Monday, November 8, 2010

Anwar Ibrahim's worst enemy is Anwar Ibrahim

The on-going PKR elections have revealed one thing - PKR is just like most other political parties.

It has its fair share of shady deals, vote manipulation and cronyism - in fact, it seems to be a mirror image of Umno, its sworn enemy.

Some people say it is due to PKR having too many ex-Umno members and leaders who brought with them the so-called Umno culture of money politics and politicking.

On Monday, Datuk Zaid Ibrahim, who was from Umno, quit the PKR deputy presidential race saying the party "leadership actively condones malpractices and electoral fraud to achieve its designed objectives."

"I wish to announce my withdrawal as a candidate from the contest of deputy president of Parti Keadilan Rakyat and my resignation from all posts held in the party," said Zaid in a statement.

Zaid also resigned as the party's political bureau member, Federal Territory chief and Wangsa Maju chief.

He said he decided to pull out of the No 2 due to blatant vote manipulation, The Star reported.

PKR leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who was also from Umno, countered that Datuk Zaid should provide evidence of fraud - which actually sounded very much like a typical reply from any Umno leader.

He said PKR secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution had on Sunday explained that it was impossible to cheat due to the internal security features embedded in the ballot papers and process would not allow cheating to occur, The Star reported.

"I have read Zaid's statement (on his resignation) and the leadership feels that whatever accusations and allegations there are, can be forwarded (to us)," Anwar told reporters at the Parliament lobby Monday.

Anwar said accusations which appeared in Haris Ibrahim's blog on Saturday had also been explained that they were unture.

In his blog, Haris said an informant had showed him a stack of ballot papers for sale and the informant could produce more of the papers.

The informant allegedly indicated Azmin Ali, Zaid's rival for deputy president's post, as the culprit behind the vote rigging.

On whether the leadership would accept Zaid's resignation, Anwar said they had not received any resignation letter from him.

"We need the contribution and participation of all leaders, including Zaid," he said when asked if he would urge Zaid to reconsider his decision (to resign from all party posts.)

Anwar added that Haris' allegations had no basis and Zaid should not make allegations without producing the evidence.

On whether Zaid is still in the running for the PKR deputy presidential race, Saifuddin said Zaid's name "is still in the ballot paper" and he had not received any resignation letter from him.

It is common knowledge that Anwar is backing Azmin - his favoured confidant - for the deputy presidency. The talk is that Anwar would rather have Azmin, his loyalist and favoured one, take over leadership of PKR when - rather than if - he goes to jail for the sodomy charge that is still being heard in court.

But Anwar must realise that he carries on his shoulders the hopes of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Malaysians who are convinced - rightfully or wrongfully - that he has the right stuff to take over the helm of the country.

Anwar must realise that his cries for "Reformasi" and "Justice" had fired up a generation of rebellious and impressionable youths who have become staunchly anti-establishment. They have been converted to his cause and are blind to his faults.

And if PKR is indeed guilty of "vote manipulation" and "electoral fraud" as alleged by Datuk Zaid, then the political struggle of the brigades of youths would be in vain. Anwar would have betrayed those who not only supported him, but believed him.

If the PKR elections become even more shambolic and disgraceful, it does not augur well for Pakatan Rakyat in the general election which is likely to be called next year.

Sadly, the dreams of those who had desired a change in government would be dashed. Ironically, the blame would be on the very person who could have brought about that change.

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