Tuesday, January 14, 2014


I suppose many would say that today’s MyNewsHub report (read below) is nothing new since this issue has been widely reported before, even here in Malaysia Today itself.
Anyway, what is interesting in this news report is regarding the matter of the ‘economic patronage’ that Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim is said to be trying to deny Azmin Ali.

Economic patronage is the political culture of Umno and Barisan Nasional. That, according to those who oppose the ruling coalition, is why they oppose Umno and the parties within Barisan Nasional.
And now we are being told that this is also the political culture of PKR as well.
Well, I suppose, as they say, you can bring the Malay out of Umno but it is almost impossible to bring Umno out of the Malay, even when they join the opposition.
What MyNewsHub did not mention, either because they do not want to mention this or they did not know, is how Azmin Ali, as MyNewsHub said, managed to strengthen his grassroots support. I mean they did mention that Azmin has strong grassroots support but they did not say how it happened.
Well, let me tell you how it happened.
In the recent general election in May last year, Azmin personally chose the candidates who would be contesting the general election. Azmin kept his cards close to his chest and did not share this secret with anyone in the party. Not even the party President or the Secretary-General knew who these candidates were going to be.
Only on the day that they needed to issue the Surat Watikah were the names revealed. Even the Secretary-General found out who they were the day he had to sign these Surat Watikah.
Azmin then made it known that the candidates are his candidates and that he personally chose them to contest the general election. Hence they have to be loyal to him and not to the party. And, in Umno politics, this is really not difficult to achieve since they know their master can make them so their master can break them as well.
The crack between Azmin Ali and Anwar Ibrahim began to emerge when Anwar realised that he had ‘lost control’ of the party. And this is exactly what happened back in 1998.
In 1998, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad woke up one morning and realised that he had lost control of the party and that the top leadership, save for just five Supreme Council Members and a handful of Menteri Besar, still supported him. The rest were with Anwar.
Dr Mahathir found out that Anwar was starting to make his move on him and unless he finished off Anwar first then Anwar was going to take over. This became more apparent when Anwar got Zahid Hamidi to reveal the list of ‘Mahathir Cronies’ who got rich through the ‘economic patronage’ of the Prime Minister.
This greatly embarrassed and undermined Dr Mahathir because this revelation was picked up by the international media and was spun into a major issue as proof that Dr Mahathir was corrupt — a matter that was widely talked about but until Zahid revealed the evidence could not be proven.
So now Azmin Ali is doing what Anwar Ibrahim did to Dr Mahathir in 1998. Azmin told Anwar that theWakil Rakyat are all his people and that they are loyal to him and not to the party.
Azmin then told Anwar he is going to take on Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail for the party presidency. However, if Anwar goes for that post, Azmin is prepared to back off and remain the number two. If not then he was going to oust Dr Wan Azizah.
But Azmin wanted Anwar to guarantee him (Azmin) that no one would challenge him for number two. Azmin was worried that Nurul Izzah may challenge him for number two so Azmin wanted to make sure that Anwar ‘controls’ his daughter.
Anwar replied that he could not guarantee that. Even if Nurul Izzah does not challenge him for the post of Deputy there is no guarantee that no one else would. One possibility, of course, would be Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim.
So now either Anwar ousts his own wife or else Azmin would oust her instead. And if Anwar’s daughter joins the contest for number two, then Azmin would go for number one — never mind whether Anwar or Dr Wan Azizah is going to contest number one.
Hmm…is this what they call stuck between a rock and a hard place?
Khalid moves to erode Azmin’s influence for coming party poll
Going by the way Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) leaders Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim and Azmin Ali move, there is no denying that the friction between the two has widened as awaiting to burst come party poll scheduled for May.
Trouble is brewing and the simmering flame is now growing to be a fire as the Selangor Mentri Besar, who is the party supreme council member is seen to ‘worm’ his way to unseat Azmin, the party deputy president.
There is no sign as of now the friction or the flame could be put off even with party de facto chief Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s interference.
The ‘war’ is on and intense fighting is expected for the deputy president post downwards with incumbent Azmin awaiting a tough challenge from Khalid.
Despite Khalid not saying anything about his plan in the coming party poll, talks among PKR members are that Khalid might be aiming to unseat Azmin for the deputy president post.
Khalid’s latest action against Azmin, dropping him as a director of Selangor Development Corporation (PKNS), is seen as a preliminary move to erode Azmin’s influence among the grassroots.
This, according to party members would deny Azmin of patronage among party members and it may work because minus the economic patronage, Azmin may not be able to garner as many votes as he needed.
Khalid’s move, according to them is considered ‘smart but not wise’ as, being a corporate man, Khalid fails to see the ‘loyalty’ among party members in ‘the political arena.’
“Politics is not just about running a state or being a Mentri Besar but it is more of the human relations where party members do not just judge a leader through its action in running a state but also on the human side.”
“Economic patronage is considered one of the many privileges for party members to continue fighting for the vision of the party because without it, party members may not be able to contribute for party activities at every level due to lack of finance.”
“In this case, Khalid’s move against Azmin is a good move to clip Azmin of some support but obviously not wise because party members can see through Khalid’s objective,” said one party member.
The friction between Khalid and Azmin dated way before the May 5 general election as Azmin was tipped to replace Khalid as Selangor Mentri Besar but was denied of the post as Khalid had the backing of PAS and the Sultan.
Khalid is seen on the offset as more of an administrator than a politician, which was the reason for Azmin’s intention to replace him as Mentri Besar.
Although Azmin had denied the talks that he was interested in the Mentri Besar post, his action in the state assembly questioning Khalid’s every policy – the latest on salary increment for excos and Mentri Besar – had ‘pissed’ Khalid off most.
Khalid, who is politically not strong as he attempts to blend his corporate ways into the political conduit, is still lacking behind in grassroots support given that he is ‘too high a level for grassroots politics.’
But possessing high political ambition and given the ‘superficial view that he runs the state well’, many PKR members said Khalid thinks he is a deputy president material and that this coming party poll he should be given a chance.
Azmin, being a ‘street fighter and rose from grassroots level’ who is considered the most loyal to Anwar, is expected to ‘fight tooth and nail’ to retain his position.

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