A donation in the form of chickens has ruffled feathers among PKR members in the Wangsa Maju area, and not only over criticism that the contribution is paltry, MalaysiaNow has learnt.
It is understood that a programme yesterday where chickens were distributed to residents in Wangsa Maju has been seen as an early bid by those aligned with party president Anwar Ibrahim to lay the groundwork for a new candidate to represent PKR in the multiracial constituency.
The programme was organised by the Anwar Ibrahim Club, a fan club co-founded about two decades ago by his political secretary Farhash Wafa Salvador.
Accompanying other PKR senior leaders at the programme was actor Afdlin Shauki, among names from the local show business whom the party has recruited to gather support from urban Malay voters.
Party leaders had been pushing for actor Hans Isaac to contest in Ampang, a stronghold of former Wanita PKR chief Zuraida Kamaruddin, an opponent of Anwar who left the party alongside a dozen other MPs last year.
But a party insider told MalaysiaNow that attempts to promote Afdlin as the candidate for Wangsa Maju had not gone down well with PKR grassroots.
The seat’s incumbent is PKR’s Tan Yee Kew, who won handsomely in 2018 beating both Barisan Nasional and PAS candidates with more than 50% of the total votes.
The former MCA politician’s huge victory in a predominantly urban Malay constituency had been seen as significant.
“But we are not keen on putting Tan again this time. There is a need to counter the shift of Malay support from Pakatan Harapan.
“Furthermore, there has been an increase of Malay voters here, and the party is not going to risk putting a non-Malay at a time when an urban seat like Wangsa Maju must be defended at all costs,” a senior party member in Kuala Lumpur told MalaysiaNow in exchange for anonymity.
Anwar recently announced a personal donation of 1,000 chickens to be distributed at 14 constituencies in Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya.
A social media post making the rounds had mocked the donation, saying the amount involved would mean a mere 71 birds for each constituency, which works out to about RM700 based on the current retail price of RM10 per bird.
Afdlin meanwhile did not deny speculation of his candidacy in the next general election, saying he would formally announce his party membership.
He said he wanted to join politics to champion the cause of the entertainment industry, adding that successive governments have ignored the problems in the film industry.
“If possible, there should be people from the arts in Parliament to speak out about their problems,” Afdlin told the press after the programme yesterday.
Asked if his political choice would cost him his popularity, Afdlin said: “I think half of them would hate me,” adding that politicians and those in the show business have developed a “thick skin” from critics.