PKR and The Quitters: Oh, That Sinking Feeling

One can gauge the power of a political party by two means: 1) Their success at elections; 2) The loyalty of the members. PKR seriously has issues with loyalty, if one were to look at the members who took a hike the last few years

I woke up the other day to the news that some guy named N. Surendran has quit PKR. Look, I am not an ardent follower of everything politics. I don’t obsessively write about politics. I don’t eat, drink, burp and sleep politics. but I have been around to know that ever since Barisan Nasional been kicked out of power, we are in the phase in Hollywood known as “terrible sequel”. It’s like the 1978 majestic Superman, followed up by a horrific sequel with Three Stooges styled slapsticks.

We are at that stage now.

Back to PKR. If you look at the collages below, Surendran’s quitting follows a series of resignations, some en masse and even firing that has been occurring since the party was incepted twenty years ago. Those news go only as far back as 2018!

PKR And The Cries Of Reforms

Headline makers for the wrong reasons This is merely a small fraction of many who have quit PKR over the years

We all know that the party was formed for only one thing and one thing only: Reformation, of everything that was supposedly wrong politically in the country.

Who am I kidding? It is so obvious that PKR was formed for only one, not thing, but person, that is Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. To glorify him and whichever struggles he is putting up as a front to his quest to become a Prime Minister. PKR is Anwar Ibrahim. Anwar Ibrahim is PKR. Any other ingredients in it are negligible. And therefore, dispensable. 

Were those who quit not aware of that? That they actually fell for Anwar’s charm (as opposed to charisma, which is organic) and thought the whole shebang was for reformation, or to make Malaysia great again (Malaysia was never great, Melaka was) is self-deception at best.

Just look at it. If quitting has been happening in UMNO, that’s a norm. The party is older than my father, so there oughta be traffic, incoming and outgoing members, some of whom have gone permanently to the big parliament in sky (R.I.P).

Parti Keadilan Rakyat is still a new kid in town. Hell, it is even younger than my nostril (I deleted the other follicular choice). And already the traffic is like tiny route to a discounted hen house. Look again at that collage of news screenshots. I made them myself, yeah I took time to do it in between my actual paying job, and it was the best of times.

Like Scurrying Cockroaches

But what was it that made these luminaries (and the less bright ones) scurry away from the party like cockroaches away from mothballs? The reasons cited are a few, and often overlaps. More often than not, there are plenty of beating around the bush is involved. That is why one party I both hate and admire is MIC, because they are what they are – a riot of political entity with the skin of a rhinoceros. 

Aside: One thing about MIC, as much as I like to kid about the party and the members, I respect their directness. The frank approach. The in-your-face attitude. The members are very open about their displeasure – you gotta understand they are not exactly a bright bunch, so they are either too dumb to have forked tongue, or too shallow to concoct a conspiratorial plot. The ones often paraded in Tamil media would not even be accepted as models for henchmen by producers at Cartoon Network.

I find this especially true of those from Tamil background. Unlike the sleazy Malayalees, or the shady Telugus, the noisy Tamils’ quick transmission from brain to mouth – without as much as editing and censorship – makes them the most honestly vocal members among the Indian community – as exemplified by MIC members. Watch what happens in most of their meetings. If the active members don’t get no respect, they shout. Not nominated for a position? They break chairs. Didn’t get garlanded when the rival received one, they break chairs. On someone’s head. Say what you want about Indians here, that includes me, you can bet that Indians are up for it when it comes to protesting and being very, very angry. They are the incredible hulks of the social demographics here. End of aside.

Coming back to the quitting PKR, the most cited reasons by those who are taking a hike would be that party have gone astray from the originally set direction. Seeing PKR is among the long list of political parties that was built with the elopers and runaways’ disappointment with legacy daddy parties (UMNO, MIC, MCA), their actual direction is as haphazard as the actual ambition they are in this new party in the first place. 


A political party like PKR is a product of knee jerk reactions (not hand jerk reaction) stemming from discontent with the old parties. They are the bastard children of the still horny old fart parties, and the insatiable new thinking. Look at what is happening now. Put all the previous losers together at the power, and the country is heading to disaster zone faster than you can say Steve McQueen. 

What disaster? Ever since Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had stepped down, it feels like the Creator withdrew the invisible shield protecting the country, and let anything and everything run the nation to ground. Take finance, for instance. Recently Ringgit hit a record low against the Singapore dollar. In 2023, exports shrank by 10.0%. Sure, many smiled jubilantly when the ex PM went behind slammer, are they still smiling?

Look again at those news collages. Look carefully. Let the realization sink in.

Speaking of sinking, when creaky ships start submerging in the sea, what would the disease ridden rats do? They jump overboard, of course. – NMH

Editor’s note: The points expressed in this article are that of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the stand of the NMH.

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Rakesh Premakumaran Kumar
A movie buff, as opposed to film connoisseur or aficionado, because the last two words are hard to spell, Rakesh has been in the field of writing for more than two decades and hopes that one-day movie “buff”ing is lucrative enough to afford him a Batmobile, the Michael Keaton one.

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