PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and his deputy, Datuk Seri Azmin Ali, speaking in Parliament yesterday. NSTP/EMAIL
PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and his deputy, Datuk Seri Azmin Ali, speaking in Parliament yesterday. NSTP/EMAIL

MELAKA: THE PKR congress, which will be preceded by the Women’s and Youth assemblies starting today, is set to spell out the party’s future.

To some, PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s persistent denial that his party is on the brink of implosion is quite telling of a desperation caused by the need to protect and run a tight ship.

His consistent ridicule of the media, which is supposedly attempting to drive a wedge between leaders in the party, however, has been watered down by counter attacks and claims by party members concerning the strife.

There are claims that a “parallel congress” is being planned in Kuala Lumpur to oppose the official event here, purportedly in retaliation over the sacking of those aligned to party deputy president Datuk Seri Azmin Ali.

The idea of having a separate assembly has been met with a tinge of rebuke by PKR secretary-general Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail.

“There is only one congress, the one in Melaka. It is held in accordance with the party charter and Registry of Societies’ regulations.

“The ‘parallel congress’ is nothing more than a normal assembly, if it is going to be held,” Saifuddin said when contacted.

The Anwar-Azmin row has morphed into a potentially open power struggle that party leaders are scrambling to keep in check.

The latest proposal for a vote of no-confidence against Anwar is an example of what may happen if warring factions, deluded by their supremacy, overlook the bigger picture of party unity.

Suggestions of sinister intrigues taking place to widen the divide are also alarming, causing concern among the grassroots and leaders of the party.

They, however, have opted to stay out of the infighting.

After 20 years of struggles to prove its mettle as a force to
be reckoned with, it will be a waste if PKR were to falter due to gross disagreements after becoming part of the ruling coalition.

If the party is indeed at peace, then the infighting would only reveal the PKR leadership’s fondness for theatrics and sensationalism, or that the people had been goaded into a nonsensical public tiff.

Has the infighting reached a point of no return? Maybe. But in politics, nothing is not adaptable to change. The onus is on Anwar, and not Azmin, to rectify everything that is wrong in PKR.

As heir apparent to the country’s top executive office, Anwar should have the capability to rally even the most hardened critics under his banner.

While there is a question on whether he has what it takes to be the eighth prime minister due to the mess in PKR, another outlook simply points at the controversy as a rite of passage for him to undergo before running the nation.

There is a positive development in the party, however.

The honour of opening the Youth and Women’s assemblies has been returned to Azmin, while the closing will be carried out by PKR advisory council chairman Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.

The earlier rescinding of the invitation to Azmin to open the wings’ congress has drawn much ire and caused disputes.

This progress shows that there may be hope for PKR to possibly end the feud.

The Women’s congress will run for two days, while its Youth congress is a one-day affair tomorrow at the Melaka International Convention Centre.

The PKR congress will be held for two days beginning Saturday, with Anwar’s policy speech in the morning.

It will conclude on Sunday morning with closing speeches by the Youth chief, Women’s chief, seven vice-presidents, deputy president and president.

Selamat bersidang.

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