PKR leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has conceded two important seats to the DAP, thereby alienating his leaders by choosing newcomers as candidates.
He risks a backlash from his own party leaders who had long been eyeing the seats but had to concede to these “outsiders” who are considered more relevant by Anwar.
With an “all-or-nothing” general election around the corner, Anwar is under pressure to show that he is himself a “winnable” Prime Minister, at least in the eyes of his foreign colleagues and friends.
In Bentong, Anwar brushed aside PKR’s G. Ponusamy who had contested the seat in the 2008 general election, and agreed to a DAP proposal to field a more “bankable” candidate in environmentalist Wong Tack.
Wong Tack is hoping his new-found popularity as an anti-Lynas champion would help him unseat three-term veteran Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, who is the MCA deputy president and Health Minister.
Although Ponusamy lost by a huge 12,549 votes, he is the PKR man on the spot, and is reportedly unhappy at the unceremonious manner in which Anwar shunted him.
Worse still in Gelang Patah, Anwar has alienated his own state chief Datuk Chua Jui Meng by personally announcing Chua’s long-time rival Lim Kit Siang, the DAP veteran, as the candidate there last week.
Since the announcement, Chua has gone incommunicado and has all but disappeared from the political scene.
Presumably, he is nursing his anger against the injustice done to him by his own party boss and this is likely to show when the fight for Gelang Patah starts – unless Anwar manages to accommodate Chua with another equally winnable seat.
PKR leaders have been saying soothing things about Chua and throwing in the Segamat, Kluang, Kulai and even Labis seats as “substitutes” to assuage him, but not Bakri where he was MP before.
Chua, who recently locked horns with Johor DAP chief Dr Boo Cheng Hau over the Gelang Patah seat, has been thoroughly outsmarted by the DAP, which is more likely to give Anwar victory than even his own PKR.
Another casualty of this syndrome is Tan Poh Lai, the daughter of former “Mr Opposition” Tan Chee Khoon, who was all this while tipped to contest in the Johor Baru seat and had even announced it recently.
But Anwar has announced former army chief Tan Sri Hashim Hussein as the candidate for Johor Baru.
While she is not totally devastated by the changeover and is hoping PKR would field a woman candidate – herself – to contest, others are not so benign or able to so readily see the big picture.
They say they have been working the ground for a long time and should not be giving way to others especially if they are outsiders, meaning winnable candidates parachuted from other states.
Such an incumbent candidate who had been passed over after working the ground for months, if not years, is Syed Hamid Ali in Batu Pahat where he is PKR division chief.
Syed Hamid, the younger brother of former PKR deputy president Syed Husin Ali, has long been talked of as the PKR/Pakatan Rakyat candidate for his hometown of Batu Pahat.
He is the ideal candidate as he has been working the ground in Batu Pahat assiduously. But he suffers from one drawback – his prior association with the outlawed Communist Party of Malaya.
Anwar knows it and is conceding to political realities – a former “Red” is never going to win in any Malay-majority seat anywhere in the country, no matter how good his politics are.
Taken from The Star HERE
A storm is brewing over the PKR in Perak, following a dispute on the candidacy for the Kuala Sepetang state seat.
It is understood the Bukit Gantang division is furious over an announcement by party vice-president Dr Lee Boon Chye that newcomer Sandrea Ng Shy Ching would be nominated as the PKR candidate for the seat.
The problem arose because nobody in the division knows anything about Ng, who is said to be from Endau, Johor.
Dr Lee had made the announcement during a press conference in Kuala Sepetang on Feb 21.
A party source said that having a non-local parachuting into the state constituency went against the wishes of the division members and was an indication that incumbent assemblyman Tai Sing Ng would be dropped from contesting in the general election.
Taken from The Star HERE