Azmin: I’m certainly not another Zul Noordin

PKR’s powerful vice president Azmin Ali says he’s not going to be another Zulkifli Noordin, the recalcitrant MP for Kulim, and upset the apple cart for his own party and the Pakatan Rakyat for the benefit of Prime Minister Najib Razak’s Umno-BN coalition.

By Wong Choon Mei, Harakah

Of late, Azmin has been the target of the Umno-controlled media, which has been trying to pit him against PKR colleague Selangor Mentri Besar Khalid Ibrahim. And the reason – to foment negative publicity for the Pakatan state government and pave the way for Umno to retake Selangor, the country’s richest state.

“The issue of rivalry between myself and Tan Sri Khalid  is a nonsensical notion spread by bankrupt politicians like Khir Toyo ( the former Umno chief minister of Selangor),” Azmin told Harakahdaily in an interview.

“Let me make it clear right now. I give my full support to Tan Sri Khalid. I have always believed he can do the job and I am happy with his leadership. I will continue to support him in the state government through my role as the leader of the Selangor bankbenchers.”

Destabilizing the Pakatan

The 46-year old Azmin is a pioneer member of Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim’s Reformasi movement. His boyish good looks belie his age, but those close to him rate him as being one of the shrewdest political brains in the party.

Many believe that if Umno succeeded in luring him over – like it appears to be succeeding with Zulkifli – it would deal PKR and Pakatan a major blow.

Since the 2008 general elections, Najib and the Umno-BN have done little to improve the country, choosing instead to focus their energies and time on destabilizing the Pakatan. Last year, they managed to stage a coup d’etat in Perak and they have made it clear Selangor is their next target.

“We won’t be sitting ducks but we will pick our time and our fights,” Azmin said. “In fact, on Wednesday, Selangor Pakatan will be convening a retreat to brainstorm strategies on how to retaliate and fend off Umno’s attempts to topple us.”

“We cannot disclose our strategies but our biggest strength is when we act as a united and formidable front.”

Act now against Zulkifli

He also lambasted party colleague Zulkifli, whom many have accused of being an Umno mole or Trojan horse out to trip the Pakatan.

Zulkifli had crossed swords with PAS MP for Shah Alam Khalid Samad over the use of the word Allah by non-Muslims. He then lodged a police report against the PAS leader. That sparked anger from amongst his Pakatan colleagues, not least from his own PKR party, drawing calls for his immediate sacking.

Indeed, Zulkifli appears to have flouted the gag order imposed on him by the PKR political bureau on Tuesday. He has created a fresh furore by calling the DAP a chauvinistic party that wanted to turn Malaysia into a Chinese country, and urging PKR and PAS to dump it and join hands with Umno instead.

“Now is the time to act against him,” Azmin said. “The political bureau has already deliberated on his case and asked the disciplinary board to conduct an investigation within one month. I am now urging the disciplinary board to wrap up the whole thing within the next two weeks. In fact, the sooner the better.”