Will Anwar Ibrahim sack his party’s former women’s wing leader Zuraida Kamaruddin? The more precise question is this: Will Anwar, supposedly the next prime minister, has the balls to fire a little Napoleon, who not only has gone rogue but also turned traitor against the party? Yes, Anwar’s next action will determine whether he is qualified to lead Malaysia.
Zuraida isn’t a cancerous cell anymore in the PKR (People’s Justice Party) party. She has become like the current fast-growing epidemic in China – Coronavirus. A hardcore supporter of Azmin Ali, Zuraida has been the errand-auntie of the PKR deputy president for as long as one can remember. And it has gotten worse since Azmin became the Economic Affairs Minister.
She increasingly sucks up to Mr. Azmin primarily because she thought that the blue-eyed boy of Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad would become the next prime minister, not Mr. Anwar. Hence, if Azmin suddenly becomes the next premier, Zuraida will be promoted to a very senior minister post. The auntie has become so fiercely arrogant that she actually believed she was untouchable.
Emboldened by Mahathir’s personal protection for Azmin, who was at the epicenter of an explosive gay sex video implicating the Economic Affairs Minister but swept under the carpet by the police due to the laughable excuse that the identities of the two men in the clips cannot be determined, Zuraida was more determined and convinced that she has bet the right horse.
Two days ago (Jan 29), Zuraida, PKR vice-president, decided to respond to the show-cause notice issued to her by the party’s disciplinary board on allegations of disciplinary misconduct. The initial findings suggested that the despicable woman, who was appointed by PM Mahathir as the Housing and Local Government minister, should be sacked.
Even then, auntie Zuraida couldn’t care less about being fired. After all, she had previously been referred to the same disciplinary board, but the PKR leadership under PM-in-waiting Anwar was too chicken to act against her. On Dec 8, 2019, she went bonkers and attacked fellow leaders in her speech at the “Shared Prosperity Vision” dinner arranged by Azmin’s camp.
The dinner was specially organised to challenge Anwar’s leadership as well as to rally support for Azmin. Zuraida labelled Anwar’s supporters as blind fanatics who were crazy for power for urging Mahathir to set a timeframe to hand over the premiership to Anwar. Strangely, both Azmin and Zuraida wanted Mahathir, a leader of another party, as the country’s PM more than their own president.
It was like Democrat Hillary Clinton badly wanted Republican Donald Trump as the U.S. president more than a candidate from her own Democratic Party. Zuraida, who apparently wasn’t impressed that her camp was being labelled the “cartel”, fired back at her own party members, calling some of them as “child in diapers”, “young punks” and even “mafia”.
Insulting Anwar that he should get back his intelligence, as if the future premier possessed an IQ worse than a carrot, Zuraida’s outburst clearly showed she has zero respect for her own president. Auntie Zuraida claimed she had no problems with Anwar becoming the 8th prime minister. Yet at the same time, she was against the idea of having a proper timetable to ensure a smooth leadership transition.
Accordingly, Zuraida also told all and sundry that Anwar had revealed to her that Prime Minister Mahathir wanted him to sack his deputy over the gay sex scandal. Assuming what she said was true (Mahathir didn’t deny the remarks), the cunning premier had wanted both Azmin and Anwar to go for a full-blown war, thus enabling the old man to continue his premiership.
First, Zuraida didn’t honestly think her own president should be the next prime minister. Second, she happily badmouthed her own party to the extent of calling it a mafia organization. Third, she cannot be trusted with secrets after disclosing details of a private conversation she had with her president. Heck, she didn’t even bother to attend the party’s meeting since Nov 2018 (until Jan 2020).
Why should PKR, the largest component party in the ruling Pakatan Harapan coalition government, continues to keep someone as untrustworthy and as treacherous as Zuraida? If she could openly rebel and betray his own party, what guarantee is there that she would not become a turncoat for the opposition Barisan Nasional in the future, when the gravy train stops enriching her?
Like it or not, the problem isn’t about Zuraida being a traitor to PKR. The real problem is the lack of leadership shown by Anwar Ibrahim. Sure, after imprisoned twice – first by Mahathir, then Najib Razak – probably Anwar fears very much about spending the rest of his days behind bars for the third time. But as the next state leader, Anwar can only play safe and become a coward for so long.
Anwar’s leadership, or rather the lack of it, is being closely scrutinised and discussed. Already, critics have raised the question that if he could not even manage his own party, how could he run the government? It’s alright if he cannot sack Azmin, who is under Mahathir’s protection. People wanted him to at least grow a spine and take a tough stance against warlord Zuraida.
While Azmin, despite his shameless gay sex extracurricular, is under Mahathir’s protection, Zuraida is not. If Anwar can’t go for the Godfather’s dog, he can always go for the dog’s playmate. Anwar loves playing bad-cop-good-cop. But as he keeps pretending to be the good guy, his supporters are fast losing patience. His indecisiveness was seen as a serious weakness.
A narcissist Anwar cannot expect everyone to praise him like a lord and kiss his ring of the pope. He should prove to Mahathir that he can make tough decisions. He must send a message to his deputy and enemies within the party that crossing the red line will come with a price. There’s a difference between instilling discipline and allowing freedom of speech.
Some say Zuraida is a force to be reckoned with as she has massive grassroots support. Seriously? Is she more powerful than former UMNO women chief Shahrizat Jalil, the crook who siphoned RM250 million worth of cattle meant for the people? If Najib could easily control Shahrizat, Anwar has to show that he’s not merely an empty vessel without any substance.
Who is this “nasi lemak” auntie anyway compared to a world class crook like former PM Najib Razak? If Anwar can’t even manage Zuraida, what are the chances that he could handle the notorious Najib and his gang of UMNO warlords once Mahathir hands over the throne to him? The PM-in-waiting has to remember that Najib is down, but is not out.
Has it ever occurred to Anwar that Mahathir is evaluating his capability in managing the crisis, including the creation of Azmin-faction in the PKR? In the same breath, the clueless Anwar hasn’t figured that he may actually gain respect of friends and foes if he courageously takes the bull by the horns. Azmin might fall in line once his lieutenant is terminated.
If Anwar worries that Zuraida may jump ship to Mahathir’s party (PPBM or Bersatu), then he was chasing his own tail. If her loyalty is no longer with the present PKR leadership, it doesn’t matter if she joins PPBM now or later. The premier-in-waiting should do what a real leader should do. In fact, it’s a good strategy to fire Zuraida and see if Mahathir would stoop so low as to recruit a back-stabber like her.
If there was already a plan for Azmin and Zuraida to betray PKR, eventually they would cross over to PPBM. And if indeed the cartel was as influential as claimed, they should be able to swing at least half of the party’s 50 MPs (Member of Parliament) to Mahathir’s side yesterday. The fact that both individuals, with tail between legs, attended the party’s meeting this year shows that it was all hot air.
Running away from problems appears to be Anwar’s trademark. And that’s precisely why troublemaker like Zuraida did not fear the PM-in-future would sack her. She has even challenged Anwar to fire her, if he dares. Anwar should get ready to lose his own loyalists and supporters if he continues to ignore the grassroots’ call for Zuraida to be kicked out.
He should stop playing safe all the time. Anwar has no one to blame but his cowardice for being humiliated by an auntie. He needs to show who’s the boss of the party in order to restore unity and order. He may argue that he cannot afford a split by sacking Zuraida. But PKR is already split and was never united since winning the 2018 General Election, thanks to the cartel.
Source : Finance Twitter