The week opens with headlines on the 14th National Congress of PKR which was held over the weekend at Pusat Dagangan Antarabangsa Melaka (MITC). The event showed that PKR is currently in a bad shape, with news portals capturing the heightened internal tension between the two camps aligned to the president of the party, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and his deputy, Datuk Seri Azmin Ali.
The chart above shows the exposure of PKR leaders namely Azmin Ali, Zuraida Kamaruddin, Tian Chua and Sivarasa Rasiah. Zuraida, Tian Chua and Sivarasa have since been aligned to Azmin’s camp.
According to media intelligence, Azmin is the most popular PKR leader with the highest number of news written on him in the mainstream media. In December, Azmin is observed to gain momentum on Day 4 with an increase from 41 news on Day 3 to 81 news on Day 4.
The images of the president and his estranged deputy sharing a conversation made the rounds in the media, giving the impression the leaders of the two PKR factions had come to terms as the 14th congress approached.
However, the truce turned out to be short-lived.
On December 7, a group of senior PKR leaders including Azmin and Zuraida stepped out of the party’s congress blaming Anwar for violating the “agreement” they had reached.
They said Anwar’s speech on the story of Si Kitul and Raja Mendeliar from Sulalatus Salatin by A. Samad Ahmad opened the way for other speakers to launch a personal attack on the deputy president and break the party’s unity.
Because of the incident, Azmin’s camp decided to not attend the congress on its final day except for Tian Chua which explained the sudden increase in his share of voice in the past one week.
His presence stole the spotlight as he was among those present with Azmin’s supporters at a news conference a day before, expressing his dissatisfaction towards those who use the congress as a place to criticise the deputy president.
For this, Tian Chua was booed by supporters who want Anwar to be the 8th Prime Minister instead.
Meanwhile, Azmin’s camp had a separate gathering at Renaissance Hotel in Kuala Lumpur. One particular incident that stole the spotlight was when Zuraida took aim at Anwar’s supporters describing some of them as “budak hingus” and calling PKR secretary general Saifuddin Nasution Ismali as “tidak berguna”.
PKR leaders who supported Anwar have described Azmin’s camp as uncooperative and refusing to attend party meetings. However, Zuraida said she had tried to hold a reconciliation meeting with the PKR President but to no avail.
With the mass walkout, it is clear that the internal fighting in PKR has reached its climax with each faction declaring an open war with each other.
Will the leaders of PKR ever reconcile? Will they find ways to resolve the crisis within the party so that they could fully function as the government of the day?