Going by the way Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) leaders Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim and Azmin Ali move, there is no denying that the friction between the two has widen as awaiting to burst come party poll scheduled for May.
Trouble is brewing and the simmering flame is now growing to be a fire as the Selangor Mentri Besar, who is the party supreme council member is seen to ‘worm’ his way to unseat Azmin, the party deputy president.
There is no sign as of now the friction or the flame could be put off even with party de facto chief Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s interference.
The ‘war’ is on and intense fighting is expected for the deputy president post downwards with incumbent Azmin awaiting a tough challenge from Khalid.
Despite Khalid not saying anything about his plan in the coming party poll, talks among PKR members are that Khalid might be aiming to unseat Azmin for the deputy president post.
Khalid’s latest action against Azmin, dropping him as a director of Selangor Development Corporation (PKNS) is seen as a preliminary move to erode Azmin’s influence among the grassroots.
This, according to party members would deny Azmin of patronage among party members and it may work because minus the economic patronage, Azmin may not be able to garner as many votes as he needed.
Khalid’s move, according to them is considered ‘smart but not wise’ as being a corporate man, Khalid fails to see the ‘loyalty’ among party members in ‘the political arena.’
“Politics is not just about running a state or being a Mentri Besar but it is more of the human relations where party members do not just judge a leader through its action in running a state but also on the human side.
“Economic patronage is considered one of the many privileges for party members to continue fighting for the vision of the party because without it, party members may not be able to contribute for party activities at every level due to lack of finance.
“In this case, Khalid’s move against Azmin is a good move to clip Azmin of some support but obviously not wise because party members can see through Khalid’s objective,” said one party member.
The friction between Khalid and Azmin dated way before the May 5 general election as Azmin was tipped to replace Khalid as Selangor Mentri Besar but was denied of the post as Khalid had the backing of PAS and the Sultan.
Khalid is seen on the offset as more of an administrator than a politician which was the reason for Azmin’s intention to replace him as Mentri Besar.
Although Azmin had denied the talks that he was interested in the Mentri Besar post, his action in the state assembly questioning Khalid’s every policy – the latest on salary increment for excos and Mentri Besar – had ‘pissed’ Khalid off most.
Khalid, who is politically not strong as he attempts to blend his corporate ways into the political conduit, is still lacking behind in grassroot support given that he is ‘too high a level for grassroot politics.’
But possessing high political ambition and given the ‘superficial view that he runs the state well’, many PKR members said Khalid thinks he is a deputy president material and that this coming party poll he should be given a chance.
Azmin, being a ‘street fighter and rose from grassroot level’ who is considered the most loyal to Anwar, is expected to ‘fight tooth and nail’ to retain his position.