Azmin Ali set to snatch the crown when Pakatan sinks


PKR deputy president Azmin Ali learned the hard way that Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s word is not his bond. More than a year ago, when Azmin was still Anwar’s favourite and the commotions in Selangor were mostly kept out of the spotlight, Anwar laid out his plan for the state.

Incumbent Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim would be, as the political term goes, kicked upstairs if Pakatan won the general election by getting a plum Cabinet position. In return, he would give up his state seat and the MB job.

Azmin would give up his federal Gombak seat and stay on in Selangor as Menteri Besar. Simple. Anwar’s clever scheme would keep the two apart, which was essential, as they hate each other.

But this deal soon unravelled as the mutual loathing within Selangor PKR exploded into view. In the process, Anwar reminded the world of just one of his unappealing traits – he turns invisible in the face of controversy – especially if it involves confronting senior party members or banging heads together. Further proof of this is his reticence over PAS’ federal plans for hudud.

Did we also mention that another reason for Anwar welching on the deal could be that the person next on the list to take over from Khalid was none other than his wife? By this time, Azmin well and truly knew the meaning of the phrase ‘blood is thicker than water’.

This year’s civil war revealed the utter folly of Anwar’s original plan for all to see. Azmin is a divisive figure and his appointment would further divide the state branch rather than unite it. His personality would be petrol to the smouldering tensions there.

So now it looks like Azmin is taking matters into his own hands. He says that when Pakatan wins GE13, Khalid will (still) get a federal ministry job, and he will be relieved of the MB role not because of the workload but because of “performance issues”.

His comments have sparked fresh panic in Selangor PKR which thought it had least put the genie back in the bottle until the election has passed. But more tellingly, it has sparked a furious reaction from both DAP and PAS, whose fortunes in the state are inextricably linked to PKR.

“I believe it is Azmin’s personal view. He needs to justify how and where the decision were made about the matter,” said Selangor DAP vice chairman Charles Santiago, whose party has 13 state seats, just one less than PKR.

PAS secretary general Mustafa Ali, whose party has eight state seats, said such statements “should be avoided in order not to confuse the public.”


In order to fully understand what is going on here we need to understand that when Azmin talks of Pakatan winning the election, he is actually preparing for Pakatan losing federally but hopefully holding onto the state.