Anwar’s role in PKR and the question of democracy

To me, Anwar and his party should not be overly concerned about the so-called democratic process. After all, democracy is not a perfect system that is so sacred, rigid and dogmatic. Political leaders must do what it takes to strengthen their party, rather than worrying about the norms and rules of democracy. I heard the Speaker of the congress addressed Anwar as ‘ pemimpin utama’ ( supreme leader ) when he invited him to take the stage as the last speaker. We all know that such title or position is not in the PKR’s party constitution; but it really does not hurt the party as the President of the party happens to be Wan Azizah. If the President is someone else, it would be highly questionable or even objectionable. Yes, Anwar is the de facto leader of PKR. If there was no sabotage from the ROS, Anwar would have been elected officially as the President, the real supreme leader of PKR. 

I don’t see why we could not view Anwar as the numero uno of his party. We look forward to work with Anwar and his party leaders to face the Barisan Nasional.

 Analysts: Anwar faces comeback hurdles

May 28, 07 3:17am Malaysiakini
Barred from public office and beset by party grumbles, former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim has big hurdles to overcome if he is to return to the political frontline.Anwar’s unexpected decision over the weekend to withdraw his candidacy for the presidency of the opposition PKR party has left both himself and the movement in a difficult spot, analysts say.For now the party will continue to be led formally by his wife, Wan Azizah Ismail, after another contender also pulled out of the leadership race at its weekend national congress. But in the longer term it puts a big question mark over Anwar’s attempt to return to Malaysian politics.“Anwar seems to be facing different sets of pressures now at a time when he cannot afford to lose support,” commented Yang Razali Kassim of the School of International Studies at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University.

PKR has been banking on Anwar’s star quality to gain support for the party, whose profile has declined since its creation in the wake of his 1998 sacking from government.

The once heir-apparent to then-prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad was dropped after being jailed for six years following sodomy and corruption charges.

The sodomy charge was overturned in 2004 and Anwar was released, but he is barred from public office or holding any position with a political party until April 2008 because of the corruption conviction.

Anwar said his decision not to run for the leadership of PKR was because of fears its registration could have been cancelled.

“My problem is that the party comes first. ‘Anwar’ should not be the reason to sacrifice the position of the party,” he told the 2,000 delegates.

However he said he would remain as the party’s de facto leader behind the scenes, arguing he could still be effective without an official post.

That left some observers sceptical.

“It will be interesting to see what role Anwar will be playing, after all this,” independent political analyst Khoo Kay Peng told AFP.

“He has positioned PRK as a party that fights for democracy, but he being a de facto leader is a mockery of democracy.

“It is a political blunder on his part right from the beginning,” he said.

Dissent from within

Anwar also had to deal with dissent from insiders after a party official questioned his legitimacy as a prospective leader.

Another prominent party official, S Nallakaruppan, resigned last week, saying Anwar had told him to withdraw from the contest for the party’s vice-presidency.

PKR itself is not faring too well as a party. In the last 2004 general elections it won only one parliamentary seat, for Anwar’s wife.

“What he is trying to do is to put up a political point that the government is trying to stop him from making a comeback, he is playing a victim’s role,” Khoo said.

“But core national issues are more important to Malaysians than petty party positions.”

Yang Razali said Anwar’s ambitions of leading the opposition into the next elections, due by 2009, will stumble if he faces internal conflict.

“He is always known as a bridge-builder for the opposition,” the political analyst said, “but even in PKR he is facing dissent, so it does look like the opposition will be affected if he cannot overcome this.”



6 Responses to “Anwar’s role in PKR and the question of democracy”

  1. ronnieliutiankhiew Says:

    what difficult spot?

    if he insisted to stand and eventually won the seat, that will be real difficult spot…

    imagine the ROS eventually bars him from holding the position, and wan azizah was not the second highest vote winner. the whole party will be in chaos immediately.

    and worst scenario? deregistered!

    that’s not difficult spot. that will be end of the road for the party, at least until they form a new party, and start to face the problem like parti sosialis malaysia.

  2. Nelson Chee Says:


    I have never voted in my entire life and I sincerely regreted for being an irresponsible citizen of Malaysia.With current state of political landscape I am facing, I will not complain except to do my duty in the next GE.

    I will vote to save our constitution! The BN is becomming a fat and clumsy giant. You have my vote!


  3. KSTAN Says:

    PKR have a long way to go. I have watched the recent congress and I must admit that the delegates had room to voice their views but I feel that the AMK delegates displayed a very immature response when Anwar was posted the question to them regarding about his nomination for the top post. In my opinion, most PKR delegates are more likely to be moved by their stirring emotions than their rational logical thinking. But I’m very pleased for the level headed thinking few who gave a more rational and logical response. If ROS can close down UMNO (lama), I don’t see why ROS can’t close down a mosquito party like PKR.

    No one is indispensable, Anwar, Kit Siang, Karpal, Guan Eng, Nik Aziz and all the other high profile politicans are all mere humans like all of us. DAP, PKR and PAS were not formed for the glory of these people but for a course to better the nation and its people. No one should idolise any of these people, especially Anwar. Without Anwar PKR will still go on, without Kit Siang there is still life in DAP, without Nik Aziz PAS will still participate in general elections.

    This is why we need level headed thinking political leaders and candidates in the next election. PKR have a long way to go, but I’m glad that the party election problems was solved and the way it was solved. Now let us focus on the next GE.

  4. muhibbah Says:

    It’s diificult to trust a man like Anwar. DAP should go on with their own agenda. Don’t wait for Anwar. His sincerity is always in doubt! PKR could also be a liability baggage for DAP in the next GE.

    There is really no substance in PKR. If Anwar wants to fight, join DAP!

  5. aloysius pinto Says:

    Dear Ronnie,

    You are spot on! Yes I am encourage by tghe recent events…From Machap, Ijok and PKR 2007 Congress. We are really looking forward working with you and DAP leaders..more so in Petaling Jaya. Together we can dismantle the ‘invincibility’ of BN. We are on the right track..Please to those who cannot make a positive contribution for a united opposition, look deeply within yourself on how you have contributed to the ‘invincibility’ illsuion of the BN. You either part of the problem or part of the solution…THE CHOICE IS STGRICTLY YOURS..DON’T DISCOURAGE OTHERS WHO ARE TRYING THEIR BEST TO UNITE THE OPPOSITION!

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