The MSN portal yesterday said the PKR, which is the biggest opposition party in the Pakatan Haparan coalition government, is split into two factions, one loyal to Anwar Ibrahim and the other to deputy president Mohamad Azmin Ali.
The portal said a PKR insider insisted this was the case, adding that the source, identifying itself with the pro-Anwar camp, told the Free Malaysia Today portal most members who joined the PKR in its early years were wary of Azmin.
It is the recent close ties between Azmin and Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad that worries them the most, the source said.
The source allegedly said Mahathir was keen to see Azmin defeat Anwar in the PKR presidential contest, saying this had been made obvious by the former’s recent appointment as a director of Khazanah Nasional Berhad.
Azmin has yet to announce the post he is targeting, but speculators are pitting him against Anwar for the presidency.
What is certain is anti-corruption sleuth Rafizi Ramli is contesting the deputy president post going head-to-head against incumbent deputy president Datuk Seri Azmin Ali, that is if the latter decides to defend his post.
Azmin is also the economic affairs ministerial portfolio, a post created by Mahathir in his breaking-up of the Ministry of Finance into two specific entities.
Besides the deputy Prime Minister post, the PKR had nothing to cherish in the top echelon of the cabinet except for Azmin’s taking over as economic affairs minister.
Another source told TISG that Azmin was indeed the new political leader in Dr Mahathir’s list of potential Prime Ministers in Malaysia.
The old man, the source said, is seeing things differently.
“Mahathir knows that after Anwar, there might be a power vacuum. Hence he may have shortlisted Azmin as a potential replacement at the top post in the country,” said the source.
The PKR leadership has always been fragmented, but Azmin was always seen as the blue-eyed boy of Anwar.
In the run-up to the 14th general elections, Azmin took heed from Anwar not to fire the Islamists who remained as exco of the Selangor State Government.
Azmin was then the Menteri Besar of the richest state in the country and remained in power thanks to the Islamists support.
This divided the PKR on the Party Islam Se-Malaysia, a party Anwar never wanted to see outside the Pakatan lot.