Kajang – It’s not about Ambition

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It’s painful to hear Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim being ridiculed once again in the Barisan Nasional-controlled media for being “selfish” and “ambitious” by standing for the Kajang (N25) state legislative by-election.

Yet again, Anwar has to endure personal attacks and humiliation, coming even from his own supporters, all because he wishes to save the directionless and malfunctioning Pakatan Rakyat from paralysis in Selangor.

Kajang is not about Anwar’s or Azmin Ali’s ambitions. It’s about the potential failure of Pakatan Rakyat as a political alliance in the state.

The problem started in 2008 when Anwar—jubilant that Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim the corporate millionaire had agreed to join PKR—promised that Khalid would be Menteri Besar if the Pakatan captured Selangor. Anwar had previously promised Azmin the same position and credit is due to Azmin for accepting the change gracefully.

So, when Khalid became Menteri Besar, he did not take kindly to the decisions and directives made by Anwar or the party as a whole. In fact, he mostly ignored them. In my brief sojourn at PKR, I saw clearly that Khalid was “uncontrollable” from the political point of view.

One of the reasons why Datuk Salehuddin Hashim (the former Secretary-General of PKR) left in a huff in 2009 was Anwar’s inability to prevail over Khalid on key issues such as how party funds should be managed and the way Selangor could help PKR politically.

Anwar’s penchant for avoiding difficult decisions and procrastinating on important issues is the real reason for the present trouble in Selangor. Political parties that want to remain viable need adequate funds and the state must be able to provide that funding if democracy is to function.

Selangor had to find legitimate ways to channel funding to all political parties—including the Barisan Nasional—in proportion to the votes obtained at the general election. Khalid openly rebuffed this idea and Anwar didn’t have the stomach to contradict him.

Today, he wants to remove Khalid from the post but Khalid understands state politics quite well. After the 13th general election, PKR wanted Azmin appointed as Menteri Besar but the Pakatan could not agree to it. As such, it’s easy for the Sultan of Selangor to reject any request to remove Khalid if the request comes only from a single party (i.e. PKR).

Had the Pakatan Rakyat acted as a single and united political entity, then the change would have been an issue worth fighting for. It would have been a matter of the people’s democratic choice of representative government and the role the constitutional monarch plays in that choice. The people usually win such contests but the opportunity was lost.

So it is desperation with Khalid that has led Anwar to engineer the coming by-election. This move, however, will not be publicly understood unless people know about the Pakatan’s internal difficulties in Selangor.

Meanwhile, the Barisan-controlled media will go to town with Anwar’s unusual political tactics and they will probably succeed in convincing the public that Anwar is power-crazy. And truly, the outcome is unclear: Anwar might lose in Kajang; and even if he were to win, what makes anyone think the Sultan will appoint him Menteri Besar?

I suggest that it’s not too late for Anwar and other Pakatan leaders to wake up from their slumber and start acting as a single organised group. Top leaders must seek an audience with the Sultan, who will certainly not refuse them on such an important matter of state.

Leaders should provide His Highness a list of prospective candidates for Menteri Besar, and the list should not be petty and detail only PKR candidates. There are other excellent Malay-Muslim candidates in the Pakatan: Anwar and Azmin are certainly suitable, but so also are Dr Abdul Aziz Bari and Khalid Abdul Samad.

The DAP can put up Datuk Mohd Arif Sabri Abdul Aziz (better known as “Sakmongkol”). Any of these individuals will be a capable Menteri Besar. As such, leaders of the Pakatan Rakyat must start trusting one another. They must behave like an alliance in fact, not just in name. In this sense, it doesn’t really matter which party ultimately contests the Kajang by-election.

His Highness will also be required to make a stand on the matter, and any acceptable candidate will have a good chance of winning the by-election.

Anwar has sacrificed a great deal for the country but to be successful he must change his style of leadership. He must learn to trust his Pakatan Rakyat team and he must know that he cannot beat the Barisan Nasional by pandering to narrow party interests. He must galvanise the forces of change, for the rakyat will provide its support only if his intentions are clear.

The Pakatan Rakyat in Selangor must speak with one voice. It should ideally propose only one candidate for Menteri Besar and not lobby for different names from PKR as is being done now.

Unfortunately, we have come to the point where Selangor Pakatan Rakyat members must be prepared to break ranks, if necessary, in order to forge real political unity.

Neither Anwar nor the Pakatan Rakyat can survive without that unity.

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  1. truthBEtold
    January 30, 2014 at 4:34 pm

    Sorry, in as much as I have high regards for Zaid, this article is full of crap and is disgusting.

    The issue is funding for political parties. I am sick of politicians using the Rakyat for their own political ambitions.

    Low lives who tell us they are sacrificing themselves for the Rakyat.

    They all deserve to rot in hell.

  2. Robert Lim
    Robert Lim
    January 30, 2014 at 6:12 pm


    I am be naive but why should government funds be channeled to political parties? To do so would be falling back in the bad habits of BN, etc.

    Government funds should be utilised for the benefits of the Rakyat.


  3. Robert Lim
    Robert Lim
    January 30, 2014 at 6:12 pm

    sorry … I may be naive …

  4. Retarded Sapper
    Retarded Sapper
    January 30, 2014 at 6:26 pm

    To start with, I did expect this PKR move to attract many and varied interpretations as it is the case now. But my first thought then, was that this was an excellent move to provide for open debates among the government, the opposition and whoever else, on the current issues of, rising cost of living, Allah issue, audit reports by AG, corruption , etc. etc. for the rakyat to understand and make decision. But I could be wrong as no one else has spoken that way.

