PKR is heading for its latest internal crisis since reverting to an opposition party, this time in the form of an intense struggle for influence between two loyalists of its president Anwar Ibrahim.
This comes as a long simmering tension between Anwar’s political secretary Farhash Wafa Salvador and party vice-president Rafizi Ramli reaches a boiling point.
Rafizi, who has been out of the party limelight since losing a fierce battle for the number two post against Mohamed Azmin Ali two years ago, has lately appeared to have difficulty disguising his dislike for Farhash.
“You should really rein in your office,” he had said on June 18, taking aim at Farhash, the Perak PKR chief who has managed to position himself as the de facto number two leader in his capacity as Anwar’s political secretary.
A PKR elected representative who spoke anonymously to MalaysiaNow said what used to be Rafizi’s direct line to the president’s office now appears to have been blocked by Farhash.
Rafizi is largely seen as having control over the Youth wing through its chief, Akmal Nasir.
Casualties of the clean-up include key leaders in this wing aligned with Farhash.
It is learnt that so far, the leadership committees of two state Youth wings have been dissolved, with their chiefs told they were being relieved of their positions with immediate effect to make way for a “reshuffle”.
They include Selangor PKR Youth chief Najwan Halimi and his Perlis counterpart Azam Karap, according to documents sighted by MalaysiaNow.
Others from the central Youth leadership booted out of their positions were vice-chief Syed Badli Shah, deputy secretary Muhammad Naqib Nasaruddin and deputy strategic director Fahrulrazi Zailan.
Syed Badli, who has been building an image for himself in the party by promoting Anwar as the future prime minister, condemned his sacking as the work of internal saboteurs while stopping short of naming Rafizi.
“This move will not be able to stop my voice from defending the party and Anwar.
“Because my main duty right now is to replace the current government. This should be the focus, not getting busy with sacking,” he said.
Rafizi has in recent times repeatedly warned Anwar against surrounding himself with the so-called “Kartel2”, a reference to the faction of Azmin that left the party alongside about a dozen MPs.
“This is what the people in your office cultivate – another rotten culture in PKR to become #kartel2.
“And they are using your name to justify everything. One day when they don’t get what they want, they will betray you, again!” Rafizi had said in a social media post.
A PKR state assemblyman, when contacted, said the development would be a greater challenge for Anwar than the Azmin-Rafizi rivalry.
“It’s because both Farhash and Rafizi are his blue-eyed boys, and unlike the case with Azmin who was clearly seen as being in Anwar’s bad books, Anwar this time cannot afford to upset either one,” the assemblyman said.