At ‘mirror congress’, PKR’s Hilman says party in crisis

Syed Jaymal Zahiid

PKR deputy president Datuk Seri Azmin Ali (centre) attends the ‘SPV 2030’ dinner on December 8, 2019. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 8 — A leader aligned to PKR deputy president Datuk Seri Azmin Ali has opened an event here this evening meant to rival the party’s primary congress in Melaka, declaring the Pakatan Harapan lynchpin to be in crisis.

Muhammad Hilman Idham, a known Azmin confidant, told thousands of supporters gathered at the Renaissance Hotel in the capital that PKR is facing a leadership crisis, but called on members to remain firmly behind those who are loyal to the party’s reform ideals.

“As you have witnessed from the national congress over the last few days, one can fairly say we are in crisis, a leadership crisis,” the Gombak Setia state assemblyman said in his speech at the so-called Shared Prosperity Vision 2030 (SPV 2030) briefing.

“But actually, we are facing a bigger crisis: that is the crisis of dwindling public confidence in this government.”

The rallying call was seemingly meant to portray the Azmin faction as above individual politics, and that the faction behind president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has strayed far from PKR’s struggle by committing itself to the fanatical support of one man.

Hilman cited the SPV 2030, a ten-year economic plan formulated by the Economic Affairs Ministry headed by Azmin, as proof of the PKR deputy president’s commitment to reforms.

The message underpinned the narrative that the Anwar faction is envious of the public rapport Azmin and those aligned to him have built since PH took power.

The jealousy, the Gombak Setia assemblyman suggested, had fuelled the feud between Anwar and Azmin and drove the party off course, which has cast PKR in bad light in public eyes.

And since PKR is seen to have deviated from its struggle, Hilman asserted that genuine reformists needed to remind themselves of what the party stood for, and that it is not to confer individuals with supreme political power.

“We the youths are in this party not to become fixated or obsessed with one person,” he said.

“It is enough that we are loyal to the principle of justice that laid the foundation of the party.

“By doing so, we shall remain a party that is politically relevant, we will forever be the party of the future,” he added.

PKR supporters cheer while PKR deputy president Datuk Seri Azmin Ali is giving his speech during the ‘SPV 2030’ dinner at Hotel Renaissance Kuala Lumpur December 8, 2019. — Picture by Hari Anggara

Yesterday, Azmin and leaders aligned to him walked out of the PKR national congress in Melaka in protest after the faction claimed Anwar had broken a ceasefire agreed upon a day before.

Azmin, who spoke shortly after Hilman, claimed the attacks on him by delegates were clearly planned since they were handpicked by the party’s state leadership council, which is said to be Anwar loyalists.

Also present at this evening event were PKR vice-presidents Zuraida Kamaruddin and Chua Tian Chang or Tian Chua, and Selangor Mentri Besar Amiruddin Shari.

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