PKR - the party born in the streets rise again?

13 Apr 2022 10:55am
PKR communications director Fahmi Fadzil says PKR is the party of the future
PKR communications director Fahmi Fadzil says PKR is the party of the future

SHAH ALAM - It was 1999 when former deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim entered a courtroom with a black eye.

The sight of a fallen politician was a turning point for many Malaysians against the chants of "reformasi” which saw the birth of a party in the streets.

In 1999, Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) merged with Barisan Alternatif winning five seats. In the 2004 general elections, the party won one only seat in Permatang Pauh.

PKR communications director Fahmi Fadzil says contrary to popular belief, the party is not currently at its lowest ebb despite losing in the recent three state polls - Melaka, Sarawak and Johor.

“Our lowest was in 2004. We only won one seat,” he told Sinar Daily.

The party turned 23 this month and has come a long way since then, with 36 seats under its belt.

PKR was “born in the streets”, Fahmi says, referring to the public outcry and street protest after Anwar's black eye incident.

Related Articles:

“We are a Malay majority party, yet our members are from various backgrounds from bus drivers, security guards, professors, intellectuals, professionals, and even doctors.

"I believe this is what it means to be a party of the future,” he adds.

He further says one should not underestimate the wisdom of the masses, and neither the spirit of the members to fight for the party’s cause, stating the “unyielding spirit” is to keep fighting for justice, for the poor and for reforms.

The party is presently undergoing an internal election which some fear may split the party as big guns compete against each other.

But Fahmi says they have gone through worst and survived.

“We have gone through a lot since the Sheraton Move, so if we were to just look at it from this viewpoint, we are facing a mountain," he said, referring to the low morale among voters after losing three state elections.

“I know some of the voters feel despondent, disillusioned, and let down because they want to see PKR back in power again.

“But to some extent, I share (PKR vice-president) Rafizi Ramli’s sentiments that there is no real quick fix and that there is a very heavy price to pay because we've been through so much, with leaders coming and going,” he said.

During the Sheraton Move in 2020, PKR lost 11 of its MPs after they jumped ship to Bersatu, the move saw the sudden collapse of the elected Pakatan Harapan coalition.

Asked if there are camps within the party as some of the members may still be loyal to former PKR deputy president Datuk Seri Azmin Ali, Fahmi says it may not be the case as there are different criteria for selecting a leader.

"They would want leaders who are aspirational and give hope to the party, leaders who are loyal to the party and have been with the party through thick and thin," he said.

The good thing about these party elections after the Sheraton Move is that they will now see fresh faces leading alongside experienced ones during polls in May.