Video killed the radio star. This we already know.
But would it do the same to political stars? It may be too early to tell, but cracks are appearing in PKR, which may be a wellspring of what will unfold in the days ahead.
The NST Leader isn’t interested in the sullied story of sex videos. Because it is not our cup of tea.
We leave them to gutter dwellers who relish such things. Our attention is elsewhere: the fallout from this unwelcome episode.
Rifts are not unusual to political parties. It is a power game after all.
Early signs of trouble in PKR emerged at the party’s election when Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali was returned as deputy president.
Others trace the trouble back to the “Kajang move” fiasco masterminded by PKR strategist Rafizi Ramli, who is seen as being close to PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
In that disastrous move, Kajang assemblyman Lee Chin Cheh resigned from his seat to make way for Anwar, who had his eyes set on the seat of the Selangor menteri besar.
As it turned out, Anwar didn’t contest. His wife, Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, now the deputy prime minister, did. And won. The rest they say is history.
But a revision to the history needs to be made. Dr Wan Azizah did not become the menteri besar of Selangor. Azmin did.
In party elections, Azmin edged out his rival, Rafizi. Many candidates elected to key posts are said to be aligned to Azmin. Anwar, the newly elected president, inherited a divided PKR.
Many hoped that he would be able to mend many broken hearts in the party. But as it has turned out, the rifts may be too deep for repair.
Perception, too, is clouding the political picture. Political analysts — many viewing the world from the far-removed ivory tower — are not helping either. Sadly, politicians can’t just wish them away. It comes with the political territory one inhabits.
When you are a politician, every move you make will be watched. Every gesture read and interpreted to fit a narrative observers have ready-made in their heads.
Azmin’s rise is one such story. The most fantastical theory has it that Azmin has been handpicked by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as a plausible successor. The truth is, he was made economic affairs minister, period. This disturbs the transition story.
Hence, its traction. Analysts have turned speculators, giving their reading to whoever cares to listen. Nevermind that minds of people are hard to read. What’s more, the mind of a busy prime minister.
The Anwar-Azmin spat has all the promise of becoming a divisive battle. And in the last two days, it has turned more public. Vituperation is in the air. Expect hate, anger and insults to be traded. Fair is foul and foul is fair. None will gain from this. The public spat just confirms what people have long speculated: PKR is a divided party.
On one side, there is an Anwar faction and on the other, an Azmin faction. Camps never brought anyone forward. There is no reason to believe this will.