PETALING JAYA: The jostling within PKR to show who has more support appears to be escalating, with Anwar Ibrahim’s men claiming that more than two-thirds of division chiefs nationwide having pledged their support for the party president.
Anwar has received the most support from Perlis, Perak and Terengganu, while the lowest support comes from Selangor where PKR deputy president Mohamed Azmin Ali was previously menteri besar.
Although outwardly leaders have said there is no split in the party, the infighting between Anwar and his erstwhile lieutenant has resulted in many division chiefs taking sides.
A PKR leader aligned with Anwar involved in collecting signatures said they had so far secured the support of 150 of the party’s 218 divisions.
He told FMT that more division chiefs are expected to sign letters of support, adding: “The process is still in progress and more are in communication with us to endorse Anwar’s leadership and as the next prime minister.”
Giving the breakdown for some of the states, he said all divisions in Perlis and Terengganu had thrown in their support for Anwar. Other states include Kedah (12 of 15 divisions), Johor (17 of 26) and Perak (22 of 24).
The support in Selangor for the party president stands at 45%, but the movement to get more support is continuing, he added.
Another PKR leader told FMT that Anwar’s camp wants unity in PKR and is “uneasy” with the split between the two.
He acknowledged that Azmin, who is the economic affairs minister, has substantial support in PKR and among the people, and said the infighting should not drag the party down.
“People still support Anwar as their president and Azmin as their number 2,” he said, adding that this was further cemented during the PKR retreat held in Port Dickson last weekend.
However, he said if Azmin were to leave PKR, he would likely join PPBM, the party set up by Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
“As for Azmin’s non-Malay supporters, they may join PPBM as associate members as this position is open to non-Bumiputeras. The only thing is they cannot hold committee posts,” he said.
But he said Azmin might only join PPBM if he failed to resolve issues with Anwar, referring to the gay sex video spat after Anwar asked Azmin to quit if he was one of the men in the clips.
Inspector-General of Police Hamid Bador said they had subjected the video clips to tests but could not conclusively identify one of the two men in them. Former Santubong PKR Youth chief Haziq Aziz had confessed to being one of the two men and alleged that Azmin was the other. However, Azmin has denied this.
Meanwhile, PKR vice-president Tian Chua quashed any talk of Azmin exiting the party. “There is no such thing,” he told FMT.
PKR is a multiracial party with the majority of its supporters being Chinese and Indians. Anwar, during the retreat, had labelled the party as a people’s movement which would remain multiracial.