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Analyst: Zuraida’s sacking could backfire on Anwar’s prime ministerial ambition

PETALING JAYA: The Analyst said, any decision to sack Zuraida Kamaruddin could backfire on PKR president Anwar Ibrahim and ultimately affect his chances of taking over from Dr. Mahathir Mohamad.

According to the political observer Azmi Hassan, it would be in PKR’s best interest to retain Zuraida, who has been issued a show-cause letter by the party’s disciplinary board.

He predicts that Zuraida and her supporters could find a new home in PPBM.

“And Mahathir would benefit because more MPs for PPBM would mean his position is stronger and he will have the clout to stay on as a prime minister,” he told FMT.

“Anwar loyalists would not want that,” he said.

It was reported that Mahathir has promised to give way to Anwar after the APEC summit in November, but Anwar loyalists have called for a transition in May when Mahathirwould have completed two years in the top post.

Zuraida is aligned to deputy president Mohamed Azmin Ali, who has openly supported Mahathir to complete the five-year term.

Zuraida is facing possible sacking from PKR over comments seen as critical of Anwar at a pro-Azmin event last month.

Yesterday, there were 45 PKR leaders who urged the disciplinary committee to halt further action against Zuraida, saying the move was ill-intentioned and would only worsen the party’s internal rift.

The disciplinary committee may find excuses to sack her, but warned that it would only increase tension between Anwar and Azmin, both of whom have “prime ministerial ambition”, Azmi said.

According to the source, Zuraida may be let off with a warning. “But it all depends on the tone of her response,” said the source who is close to Anwar’s inner circle.

“We are waiting to see the tone of her letter. If her tone is apologetic, it shows she wants to patch things up with Anwar.“But if her reply is harsh, we will have to push for her sacking,” he said.

The source also added that this was based on the decision not to sack Anwar’s key ally, his political secretary FarhashWafa Salvador Rizal Mubarak, despite the latter’s condemnation of Azmin in the wake of the gay sex video affair.

The source said that Zuraida’s long absence from party meetings would also not work against her.

“If Zuraida can show that she had ministerial commitments on the days she was absent, she may be let off,” he said.

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