COMMENT KUALA LUMPUR: With Bagan Serai's Mohsin Fadzli Samsuri quitting PKR, bringing to three the number of MPs that have left the party to become independents in some two weeks, the 'Salehuddin Hashim theory of internal PKR disintegration' now compels examination.
Salehuddin has been airing his dissatisfaction to close friends about the lack of a proper management structure in the party, but because he always spoke off the record, it was difficult to accord his criticisms the credence it now deserves.
He had been saying since last September that discontent was brewing and that Anwar Ibrahim, distracted perhaps by Sodomy II, was too cavalier with the signs.
Because PKR MPs find it difficult to be open with the 'Ketua Umum' because of his iconic stature and his tribulations, their grievances stay subterranean, in which state, it is obvious, matters volatile cannot exist for long.
Now with a third PKR MP quitting, and there are no evident signs about Mohsin such as there were about Zahrain Mohd Hashim – that he was really 'unreformed Umno within PKR', and there were about Tan Tee Beng – that he had habits which would render vulnerable any politician, the 'Salehuddin theory' compels attention.
He has been saying that the party lacked a management structure that would detect, channel and resolve internal grievances.
Disinclination to confront and confound
Territorial barons wielded far too much power and with Anwar compounding his lack of management skills with disinclination to confront, confound or beguile the warlords into doing the better bidding, the party at the middle echelon level where most MPs are situated withers on the vine.
This Salehuddin has been saying and now he sits-in at press conferences held by departing PKR MPs in an 'I told you so' gesture that is hugely distressing, but not to those to whom he has long been airing his qualms about the way the party has been run.
It is distressing because those who know the loquacious Salehuddin well would aver that his recall of his father, Hashim Gera's, reaction shortly after the seismic general election of 1969 when the sole PAS MP from Perak was propositioned to defect is seared in his memory.
The elder Hashim showed junior a bag containing 40,000 dollars and said, “If I take this I cannot show my face here (in Parit) anymore.”
Hashim senior did not bite the bait and junior has lastingly known the real value of ‘face’.
That memory was searing enough to put him beyond the blandishments of Umno-BN and his sitting-in at press conferences that are painful for the PKR faithful to watch is not a sign that he is encouraging the infliction of pain but vindication that he had been prophetic about its imminence. FreeMalaysiaToday