Any decent and reasonable Pakatan Harapan supporter would have been utterly embarrassed by the shenanigans of PKR party apparatchiks at last week’s congress.
A fracas broke out at the party’s youth convention that spilt on to the streets outside the hotel in Malacca where the annual gathering was being held, with several reported injuries.
The party’s disciplinary board has announced this week of “stern action” over the violence at the youth congress on Dec 6.
That a democratically elected party with the most number of parliamentary seats needs to have a disciplinary board to deal with thuggish and mob like behaviour reflects how unstable the biggest party in the ruling coalition is.
Party president Anwar Ibrahim, responding to the chaos, that included a walkout by supporters of Deputy president Azmin Ali, promised to take action, including sacking of those found culpable of the mayhem.
The feud between the party president and his deputy is now out in the open, with neither side attempting to even pretend that all is kosher.
The weekend congress, ostensibly to invigorate and unify the party, not only failed to achieve its mission, but in fact, exacerbated the internal fracture.
Speeches by various representatives, instead of being reconciliatory, were seen as provocation by the other faction.
Anwar, who is said to be the Prime Minister in waiting, was all at sea, incapable of getting grip of the party he himself started and which was built around his tumultuous time when incarcerated.
Analysts believe that Anwar’s inability to keep his party members in check, speaks volumes of his ability to govern Malaysia, if and when he takes over the reins from Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
While it is tempting to believe that Anwar should have nipped the problem in the bud and sacked Azmin and his supporters, it would have been suicidal as PKR would have disintegrated and split in two distinct groups.
Moreover, this might even have even prompted Azmin’s faction to join Dr Mahathir’s party, Bersatu, the smallest in the PH coalition.
As party president, Anwar should have disciplined wayward members a long time ago instead of allowing the fractures to fester into a political gangrene that demands the amputation of the infected parts.
It seems that the weekend PKR Congress in Malacca will be remembered as the worst ever party meeting in the short history of ‘New Malaysia’.
Anwar’s sheer inability to demonstrate any leadership qualities at the party level may prompt and Dr Mahathir to hold on to the premiership for a while longer until a “suitable” candidate can fill the vacancy.
As one observer remarked, “If the future PM is supposed to be from PKR, we are in serious trouble.”
As each day passes, rumours of PH ‘s and PKR’s demise, as well Anwar Ibrahim’s chances of becoming the next PM, are proving to be a reality that few soothsayers foresaw.
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of The Independent Singapore. /TISG