Selangor Parti keadilan Rakyat (PKR) has called on the national leadership to intervene in the ‘war’ between Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim and party state chief Azmin Ali, which is widening the rift between the two factions.
The decision was reached last night in a meeting of the state party leaders, in the absence of Khalid and Azmin, although both have been invited to put out their cases.
The rift which has now escalated into a ‘full blossom war’ is expected to spread nationwide given that Azmin is the party deputy chief and has been instrumental in planning the party strategy and development nationwide, not just Selangor.
With the party poll in May and the party 80-odd divisions holding their election in March, the ‘temperature’ is expected to be high and heaty as Khalid and Azmin spread their influences to garner support.
On the top – the names of de facto chief Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and wife Datin Seri Wan Azizah Ismail – are expected to be bandied around as Khalid and Azmin supporters hit the campaign trail for votes.
While Selangor PKR waits for the national leadership to intervene to ‘douse the burning fire’ so that the party can be free of intense campaigning for the coming party poll, the calm and tame scene may not appear.
Wednesday, the party political bureau will meet to discuss the normal political agenda but top of the list will be Khalid’s action in dropping Azmin from the board of the State Development Corporation (PKNS).
Both Azmin and Khalid are members of the bureau and both are expected to be present but will both the leaders present their side of the story or their views in an open and honest manner?
Khalid’s action, according to some party members, was not on his own but directed by ‘unseen hand or hands’ and Azmin’s opposition towards Khalid’s every policy and move was also said to be directed by ‘unseen hands’.
Party members believed the rift is more than ‘the eyes can see’ given the talks that party president Wan Azizah is ‘not comfortable’ with Azmin as deputy president and she would be comfortable with Khalid as deputy who she can trust and can relate.
On the other hand, some party members said Anwar is with Azmin all the way given the long and close relationship both have established during their Umno days and the ministry Anwar headed.
Given such scenario, the Wednesday political meeting may not be able to solve the rift as Khalid is not expected to withdraw his act as this would bring down his image and credibility within PKR as well as within parties in Pakatan Rakyat.
On the other hand, Azmin is not expected to take things ‘sitting down’ as he is the state PKR chief and deputy president and he is not about to give in ‘just like that’ given that he would be defending his deputy presidency.