There will be a by-election for the Penanti DUN seat in Penang. This is due to it's PKR assemblyman's resignation following the charge against him for corruption. This will be the 3rd by-election or 'PRK' that is happening due to the resignation of a PKR incumbent just over 1 year since the PRU12 that saw the party's resurgence under Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's leadership. Such statistics do not augur well for PKR, especially when one considers there could have been double the number of such PRK's!
Note that PKR had tried to have their two assemblymen in Perak who 'jumped' out of the party, leading to BN's takeover of Perak, removed from office, which would have led to by-elections. Note also that these 2 'jumpers' are still due be tried for corruption during their time as Pakatan Rakyat Exco members, which is why BN left them as independents, so we may yet see 2 more PKR related by-elections in Perak!
It should hence come as no surprise when it was decided by the PKR leadership that Elizabeth Wong could retain her position, not just as the assemblywoman for Bukit Lanjan, but also as a state exco member. Having her resign both posts, also over a moral issue, would have been too much.
For one thing has to be said about all these PKR 'wakil rakyat' resignations and PRKs. With the exception of Permatang Pauh, where DS Wan Azizah just resigned as she was sick of being her hubby's proxy, all of the PKR assemblymen that have resigned have done so because or are or were expected to due to corruption or a scandal due to slack morals.
Everyone knows PKR exists to get DS Anwar Ibrahim the PM's post, by any means. In fact, if PKR needs to join BN so that Anwar can be made PM, they'd abandon PR and make the deal. However, PKR's rhetoric has always been justice and the opposition of government corruption. All this was well and good when in opposition, but they are tripping up now they're in power at some states.
With morals being the issue leading to their ADUN resigning at Bukit Selambau earlier and DS Anwar's sodomy case pending, the acceptance of Eli Wong's lapse in moral judgement as a 'private' matter by PKR's MB means PR can no longer sit on a high horse on moral issues. In fact, they have less reason to frown upon DS Chua Soi Lek's DVD scandal than MCA and BN.
But PKR losing their high horse on corruption could prove fatal. Much to DS Anwar's delight, DS Najib does still have much to do to improve UMNO and BN's image based on the last by-elections results. However, the government is still BN's to lose, and the economic crisis presents an ideal opportunity for DS Najib and BN to regain its credibility.
The problem DS Anwar has to resolve is more difficult, that is, how to turn PKR's gains, even the recent PRK ones, from being mere protest votes against BN, which they are, into genuine support for Pakatan Rakyat and PKR especially. Having more credible, moral and less corrupt election candidates from PKR would help... before people start wondering whether there are any...
PS I'm now back home, but am still on MC. Will slowly get back to work next week. Still need to take it easy, so sorry for the continued poor formatting and referencing... limitations of blogging on my HTC TytnII...