The problem with Tian Chua not calling Anwar the '8th PM' - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Saturday, December 21, 2019
Malaysiakini : “Every full-grown emperor requires at least one war, otherwise he would not become famous." ― Erich Maria Remarque, 'All Quiet on the Western Front'
| PKR vice-president Tian Chua did a great disservice to party deputy
president Azmin Ali in the ongoing fiasco that PKR has presented to its
supporters, in the midst of supposedly saving Malaysia. Tian Chua, like
Azmin Ali, is part of the next generation of leaders who one assumes
have learnt the mistakes of their elders but insists on playing the same
games that brought us to this Neo Malaysia.
The only reason why Tian Chua thinks
it is “mischievous” for PKR leader Anwar Ibrahim supporters to carry
placards naming him the eight prime minister is because, as Tian Chua
claims, PKR is split down the middle and Azmin loyalists do not like
being reminded that Anwar is the heir apparent to the top job.
Chua also puts the DAP and Amanah in an uncomfortable position by
dragging them into this squabble. For instance when he says - “If Anwar
is agreed by Harapan, he will take it (the post of PM) when Harapan is
ready. It has got nothing to do with the whole public. Then, if Harapan
decides that Anwar’s time is up (and) there will be another person, then
it will be another person” - what does this mean exactly?
had decided that Anwar was to assume the top job. The then opposition
campaigned on this because the idea of the old maverick retaining power
was anathema to the base. Hence this idea that the post of the top job
was fluid and that the Harapan decision-making process was a work in
progress is disingenuous.
However seeing as how the “Harapan
leadership” has backtracked and weaselled its way out the coalition's
manifesto, what can you expect from this bunch? Do DAP and Amanah share
this view or is this solely the perspective of Azmin's camp? The
only folks who would have a problem with displays of loyalty of Anwar
becoming the next prime minister are those who do not want him to be the
next prime minister and who want their own to be anointed.
Azmin was demonstrating solidarity with his party when it came to
issues affecting his party, it would not make a difference if he had a sub rosa
agenda against Anwar. This is politics, after all. However, Azmin’s
continued reliance on outsiders to ferment trouble and consolidate
support is the existential threat facing PKR at this moment.
the height of mendacity and evidence of how far Tian Chua has turned
into “politician” when he says - “How we want to arrange our leadership,
that is none of the rest of the country’s problem, really.” So much for
the “activist” who babbled on about people power but more importantly,
for the base that Tian Chua is so dismissive of, who voted Harapan
secure in the knowledge that Anwar would take over.
Did anyone see
Tian Chua and the rest of Azmin loyalists make these bizarre claims of
“dynastic” power structures or making the argument that Anwar was not
fit for the top job before the election? Instead since gaining federal
power, factional politics in PKR have been defined by who has the favour
of the old maverick because the reality is – unlike what Tian Chua
claims – it is the old maverick, and not the “Harapan leadership”, who
would determine if Anwar becomes the next prime minister.
Chua’s claim that overt support of Anwar becoming the next prime
minister pits Anwar against the old maverick is mendacious. What this
overt support is, is a reaction against the moves by provocateurs who
would derail the succession plan and those who encourage the perception
that Anwar will not be the next in line.
How does Azmin encourage
this perception? He does so by carrying out acts that undermine the
legitimacy of the handover of power to Anwar. He does so by thumbing his
nose at the various party meetings and personalities that would ensure a
cohesive response to issues affecting the rakyat.
Chua’s response is part of the agenda to encourage this perception too.
The gall of Tian Chua proclaiming that supporters should not show “blind
loyalty” to leaders when he is carrying water for Azmin without
actually coming out and saying that Azmin wants the top job.
this is the problem right here. Internal feuds within political parties
is the norm. Azmin’s problem, and this is also Tian Chua’s problem, is
that they want to make this a “Harapan leadership issue". They want to
make it seem as though the “Harapan leadership” has a problem with Anwar
becoming the next prime minister.
they do this, they are busy seeking the imprimatur of the old maverick.
Look, if Tian Chua and those loyal to Azmin were honest, they would do
1. Not hitch their wagon to the old maverick.
2. Come out of the closet and make the case that Azmin is a better candidate for the top job.
would be a far more productive move than going on about how factions
need to work together even though they need not love each other. What
this fight has done is make PKR weaker but even worse, infected the
party with political operatives who are ensnared in the machinations of
the old maverick.
What Tian Chua should be doing, if he really
believed in this whole “reformasi” propaganda, is make the case why
Azmin or anyone else for that matter is better suited for the top job.
Instead, what he does is make the case that the feud between Azmin and
Anwar is because of the challengers against Azmin’s role as the chosen
one. And this from a man who claims that blind loyalty is destroying the
party and turning it into another Umno.
Make the case for your
preferred candidate and maybe the rakyat who you think has no dog in
your leadership fight to either support or reject your candidate based
on what they believe your candidate stands for. This is partisan
politics after all.
I, for one, am always willing to listen to an
outlier argument. Anyone who reads my columns understands that I have
chronicled Anwar’s missteps even during the run-up to the historic
Harapan win and after, while most partisans were suffering from a
hangover. I know political operatives who I consider smart people
and long-time friends who are in the Azmin camp, hence considering a
case for Anwar not assuming the crown is not verboten to me. And I
believe many people too.
Instead what we get is a political operative telling the base that who leads them is not their concern.
Why does Harapan continue giving its base reasons not to vote for it?