|In better times - Gobala and Manikavasagam with Anwar|
UPDATE 2 In a widely anticipated move, Padang Serai MP N Gobalakrishnan has threatened to quit PKR in a bid to increase the bargaining power of a cartel led by FT Chief Zaid Ibrahim, who is due to hold a press conference on Friday.
Zaid has tried hard to wrest power in PKR but has so far failed to win over PKR grassroots despite his best efforts. The former Umno leader had in September launched his bitter campaign against long-time vice president Azmin Ali, ironically accusing Azmin of “Umno culture”.
However, despite Zaid's efforts, he only managed to received 38 nominations versus Azmin’s 102 and has since trained his sights at Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim, even dragging Anwar's daughter Nurul Izzah, the Lembah Pantai MP, into his verbal jousting against her father.
Flushing out the Trojans and the moles
PKR pundits say Anwar and the PKR top leadership are monitoring the situation and biding their time flushing out the Trojan horses or Umno moles that have infiltrated the party since it became a serious threat to Umno following its electoral success in the 2008 General Election.
|Zaid - former Umno lawyer|
"They are in the Zaid cartel. But because the next GE is already within months, there is nothing for PKR to lose. These guys wouldn’t have been picked anyway."
On Thursday, Gobala told reporters that he wanted PKR to stop interfering in the party’s historic direct elections.
“Today, I am coming out with the statement to ask the committee to immediately solve all problems pertaining to the divisional elections. I want them to be fair, transparent and neutral to all. If this continues, then there is no point staying if the elections can be manipulated by individuals in this way,” Malaysian Insider reported him as saying at the Parliament lobby.
“For the past 11 years, I have stood firm with the party, this is the first time I am standing in front a camera to say this. They can call me a traitor or a Trojan (horse) but I will stand strong but if this continues, I do not think I should stay.”
Late nominations accepted
In a further twist to development, secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution announced that the political bureau had during its weekly meeting on Wednesday decided to accept the nominations of six divisions who sent in their lists after the October 10 deadline.
"There has been a lot of mischief caused by wrong reporting. The political bureau accepted because the nominations came one day late. No harm in that. Of these nominations, some were for Nurul. This means that she qualifies to go for the deputy presidency. Whether she does is up to her, she has until October 16 to decide. We hope the press will not play up or twist the issue," Saifuddin told Malaysia Chronicle.
Most of the divisions who sent in their nomination past the deadline are linked to Zaid and Sabah vice president Jeffrey Kitingan. They had publicly accused PKR of trying to block out Nurul from the No. 2 race so that Azmin could win. They said none of the central leadership had advised that nominations would close on October.
However, they were exposed when Saifuddin pointed out thatnews portal Malaysiakini had already uploaded from as far back as September 5 a time-line chart showing the nominations deadline was October 10. Their source of information was from the PKR secretary-general website.