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A new era for PKR and the country

  • Anwar, the former DPM who witnessed the heyday of Umno and later became one of the dragonslayers that brought the party to its knees, knows better than anyone else what cause the downfall of a ruling party.

Sin Chew Daily

Following the closing of the PKR congress on Sunday and the advent of a new era under Anwar Ibrahim, the party, which is leading the country's quest for a change of the federal government, is seeing its leadership moving towards a higher level of transformation.

Anwar's return to the leadership core is more than just a significant comeback but also heralds a steadier journey for his eventual ascent to the country's pinnacle of power as future prime minister in line with the tradition of the candidature of the leader of the largest party in the ruling coalition for premiership.

On this day, Wan Azizah who led the party on behalf of her husband for two decades, not only passed the baton back to her husband, but also fulfilled the promise to let Anwar test Mahathir's pledge of handing over the power to him within two years.

The political situation that the country is now entering is an extension of the "Reformasi" legend PKR has authored.

On account of the fact that PKR is an increasingly stronger member in the ruling alliance, senior party post holders are finding themselves closer to the core of federal administration. This explains why the just concluded party elections have been unusually intense.

The number two post of deputy presidency, in particular, is widely seen as the next-in-line for the PM post, and this has resulted in tremendous confrontation between the camps led by the incumbent Azmin Ali and his challenger Rafizi Ramli. The confrontation at one point of time sparked concerns that an internal split could ensue from the division which could also leave a mark on the stability of the new government.

The split between Azmin and Rafizi is poised to pose a monumental challenge to Anwar after taking over the party's leadership, both being very capable aides Anwar is unwilling to lose.

Azmin and Rafizi displayed a high level of maturity with a warm hug in front of thousands of delegates in a bid to remove the last bits of fear and doubt among the members.

Kak Wan's bowing out and Anwar's heroic return should be reason enough for the party to come together in unity.

After Anwar's ascent to party presidency, all eyes will soon fall on him as to how he is going to defuse the conflicts between Azmin's and Rafizi's camps. The appointment and adjustment of party positions will be perceived as shadow line-up for Anwar's future cabinet. This is one of the major challenges he is going to encounter in the days to come.

Anwar, the former DPM who witnessed the heyday of Umno and later became one of the dragonslayers that brought the party to its knees, knows better than anyone else what cause the downfall of a ruling party.

PKR's journey has not always been this smooth. Thanks to the "Abdullah Effect" in 2004, the party was left with a single parliamentary seat held by Kak Wan. If not because of the perseverance of its leaders and members, the party would not have gone this far as to rewrite Malaysia's history this May.

The "Reformasi Legend" will continue to dictate the country's political future as we usher in the Anwar Era after PM Mahathir passes the baton to him in two years' time.

 

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