Saifuddin: Strong possibility Anwar will win PKR presidency

Dato’ Saifuddin Nasution Ismail believes there is a strong possibility Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim will win the party’s presidency uncontested.

Saifuddin said Anwar, if he becomes the PKR president, faces a tougher challenge as he would be helming the party which lead the Federal government.

Saifuddin added that Anwar’s leadership is not something alien to the party despite his long spell in prison, as his views were always sought during times of crisis.

KUALA LUMPUR: PKR secretary-general Datuk Saifuddin Nasution Ismail believes there is a strong possibility that Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim will win the party’s presidency uncontested in the upcoming party polls in August.

He said this was based on the level of support expressed for him by the grassroots ever since Anwar announced his decision to gun for the post on Sunday.

Saifuddin said Anwar, if he becomes the PKR president, faces a tougher challenge as he would be helming the party which lead the Federal government.

“Dr Wan Azizah (PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail) led PKR as an opposition party for 20 years, from when it was nothing all the way until it succeeded in forming the government. Fifty of 124 Pakatan Harapan and Parti Warisan Sabah parliamentarians are from PKR, and it has more than 900,000 members.

“Anwar is ready to assume the leadership. PKR is now the government so the challenge is far greater, given the people’s mammoth expectations,” he said.

Saifuddin said Anwar’s decision to vie for the post is not unexpected, but something long awaited by all PKR members.

“I believe that as president, he will strengthen the party, improve stability and unity as well as boost PKR’s profile within PH, especially as a party to be reckoned with in the Malaysian political arena.

“Anwar also took almost 20 years to make this decision, starting from when PKR was first established in April, 1999, and around 10 years when he was in prison.

“And now, he is free and able to realise his ideas if he becomes the party president,” said Saifuddin in an interview with NSTP.

Saifuddin said Anwar’s leadership is not something alien to the party despite his long spell in prison, as his views were always sought during times of crisis.

“Anwar provided plenty of guidance through hundreds of notes from his cell, among them when Pas chose to break away from Pakatan Rakyat; during the RUU 355 issue; and when Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) wanted to join PH,” he said.

Asked on whether Anwar can propel PKR even further as part of the government, compared to Dr Wan Azizah, Saifuddin said the Deputy Prime Minister’s track record spoke volumes of her ability to lead the party.

“This does not mean that Dr Wan Azizah is less capable compared to Anwar, but this involves continuity of leadership. It would not be fair to make such a comparison,” he said.

Meanwhile, news of Anwar’s decision to contest the presidency received overwhelming support from PKR’s state leaders.

In KANGAR, Kangar Member of Parliament Noor Amin Ahmad; Sena state assemblyman Asrul Nizan Abd Jalil; Gan Ay Ling (Indera Kayangan) and Nor Azam Karap (Kuala Perlis) said Anwar’s decision was a long-awaited one.

“He is the backbone of the public consciousness with regards to the ‘reformasi’ agenda. His name has never faded from the people in the country and those abroad, which speaks of his ability to lead,” they said in a joint statement.

They said Anwar’s announcement was also in line with the understanding that he would eventually become Malaysia’s eighth prime minister.

“PKR members should provide their fullest support for his presidency bid in the party polls. We hope that PKR will continue to progress as a multiracial party which remains committed to the spirit of reformasi,” read the statement.

In KOTA BHARU, Kelantan PKR voiced its support for Anwar’s presidency bid, and said it was timely given PH’s success in forming the government.

State PKR chief Ab Aziz Ab Kadir, said Anwar needs to be within the leadership lineup as recognised by the party’s constitution, as the post of ‘de facto leader’ does not exist within the party’s hierarchy.

“Anwar needs to be in the highest position not just to lead the party, but also the PH coalition. It is time he is given his rightful place in the administration.

“However, this does not mean that the leadership of Dr Wan Azizah is not needed,” he said.

Ab Aziz hoped that the post of Deputy President would not be challenged in order to safeguard harmony and unity within the party.

“The combination of Anwar as president and Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali as Deputy President is a solid one and will be well-received by members nationwide.”

Source: NST Online

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