PETALING JAYA, Feb 26 — The “war” in Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) is now in the open with Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim dismissing a survey that found Kajang constituents want him replaced.
Khalid believes — so do others in PKR and Pakatan Rakyat (PR) — that the survey by Universiti Malaya’s Centre for Elections and Democracy is inaccurate and cannot be relied on.
It may just be part of a psy-war to give PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who will be contesting as Pakatan Rakyat’s candidate in the Kajang by-election, the edge and in so doing, paint a poor picture of Khalid.
But Khalid knows the game Anwar is playing and he is ready for it.
Khalid said the survey that found voters wanted Anwar to be mentri besar was unreliable and did not reflect the electorate’s feeling as a whole.
Khalid has been on the defensive since Anwar got Kajang assemblyman Lee Chin Cheh to resign and force a by-election.
What appeared to be a plan to end the feud between Khalid and Anwar loyalist Azmin Ali, who is also party deputy president, has now become Anwar’s trump card to oust Khalid and take over as mentri besar.
Khalid has been put on the defensive since then as Anwar and the party director of strategy Rafizi Ramli have gone on the offensive, making it seem as though Khalid had done nothing good.
Anwar’s attempt to unseat Khalid has now become an obsession as he continues wooing voters although on the offset everyone knows he will win.
And Anwar’s pre-campaign trail has revealed the truth about the split in the party — Khalid was only present once and since then he appears to have been sidelined. Although he is the director of operations for the by-election, Khalid seemed to be more occupied with his responsibilities as mentri besar.
Khalid may feel out of place whenever he meets other PKR leaders in Kajang for any by-election campaign events as all eyes will be watching his body language against that of Anwar.
Party members know the fight is not a small matter when it comes to a face-off with Anwar, but Khalid, being politically naïve, is never going to give up that easily despite knowing he is not going to win.
What Khalid is doing right now is not to give Anwar a smooth and easy path until the next general election in 2018.