THERE will be a new party in town – Parti Kuasa Rakyat.
And the progressive, multiracial party is sparking political conspiracy theories because it will be led by the Prime Minister’s older brother, Kamarazaman Yaacob.
On whether it was a coincidence that he was launching a party after Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaacob, 61, was elected to the top post on Aug 21 this year, Kamarazaman, 72, explained that it was difficult to be the Prime Minister’s brother.
“Take the example of our brother Datuk Zamri Yaacob. He has been in the world of agriculture most of his life, and he won Nafas (National Farmers’ Organisation) chairman post on his own accord. Just because he is the older brother of the PM, some think the Prime Minister orchestrated it,” he said.
“I am the second victim in the family. Some say that the PM was orchestrating Kuasa Rakyat,” he said.
“This party has been planned for a long time with progressive friends from different segments of society. It was supposed to be launched on Oct 10, 2020, but there were several things we could not solve,” he said.
Kamarazaman, a legendary student activist who led Universiti Malaya students to seize campus for a day in 1974, said the Prime Minister would not interfere in his political activities as his younger brother knew his character and thinking.
“He knows that I was a student leader who was ready to be jailed under the ISA (Internal Security Act). He also knows that nobody can stop me from doing what I want to do,” said the ISA detainee, who was jailed for the Baling demonstration at Dataran Merdeka in 1975.
“In terms of power, he is the Prime Minister. But in our family hierarchy, he is my younger brother, and we respect each other.”
On the conspiracy theory that his party was named Parti Kuasa Rakyat so that it could use the PKR acronym to split PKR led by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Kamarazaman clarified that his party would be known as Kuasa Rakyat.
“We will not use the PKR acronym as we don’t want to confuse the voters. Also, why must I use the acronym as our struggle is different than PKR’s,” he said.
“We will lose out if we use it. PKR is about reformasi (reform movement), which is not clear whereas my party is about nasionalisme (nationalism) and marhaenism (struggling for the poor).”
Kamarazaman also denied speculation that his party was established to split Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia by recruiting leaders like Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin.
“We have nothing to do with Zuraida. If she wants to start a new party, it is not my business,” he said.
Kuasa Rakyat, said Kamarazaman, would be friendly to the Ismail Sabri government, and if the party get stronger, it might be close to Barisan Nasional.
The new party is likely to contest against the Opposition in multiracial seats in the GE15.