Here we go, something to compete with the Manchester derby tomorrow, the completion of the marathon PKR elections.
[They even managed a by-election within the time frame!]
If PKR’s intention was to ensure most Malaysians have heard about its election, they’ve exceeded expectations.
But knowing does not mean impressed by it. The opposites of impressed, like bemused, exasperated, flustered, annoyed and alarmed might be more suitable for wear.
Still, which races matter?
But before the Julau qualifier has to be added. If at the ballots at the controversial 11,000 new members living in 11 locations added in one day scandal-ridden division have a huge bearing on the overcome on the national results, all hell will be unleashed within the party.
It goes without saying. Julau, may end up being the start of the president’s Waterloo.
So, we’ll assume a normal distribution at Julau, for now. Hold back the smirks.
Where are the contests for this last weekend?
Sarawak votes this weekend, along with a collection of unplanned elections elsewhere. There is the Kuala Selangor redo after jammers ruined things. Then there are divisions in Sabah. Some Melaka and the Negeri Sembilan’ s Jelebu.
Then the news. A huge win for the “Kartel” is expected, but let’s break the races down.
Deputy to Anwar
The road to El Dorado begins with sitting next to Anwar Ibrahim, the incoming PKR president, it appears.
Anwar’s preference for Rafizi is as public as Rosmah Mansor’s designer bags are to KL City Police.
What would be compelling — if the expected occurs — is to hear Anwar speak of his non-partisan stand throughout the election, as he congratulates Azmin Ali.
Heed this warning, with the last leg standing between Azmin and staying in the leading pack to replace Anwar in the medium run, a Rafizi surge with a large dollop of Julau will result in pandemonium.
The serene vice-presidents
The party’s second biggest brand, and probably the best in terms of appeal in all markets within and beyond PKR, is Nurul Izzah
The fact none of her personal and private difficulties have had traction with her supporters shows Nurul Izzah is in here for the long term. Twenty years later, voters have not lost their love for their reformasi darling.
Zuraida Kamaruddin, the ex wanita chief, and Xavier Jayakumar, the natural resources minister, are shoo-ins at this point, firmly at second and third spot.
The housing and local government minister is right hand man to Azmin, and is solid. In that she never panicks. There is grittiness about her, and even a certain cunning which people overlook, but it is no accident her support in the party.
What PKR should pride about is that in the VP race, the top two are women. This does back PKR’s progressive credentials, even if found wanting in other areas.
Xavier, is evidence being a minister matters a lot to Indian voters in the party. While there are those critical of him, especially his aspiration to serve Indians, the sixty years of MIC politics has ensured in the psyche of Indians, even now in PKR, that a minister is omnipotent and worthy of support.
From a bevy of Indian candidates, in a multicultural party with unprecedented ethnic Indian membership, Xavier has become more reverential, in which the Cabinet posting is seen as critical. Somehow, as the lone Indian minister in Cabinet, he becomes the flag-bearer they all must admire.
Which brings us to Tian Chua, the street fighter. Without a seat in Parliament or state assembly, no government position and seemingly out of favour with both the outgoing and incoming president, Tian has returned to his roots as an underdog and thriving. He came good in 1998, twenty years later, he’s looking very good.
Tian hopes to join Nurul Izzah, Zuraida and Xavier.
Shamsul Iskandar Yakin is within touching distance at fifth, and with his Melaka voting this weekend, it is not a done deal. The former youth chief has his base, and most eyes would be on the vote count between him and Tian.
This probably is the closest race of all. Few would have punted for Johor Baru MP Akmal Nasir, Rafizi Ramly’s right hand man, to chase down the favourite Afif Bahardin, but that’s exactly what has transpired.
The Penang exco, was expecting the AMK victory parade to be a prelude to him advancing to Parliament and then Cabinet at the next general.
Rafizi, once touted as a natural AMK chief, would take much joy from knocking off a key Azmin ally from his perch.
The deputy race, however, has been over for some time.
It underlines the Kartel’s depth compared to Rafizi. Hilman Idham, the former student activist before turned Azmin’s special officer, has had zero problems with previous allegations of his time at Selangor government. You have to ask, instead, Raymond who?
If it ends up, Kartel monopolising the youth wing, they can end up dominating PKR politics for generations.
Zuraida has left, but the band is not breaking up.
Selangor exco Haniza Talha will slip into the role after she ends deputy minister Fuziah Salleh’s hopes tomorrow.
It has been a flat campaign by Fuziah who has not shaped the conversation for the wing.
when Daroyah Alwi joins as number two, it will be a top two from Selangor.
The wing has been about personalities and not about deliveries, and with that said, the stronger personalities have forged ahead.
Here are the inevitables, as in the non-surprises to the top 20 list: Amiruddin Shari, R Sivarasa, Elizabeth Wong, Abdullah Sani Abdul Hamid, Saifuddin Abdullah, Mansor Othman, Kamarudin Jaafar, Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, Gan Pei Nei and Zaliha Mustafa.
I’ll leave Larry Sng as a stand-alone who will make it, even though his Julau with 13,000 voters has not cast its ballots.
As it stands, the Kartel is looking at up to 15 seats out of 20, which is a massive leg up to Azmin.
However with 76 candidates, it is difficult to see much shifts in the positions as voters would generally be overwhelmed when 76 names flash on their tablets when they sit in the polling room.
We shall see.
Expect a good day for the Kartel, barring the worst from Julau.
Expect Anwar to say the result was expected however expected or unexpected it actually turns out to be.
Expect PKR to have more problems, with this election and the leadership direction to take after this, especially when they have to form the central leadership council.