Senior PKR leaders including from its youth wing – seen as the party’s most critical tool in mobilising public support – have used strong language to criticise Anwar Ibrahim after a series of setbacks by their president, a transcript of a private chat leaked to MalaysiaNow shows.
The conversation in a mix of Malay and English offers a glimpse of the disappointment and cynicism that party leaders secretly hold against Anwar, especially in the wake of his failure to prove that he has the numbers to topple Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.
In one instance, two senior PKR Youth leaders poured scorn on the veteran politician, saying the grassroots felt cheated and had been left squabbling among themselves while Anwar remained the “dewa” (god).
A: It’s the reason why Anwar is surrounded by people who are yes-men. In the end, the party cannot grow because the grassroots have been let down.
B: Yes, many are disappointed.
A: It’s difficult to be the PM because too many people are fed up, they worked hard but were told to step back, haha…
In another instance, leaders poked fun at those whom they labelled as apple polishers.
A: Quick, draft a statement and lick it clean, haha…
B: Can. “Anwar is our leader. We believe Anwar is the messiah.”
A: There are two miraculous uncertainties in this world: 1. Anwar becoming the PM and 2. The life of the battery that keeps the heart of *** beating.
B: Hahaha true.
A: Anwar went to the palace in a Pajero. The Pajero then flew out of the palace gate.
The conversation took place in a WhatsApp group joined by senior leaders.
When contacted, several PKR leaders who are part of the group confirmed that it was authentic.
MalaysiaNow is however withholding their names pending their response.
One of them had last month openly expressed disappointment with Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) move not to force a bloc vote on the 2021 budget.
A last-minute instruction by Anwar to PH MPs on Nov 26 saw them sitting out a call for a bloc vote on the budget, which was easily passed by voice vote.
Success in voting down the budget would have caused the collapse of the Perikatan Nasional government.
Anwar’s supporters had hoped at the time to give him a second chance at offering himself for the prime minister’s post following his failure to show proof of majority support in an audience with the Agong in October.
Anwar first made the claim on Sept 23, at the height of the Sabah election campaign.
He famously declared that he possessed a “strong and formidable” majority, and that Muhyiddin’s government had collapsed.
The PKR leaders in their exchange also spoke of Anwar’s failure to secure 14 seats for the party to contest in Sabah.
PKR had joined forces with Warisan, but the Sabah-based party only allowed it seven seats despite a personal request from Anwar to Warisan president Shafie Apdal. Of these, PKR won two.
One of the leaders said he and two other MPs had attempted to block Anwar’s Sept 23 press conference.
“But Anwar claimed that he had 120 MPs. So it was no use if only the three of us pulled the brake,” he said.
“I don’t want to sound pessimistic, but we are actually being played out by Anwar (not the Istana or Umno),” he added.