Mahathir–Kit Siang power play to divide and rule PKR by proxy

 |Jan 5, 2017
Mahathir will take control of PKR once Azmin oust Wan Azizah and takes charge as the party president. Nurul Izzah is set to be a collateral damage in the game of thrones.
Mahathir will take control of PKR once Azmin oust Wan Azizah and takes charge as the party president. Nurul Izzah is set to be a collateral damage in the game of thrones.

The fact that Mahathir Mohamad has killed off Anwar Ibrahim is indisputable.

No one talks about him anymore or considers him relevant in the bigger scheme of things.

Even the Financial Times Confidential Research team did not mention Anwar in their latest analysis on Malaysian politics – which predicted that Prime Minister Najib Razak was going to do well in the coming general election and which they predicted would be held in the third quarter of this year.

Anwar’s political demise, if we could call it that, has given Selangor Menteri Besar (MB) Azmin Ali the edge over PKR party president Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and her daughter Nurul Izzah Anwar.

Now Azmin can take his time and demolish the mother and daughter at his leisure.

Azmin will have to wait another two weeks, though, when Anwar’s appeal on his pardon is decided by the court.

Once the court closes the door on Anwar for good, he will be reduced to a footnote in history and would no longer be seen as a mover and shaker of Malaysian politics.

PKR divided and controlled

With Anwar, Wan Azizah and Nurul sent to pasture, the battle royale would be between Azmin and his detractors.

Leading that team of detractors is Saifuddin Nasution, who has just been appointed Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s strategic advisor.

Saifuddin has always hated Azmin and he makes no secret of that.

In 2008, Saifuddin was so pissed with Azmin that he sulked and left the party to join the PAS government in Kelantan.

In 2010, when Anwar coaxed him to return to PKR, Saifuddin set his terms, one of which was to be made the party secretary-general so that he would be equal in power to Azmin, the election director.

In 2014, Saifuddin vacated his post to run for the party’s deputy presidency, but was defeated by Azmin.

He was then replaced with Rafizi Ramli and this, again, made Saifuddin mad as hell because that more or less placed Rafizi above him.

Since 2014 Saifuddin has been one very unhappy person who whacks Anwar, Wan Azizah and Azmin at the slightest provocation.

This extremely discontented Saifuddin is a most appropriate candidate for DAP.

Lim Kit Siang knows that Saifuddin is on the verge of leaving PKR, yet again, if he continues to be treated secondary to Azmin and Rafizi.

When that happened earlier in 2008, Saifuddin left PKR to work for Kelantan Menteri Besar Nik Aziz Nik Mat.

Now he is working for Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.

But DAP does not want him to leave PKR, though.

The party has bigger plans for him.

Kit Siang has made a deal with Mahathir but he knows better than to allow the old man to have total control of PKR through Azmin.

Amana and Pribumi are too weak to be of any strategic importance while at best DAP can win 45 parliament seats, tops.

So DAP needs PKR to deliver the balance of the seats.

That would make PKR too important and, hence, too strong for the good of DAP.

Saifuddin Nasution's appointment as Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng's strategic advisor is a DAP strategy to control anti-Azmin faction in PKR.
Saifuddin Nasution’s appointment as Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s strategic advisor is a DAP strategy to control anti-Azmin faction in PKR.

Big plans for Saifuddin

So, while Mahathir may control PKR through Azmin once he takes over from Wan Azizah, Kit Siang needs to counter-balance that by controlling at least the other half of PKR.

That other half would be the faction led by the person who hates Azmin the most, Saifuddin Nasution.

So that means DAP would now ‘share’ PKR with Mahathir.

Kit Siang played Mahathir well by appointing Saifuddin as Guan Eng’s strategic advisor and hence now controls half of PKR.

In the end, Saifuddin would be reduced to just another Mat Sabu, a DAP running dog.

Saifuddin does have a history of serving other masters when he does not get what he wants, such as from 2008 to 2010.

The next thing that was going to happen was DAP would give Saifuddin the parliament seat of Permatang Pauh to contest since Anwar is going to remain in jail till after the next general election.

That would totally wipe out Anwar’s influence in Penang.

Saifuddin would also be given a state seat in Selangor to contest so that if DAP wins the most number of seats in Selangor, as the party was expected to, the party can take over the MB post.

Currently DAP does not have any candidate for Selangor MB and even if the party fields a Malay candidate there was no guarantee the sultan would accept DAP’s Malay candidate as the Selangor MB.

Therefore, to be safe, DAP will push for Saifuddin to become the Selangor MB.

So, indirectly, DAP would be in charge of Selangor like they were back in 2008 in Perak.

DAP knows that any Malay candidate from the party would still be seen as a Chinese tool or Chinese running dog.

DAP hopes that a Malay candidate from PKR, although ‘DAP-friendly’, would not be viewed the same, especially since this Malay used to be in Umno and then PKR and then PAS, like Saifuddin was. – Malaysia Today

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Raja Petra Kamarudin or RPK, cousin to the Selangor Sultan, is one of Malaysia's earliest online 'citizen journalists'. He started his website in 1995 before the internet 'explosion' triggered by the Reformasi movement in September 1998. Malaysia Today was launched as a blog in August 2004 and is one of the few pioneer blogs still active and posting articles on a daily basis 24-7. RPK, 66 years old, has been writing since 1990.