A new multiracial political party which is expected to be launched on Sunday will be called Parti Kuasa Rakyat (PKR), according to sources in the know.
The sources said the prime mover behind the party, to be known as People’s Power Party in English, was Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s older brother Kamaruzaman Yaakob, adding that the acronym being considered is “Kuasa” or Power.
One source said it will be officially launched on Oct 10 at an exclusive high-end events venue in the city.
He said meetings have already been held there by a group of founder members, including a few from Sabah and Sarawak and many like-minded politicians and NGOs, over the last two months.
However, considering that Kamaruzaman is nearing 70 and the launch comes so soon after Ismail took charge, one observer felt it was difficult to accept that it was being formed for the sole purpose of pushing Kamaruzaman’s socialist democratic ideals of his students’ union days.
He was a former president of the Universiti Malaya Student Union (Umsu) and took part in the 1974 Baling demonstration to protest against the declining rubber prices.
He was later detained under the now defunct Internal Security Act (ISA) together with Anwar Ibrahim.
According to a group which was invited for talks with the founders, Kamaruzaman spoke of the need to return to the philosophy of Malaysia’s second prime minister Abdul Razak Hussein who he said was more of a social democrat.
“He feels Umno and the like have moved too much to the right and there is a need to realign the politics so that it will go back to being people-centric, with ideals based on democratic socialism.
“He is from Temerloh where the Malayan National Liberation Army (MNLA)’s Tenth Regiment was born and started its early struggle against the British in Pahang. As such the spirit of nationalism is still high in him,” the source told FMT.
Asked on the timing of the formation and launch, he said that with his brother at the helm, it was likely to push things so that more could be done for the rural poor.
“Umno has moved too much away from these principles and it will be difficult to rely on the current batch of leaders to achieve this.”
However, another source said this could also be in preparation for the tight results expected in GE15, which would make the group a small force that could align itself with the winning party that is unlikely to have a majority.
“One argument is that this group is likely to involve current MPs from Anwar’s PKR who are aligned to Bersatu. It is also trying to lure others who believe in multiracial politics,” another source told FMT.
He said at least three former non-Bumiputera PKR MPs involved in the Sheraton Move that led to the collapse of Pakatan Harapan in February last year could also be co-opted into the new party.
“Some are wondering if this move is to have a group which can replace Bersatu post-GE15 in the event it is wiped out,” he said.
The goals of the new party, however, seem similar to those of Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM).
“We understand that they want to go back to the ideals of democratic socialism, and take the politics back to the people and their power. As long as this direction is maintained, we are with the new movement as it fits in well with what we have been struggling to achieve all these years,” said PSM head Dr Michael Jeyakumar Devaraj.
On Monday, plantation industries and commodities minister Zuraida Kamaruddin dismissed allegations that the new political party was being formed with Azmin Ali at its helm.
She was responding to a Malaysiakini report which said that members for such a party were being recruited from Penggerak Komuniti Negara (PKN).
PKN was registered under the Registrar of Societies on June 16 last year, with Zuraida touting it at the time as an NGO set up to aid the rakyat with initiatives under her previous portfolio — the housing and local government ministry.
Source : FMT