KOTA KINABALU: A PKR insider insists that the party is split into two factions, one loyal to party supremo Anwar Ibrahim and the other to deputy president Mohamed Azmin Ali.
The source, who identifies with the pro-Anwar camp, told FMT most members who joined PKR in its early years were wary of Azmin because of his close relationship with Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
He alleged that 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.
He cited the appointment, as well as Mahathir’s earlier decision to give Azmin the economic affairs ministerial portfolio, as evidence of the closeness between the two.
He claimed that they had always been close, but this was not clear to most party members before Pakatan Harapan came to power.
“Azmin is referred to as Mahathir’s adopted son and one can see that his style of leadership and his ideas are similar to Mahathir’s,” he added.
He said the pro-Anwar camp saw Azmin as someone more interested in consolidating his power than dedicating himself to the party’s struggle of reforming the country’s political system.
He claimed that the PKR central leadership prior to the 2014 party election was dominated by people who were “in Azmin’s pocket”.
That was why, he said, party president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail’s decisions seldom received the majority support of the leadership of the time.
He also claimed that it was Sabah PKR Youth chief Raymond Ahuar who ensured a win for Nik Nazmi Ahmad as youth leader in 2014 by shifting his support from Azmin to Wan Azizah.
He spoke of an incident that year when Azmin and his supporters, including women’s chief Zuraida Kamaruddin, descended on Pensiangan in Sabah to persuade Ahuar to support them.
Ahuar avoided meeting them by going to the neighbouring town of Tenom, he said. “They looked for him high and low but couldn’t find him. He is now the most hated man by those in Azmin’s camp.”
He also said “staunch party members” were disturbed by Mahathir’s preferences in his choice of PKR leaders for Cabinet positions.
“He only selected one proposed name, Saifuddin Nasution, as a minister although Wan Azizah sent in 11 names. Azmin and Zuraida were appointed ministers without the knowledge of the party.”