PKR deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali could leave the party if his reported rift with its president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is not healed soon, a socio-political analyst said today.
Associate Professor Dr Awang Azman Awang Pawi of Universiti Malaya said Azmin could lead an exodus from PKR to join Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) or form a new party with former defence minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.
“Bersatu is limited to bumiputras while a new party could include non-bumiputra members,“ he said.
Awang added that the rift would not be something that Azmin Ali would want to see prolonged as Anwar is also the prime minister in waiting.
“If Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad retires then this comfort and the influence available (for Azmin and his supporters) could be affected.“
Political analyst Assoc Prof Dr Jeniri Amir also said the question of Azmin leaving PKR has been the talk of the town recently.
“If that is going to happen, we are bound to see an interesting politic drama in the coming few months,“ Jeniri said. “This is not only going to rock only PKR but spill over to Pakatan Harapan (PH).”
He added that if Azmin Ali leaves, there is a high probability that Anwar Ibrahim would try to garner support from Umno Members of Parliament to shore up support.
“His future and position as the prime minister is at stake here. He is not going to ‘sit back on this, He is going to go all out to make sure that he becomes the next prime minister.”
However, the rift would not lead to the fall of PH, he said. “If they fail to handle this matter wisely, it is bound to create a lot of problems for PH. At the end of the day they will come to their senses and wisdom to control the damage, or lose the whole thing.”
The rift began came to light recently when Anwar via PKR official Facebook account, unveiled the PKR Central Leadership Council for the 2018-21 term, which included the appointment of Rafizi Ramli as one of the vice presidents.
The following day, Azmin wrote an open letter to say the appointment did not reflect the “fair and just representation” principle.
He had also urged Anwar to review the appointments to which the latter declined. Anwar defended the appointments saying it reflect inclusiveness in PKR.
PKR Advisory Council chairman, Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, went to Anwar’s defence and said the appointment is the prerogative of the president.
PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (L) and PKR deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali (R).