PKR sustained by political chameleons in national politics
The political nature of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) which is like the chameleon, which allows the party to 'change colour' on certain issues for its own interest, is one of the reasons why PKR remains in the national political arena.
The PKR has actually lost the majority of its founder members, among the most influential was Dr Chandra Muzaffar, a former party deputy president in December 2001, after working hard for two years to build the PKR.
Others who have abandoned the party include former PKR Youth chief, Senator Mohamad Ezam Mohd Noor; Senator Datuk S Nalakaruppan; Wangsa Maju MP, Wee Cho Keong; Kulim-Bandar Bahru MP, Datuk Zulkifli Nordin; Bayan Baru MP, Datuk Seri Zahrain Mohamed; former PKR information chief Ruslan Kassim; and former Anwar Ibrahim's private secretary Anuar Shaari.
There is only one reason for leaving, namely the loss of trust in the party leadership. Normally, the party should have been buried together with the other parties that had suffered the same fate but the chameleon-nature of the party inherited from PKR advisor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has somewhat saved the party.
Political analyst, Prof Madya Datuk Zainal Abidin Borhan said the political nature of the party that is akin to the chameleon has played a role in uniting PAS and DAP under one roof, the merger helped the party to remain relevant in the opposition pact in the country.
"Looking at the PKR role in uniting PAS and DAP into an alliance, we notice to some extent the 'chameleon' nature of the party when it says something to this side but said something else to the other side. We are well aware that PAS and DAP do not share the same sentiments on many issues.
"This is dangerous behavior because people would tend to believe that Anwar is the best candidate to change the government while many know, he is a 'chameleon' who have problems especially in terms of moral and misuse of power," he told Bernama.
This is not the first time Anwar has been dubbed as a political chameleon, even Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has also described the opposition leader as a chameleon on issues regarding the Palestinians and the atrocities of the Zionist regime in 2010.
In fact, Umno Supreme Council member Datuk Idris Haron also described Anwar as a political chameleon for belittling the religious knowledge of PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang and its spiritual leader Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat over the 'kalimah Allah' issue.
Zainal Abidin said the merger of PKR, PAS and DAP based on the chameleon tendency is very fragile and easily jeopardised by the issue being played up, but the common goal reflected by this tendency is capable of influencing the people to support this pact.
Zainal Abidin, who was a former Universiti Malaya Academy of Malay Studies Director, said apart from the chameleon nature, the doctrine of hatred against the government inculcated by the PKR leaders among its supporters and those of the alliance is also the reason why the party still gains support to this day.
"Such issues like Lynas that purportedly harms the people, and that the government is not concerned about the people, have been intensely played up to create this anti-government sentiment. The Chinese community, for example, has been told that the MCA has failed and only the DAP is capable of championing the people's cause," he said.
Zainal Abidin said the alternative media used by the PKR and its cohorts also play an important role in ensuring that PKR continues to gain support even to the extent of changing logic in the media reports.
"This is the problem when the media have no restrictions, this deception can be portrayed like the truth and vice versa. This is done in order to get public trust and sow the doctrine of hatred against the government," he said.
"Previously, the party was used as a platform to release Anwar and purportedly to call for a clean government, but for various internal factors that probably involve rewards and pruning, their dreams when joining the party had been dashed.
"I think some of them were not favoured by the party leadership because of their vocal nature in stating what is wrong, thus there is no other way for them, except to leave the party.
"But I prefer to see the 'aftermath' of the tragedy and I wonder how the party was able to gather the pieces and restructure its 'glass palace'," he said.
Former PKR Padang Serai Member of Parliament who left the party in January 2011, N. Gobalakrishnan was quoted as saying: "Now, I'm 'free', when I am 'free' I don't have to go around giving ceramah and slandering every day".
In December last year, former Datuk Keramat assemblyman Lim Boo Chang announced that he had relinquished all posts in the party and returned to Gerakan.
Lim had been attracted by the reform agenda brought by PKR but after having joined the party for three years, he had lost confidence in the party following the party's failure to fulfill its promises.
Not only that, in April last year, the former PKR strongman had established the organisation named 'Tolak Individu Bernama Anwar Ibrahim' (Reject Individual Named Anwar Ibrahim or TIBAI), to reveal who Anwar actually is and repel the slander thrown by the opposition against the government.