  5. Niki C
    Niki C
    January 30, 2014 at 9:16 pm

    Hi Datuk Seri,

    What I understood from your article is that you are saying Khalid has been reluctant to channel funds to PKR for political purposes. And that you are saying/implying that it has been wrong for Khalid to do so.

    Now, let me ask you…is this not the EXACT thing the rakyat has been demanding? Have we not expressed disdain each time we see BN (mis)using federal funds and government machinery for political activities?

    It is terribly sad the one thing we have been fighting for, and that Khalid has excellently delivered, is what is going to be his undoing ultimately.

    I personally (and many people close to me as well, and I reckon most of Selangor too) am happy with Khalid because since 2008, there has been EXACTLY zero cases of corruption with the Selangor government. On the one occasion the former MACC boss accused Khalid of corruption, he was sued in court and had to issue an apology to Khalid.

    If possible, I would like to gracefully ask you to explain your stand as to why Khalid should channel state funds for political activities.


  6. rasputino
    January 30, 2014 at 10:14 pm

    Anwar has sacrificed a great deal for the country ??? What is your sacrifice too?
    It all politics and Anwar or Yourselves or even semangkol have ambitions to return to UMNO only time will tell. Ex Umno will not survive except being manipulated for other party interest just like DAP and PAS. Ooopps PKR too and you are one of the victim.

  7. truthBEtold
    January 30, 2014 at 11:58 pm

    Anwar and the rest of the politicians and even Zaid Ibrahim can go fly kites. None of us the Rakyat threw them into the political arena. They ventured into it on their own free will … So please do not treat the Rakyat like dumb arses by saying Anwar sacrificed so much.

    If he poor? Did he live in poverty to help the nation?

    Disgusting politicians. Be it BN or PR they are in essence the same.

  8. Ellese
    January 31, 2014 at 12:19 am

    Datuk, you’re losing the plot. Justifying corruption is a low down. Shame on you. Don’t ever speak of change.

  9. gunse007
    January 31, 2014 at 1:13 am

    comments here are pathetic…
    i think most the comments are from stupid chinaman….

    i agree with Zaid…

    it is true with Khalid, he is a dumb MB who saves money but dont know how to spend prudently… what happened with Syabas takeover, you failed and later just announce the matter transfer to federal government…what kind of a cock answer is that??

    On the case of funding, any money allocated by MB for all Aduns to spend in their constituency??? Nothing….. Naik gaji pandai, buat kerja mcm bodoh…

    About the matter of political funding legally, it is done even in many western countries… nothing wrong with it…. You think PKR, DAP and PAS no need pay bill meh and for election expenses??? How much u fellas donate… RM1 ??

  10. ai
    January 31, 2014 at 3:15 am

    i think all EX-UMNO (anwar,zahid included) and current UMNO must not comment….your credibility in associating with this party justified your past or current ignorance…..so all of you can STFU….

  11. manusiabiasa
    January 31, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    salam datuk

    what ever explanation by any bankrupts politician (aka failure politician) is noble if the party selected he himself as candidate. Anwar ‘s move seem to to check mate himself into chaotic puzzle but whatever they called as ” Kajang move” or whate vere people would never see this as to upgrade he Pakaatan portfolio. It just look like when he can’t solve the the internal problem , then blame others. Blame Tun Mahathir, blame Rosmah and blame others..ened of the day people still beleive anwar just polical monger. Politic nowaday not just about Anwar… what rakyat wanted nowadays is ” a brand new day” with everything in low prices and good living without corruption not just Anwar. Anwar is just like a dinosaur in politic… like Tun Mahathir, like Tg Razaliegh n like U.. all of them supposed to be in the museum diorama.. not in the ring anymore.


  12. Terang Temberang
    Terang Temberang
    February 1, 2014 at 6:55 pm

    Datuk Zaid , finally you are admitting that you are an ass and after reading this i am certain you are an absolute ass!!!

  13. B=====D
    February 2, 2014 at 6:34 am

    Oof.. harsh words being directed at youd zaid… if what you say is true to a certain degree… then it should b anwar who should come out and 1st admit of the chaos within selangor pr… then explain what steps he is going to take to stop this rot.. even if it means offending soe of his own people.. simply implying that he will make the party/coalition stronger is like farting loudly to let people know u did it… most of the actions by anwar is seen as sneaky and reeks … i belive that only by coming out and admitting the mess that they are having will get many of those who are pissed by all these recent events to calm down.. and give anwar a chance to explain… otherwise, people will thnk all this is bullshit spewing from his mouth.. what do u think?

  14. K
    February 2, 2014 at 11:40 pm

    That’s it. PKR lead by Anwar is gonna rotten like a dead fish. Anwar is a scumbag.

    Your opinion about Anwar’s sacrify is most laughable if not dumb- founded.

    I am having the last straw. Will never ever support anything associated with Anwar again. Never again.

  15. Star Grace
    Star Grace
    February 2, 2014 at 11:56 pm

    “It’s painful to hear Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim being ridiculed once again in the Barisan Nasional-controlled media….”

    —You got this wrong Datuk. Anwar is being ridiculed not only in BN media, but widespread most in Pakatan ‘s cyber media and Opposition bloggers. Of course the Pakatan official media would not ridicule Anwar, that would be sucidal and hara kiri.

    “Anwar has sacrificed a great deal for the country…”

    —–How do you want me to cry Datuk? Hahahaha or kahkahkah? Me think Anwar should just retire from politics to save Pakatan.

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