Khairuddin Abu Hassan’s quitting of Pribumi was a big slap on Mahathir Mohamad’s face and to his ego, said a political observer Azizi Safar today, hinting at leadership crisis in the newly formed party.
Azizi hinted that Khairuddin could have quit the party due to his unhappiness with party leadership, not his court cases.
He said there was no way Mahathir was not aware about Khairuddin’s decision since the former premier was the founding chairman and the remote controller of Pribumi.
“It’s a big slap on Mahathir’s face and to his big ego. So he claims ignorant of it to hide his embarrassment and bruised ego. Mahathir knows his party was facing an internal crisis. Khairuddin has dealt a major blow,” said Azizi in a text message.
He pointed out that Khairuddin was also initially reluctant to join Pribumi when the party was formed.
Khairuddin, Mahathir’s key henchman, said on Thursday that he was quitting Pribumi with immediate effect, a month after he joined it, in order to concentrate on several court cases that he was facing.
Khairuddin however said that he would attend opposition rallies, including Pribumi events, only on his personal capacity, not that of any political party.
He also urged all Pribumi leaders and members not to form factions and fight against each other, which Azizi said an indication of “trouble within.”
Mahathir claimed today that he was unaware about Khairuddin’s abrupt decision, adding that he would check and confirm about it.
Azizi said Khairuddin was merely giving lame excuses that he needed to concentrate on his court cases.
“He does not hold any key positions in Pribumi that could deter him from concentrating on his many courts cases,” said Azizi, indicating Khairuddin’s main reason could be a rift with party president Muhyiddin Yassin.
“Why Khairuddin is still willing to join ceramah as Khairuddin Abu Hasan but not representing any party? His reason to concentrate on court cases is lame… just an excuse, not the real reason.
“Khairuddin sticks to the Citizen’s Declaration but not as a member of Pribumi. Why?” asked Azizi.
Comparatively, he said Khairuddin was an “aggressive” character while Muhyiddin was “soft and slow”.
Moreover, he said not only Khairuddin, but many Malaysians too were confused with Pribumi’s political direction.
“Currently Pribumi direction is blurry. Where is Pribumi heading? Pribumi seems no directions,” said Azizi, adding that Khairuddin was rumoured to have had major fallout with Muhyiddin and his leadership style.
“Maybe Khairuddin was unhappy that he was not given a bigger role to play and a top position to hold in Pribumi. Perhaps Khairuddin wanted to be a honcho, not a mere political macai in Pribumi.”