People of my generation will remember the movie “Mutiny on the Bounty” not only because of its storyline but also because of the performance of Marlon Brando as Fletcher Christian.
What we are witnessing today in the ranks of PKR is nothing short of a mutiny. How else can you explain the walkout by Ginie Lim and Muhammad Jailani Khamis from the Melaka state assembly at a crucial time when the appointment of its state chairman Halim Bachik as a senator was up for count? It was deliberate. It was calculated. And it was executed as planned to deny their state chief the senatorship.
We witnessed the same mutiny in Sarawak where state chief Baru Bian refused to proceed with the PKR convention in Miri which nonetheless continued without his presence or blessings. Baru made a rather weak attempt to justify why Sarawak would not proceed with the convention until the party settles the issue of the opening of the PKR Youth wing congress in December by PKR deputy president Mohamed Azmin Ali.
The icing on the cake was the manner in which Azmin and vice-president Zuraida Kamaruddin have been nothing than less defiant and confrontational towards their president Anwar Ibrahim, the prime minister-in-waiting and the man who was, and still is, the flag bearer of the Reformasi movement.
As a result of this fractious and delicate relationship at the very top level, the second-liners have also become embroiled in open warfare. In all probability, it will filter down to the grassroots levels. Time will tell if this will happen, but the writing is certainly on the wall.
Who will ultimately benefit from a PKR implosion? I will not say that your guess is as good as mine. The fact is, united you stand, divided you fall. The situation at the moment is out of control and, unfortunately for PKR, they are in a catch-22 position.
To sack Lim and Jailani from PKR for walking out of the Melaka state assembly when it mattered the most could mean a backdoor entry for the Umno-led Barisan Nasional to take control of the state government by a simple majority if both elected representatives become independents. If that works for Melaka, it could also work for Perak and Kedah where Pakatan Harapan enjoys a slim majority over the opposition.
Was this a masterful stroke by someone with a shrewd mind to test the murky waters of politics? Could be. Is it written in the stars that Anwar will never be our prime minister, whether by fair or foul means? Might be.
But sadly, the people who are most affected by these ongoing shenanigans are not the politicians. It is not the top government officials or the rich and super-rich. It is the common man on the street. As long as there is no political stability, nothing will move. So while the politicians busy themselves with power plays, ordinary folk like me have nothing to look forward to and have to fend for ourselves, uncertain of what the future holds for us.
Shakespeare’s line in Julius Caesar, “Mischief, thou art afoot, take thou what course thou wilt”, could well be used to describe what is currently happening in this country.
I pray that I am dreadfully wrong about this.
Clement Stanley is an FMT reader.
The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of FMT.