Tindakan yang dilakukan oleh beberapa orang Ahli Parlimen PKR yang telah mengadakan sidang media petang tadi bagi menyatakan sokongan mereka terhadap Azmin Ali yang bakal bertanding bagi merebut jawatan Timbalan Presiden telah mengejutkan bebeberapa pihak.
Kumpulan itu yang diketuai oleh Ahli Parlimen Teluk Kemang Datuk Kamarul Bahrin Abas telah melahirkan sokongan mereka berdasarkan pada kelayakan dan pengalaman Azmin.
Bagi mereka Azmin Ali layak menyandang jawatan tersebut kerana beliau adalah pemimpin kanan yang telah melalui pelbagai cabaran selain itu Kepimpinannya dan ketabahannya telah diuji.
Azmin atau kumpulannya itu sebenarnya telah mengulangi apa yang telah dilakukan oleh UMNO terhadap Ghafar Baba suatu ketika dulu dimana ketika itu DS Anwar Ibrahim telah menggunakan taktik yang sama, yang telah menyebabkan Ghafar Baba gagal mendapat pencalonan yang mencukupi untuk bertanding.
Ada pihak yang telah mengatakan tindakan ini adalah bertentangan dengan prinsip pemilihan yang bebas dan adil dan juga ianya tidak menggambarkan sama sekali apa kemahuan akar umbi.
Dan hanya UMNO yang akan melakukan perkara sedemikian….
Rattled 'cartel' at work?
PETALING JAYA: The move by several PKR MPs to endorse Azmin Ali for the party's number two post at a press conference here this afternoon has raised eyebrows in certain quarters.
Some party sources asked if this was an attempt to ensure that control of PKR remained in the hands of a select few.
Questioning the timing of the press conference given that nominations had not concluded, the sources asked if Azmin's camp was rattled by the prospect of supreme council member Zaid Ibrahim entering the ring.
Azmin, who is a close associate of PKR supremo Anwar Ibrahim, was always said to be uncomfortable with Zaid's presence and meteoric rise.
"So is this a move by the Anwar-Azmin 'cartel' to make sure that the party remains in the hands of a privileged few instead of having an 'outsider' like Zaid move up the ranks?
"Zaid has been getting tremendous support in the party, especially in Sabah and Sarawak, and this has left some leaders in PKR squirming uncomfortably in their seats," said a source.
The source also questioned why PKR was averse to allowing new leaders to rise up the ranks compared to its Pakatan Rakyat partners PAS and DAP.
"This does not happen in the other parties, only in PKR. Like when (former MCA vice-president) Chua Jui Meng joined, it took him such a long time to go up," he said.
The source also claimed that the recent action taken against 12 Sabah PKR leaders was also an attempt to prevent nominations from falling Zaid's way.
“It is an open secret that Jeffrey Kitingan is close to Zaid and the 12, half of whom are divisional leaders, and are linked to Jeffrey.
“So this was a clear-cut attempt to thwart Zaid's chances in the party polls,” he said.
The source lamented that such actions went against the principle of free and fair elections and do not represent the wishes of the grassroots.
"This is the way Umno would do things," he said.
Several PKR leaders had also expressed unhappiness with how a small group of "elitist MPs" in the party were calling the shots.
This, they said, was one of the main reasons why several PKR MPs had decided to quit and become independents.
The Ghafar Baba scenario
Meanwhile, Zaid himself indicated in his blog that certain forces were at work to undermine him and drew a comparison between his position and with what happened to Umno stalwart Ghafar Baba in the past.
Zaid said when he joined the opposition party a year ago, he was hailed as a hero, but now he was being branded as an Umno agent on a mission to destroy PKR.
He also revealed that his rivals had paid a popular blogger to tarnish his name.
"The blogger was asked to write that I will pay RM20,000 to the branch that nominates me, and that I was tasked by (former finance minister) Daim Zainuddin to destroy PKR," he said.
"My loyalty has been questioned, but loyalty to whom? Perhaps, I am not loyal to the party's cause or to the highest leadership, I don't know.
"Perhaps these MPs will come forward and explain why my nomination will not be supported at their press conferences to show support for the great Anwar-Azmin combination," he added.
On Ghafar's exit after being challenged by Anwar, who was then a rising star in Umno, Zaid said he remembered the 1993 incident clearly.
“Ghafar was attacked by Umno to the point that he could not garner enough nominations and had to withdraw from the race. His years of service to the party were forgotten just like that,” he said.
“If my fate is to end up like him, so be it. My political struggle is simple: I will support the truth and not falsehoods,” he added.
Free Malaysia Today