The sex video might have brought out the simmering factional disputes in PKR into the open.
The dispute between PKR’s president Anwar Ibrahim and his deputy, Mohamed Azmin Ali, involving their respective supporters within the party, threatens the multiracial vision of Malaysia.
Factional disputes are not unusual for political parties, especially if the political and administrative stakes are high.
However, contests for posts should not derail or complicate the vision of a better and progressive Malaysia.
It’s worse still if there is a growing perception that one leader might be considered the favourite of those wielding political power.
The question is not about those who were the brains behind the video or the identity of those in the video, but about the succession issue and whether Anwar will succeed Dr Mahathir Mohamad as the prime minister.
In the larger sense, it is whether PKR, a multiracial party, can emerge as a leading political party in the country, to wean politics away from race and religion as it is a common preoccupation with mainstream political parties.
Whether the succession matter was handled well or not is merely academic as much water has flowed under the bridge.
Perhaps, the PH as a whole needs to shoulder the blame for failing to introduce certain specifics or details regarding the succession plan.
Undoubtedly, it is the vagueness of the power transition scheme that could to some extent be responsible for the present state of affairs.
But then, predicting schisms in political parties and the circumstances which give rise to these cannot be merely reduced to the lack of details in the succession scheme.
For Malaysians who don’t want the return of BN or Umno, the latest video scandal has thrown asunder the vision of a multiracial Malaysia.
PKR, or its leadership, for all its faults, is the best political option for Malaysia.
When one ponders over the question of the future of the country, especially one that is not preoccupied with extremes of race or religion, I can only think of PKR and, to some extent DAP, both within the fold of PH.
However, internecine warfare within PH or PKR threatens to derail and bury all that has been fought for.
The arrival of PH on the political scene gave much hope and dignity to Malaysians from all walks of life, only to be snatched away at the point when we were about to embark on fulfilling the promises made to the rakyat.
Where have we gone wrong!
In the tooth-and-nail clamour for posts, we have forgotten the promises made to the rakyat, how the emergence of new politics will deliver them from the clutches of corruption bred by extreme forces of various kinds.
When Malaysians were ready to go beyond extremism, their vision was derailed by another phenomenon —the appearance of the sex video and its apparent relationship to the succession issue.
Responsible leaders must come to their senses. Fratricidal or internecine warfare must be halted within PKR for the benefit of the future of the country.
In a sense, the question of succession had actually been settled even before the last general election.
P Ramasamy is the Penang deputy chief minister II.
The views expressed are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of FMT.