Anwar siding with Azmin in PKR tussle to keep ‘secrets’, says Utusan


(MM) – In the contest for PKR’s deputy presidency, incumbent Azmin Ali is likely to trump challenger Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim as he has the ear of its de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Utusan Malaysia said in its weekend editorial today.

But the editors of the Malay broadsheet said that Azmin may gun for the top seat in the party if Anwar refuses to contest, or is unable to if he is convicted in his Sodomy II appeal case.

“Now Azmin is waiting for Anwar to state if he will contest the Presidency after his wife Wan Azizah agreed to make way,” said a column by Awang Selamat, the pen name used by the editors collectively.

“But what if Anwar were found guilty in the sodomy appeal case against Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan and sentenced to jail? Will Azmin be granted an easy way to become PKR President without Anwar at his side? We shall wait.”

If Anwar ends up contesting the Presidency, Utusan said Azmin will be left to defend his post, but he will do so with the endorsement of Anwar, unlike new challenger Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim.

“Who will Anwar endorse if there is a contest between Azmin and Khalid? The answer is simple, Anwar will lean towards Azmin who is the PKR leader he trusts the most, besides the special bond between them which is like family,” said the column.

“Furthermore, there are many of Anwar’s secrets in his hands, part of them are already spoken about in public. That is enough to leave Anwar distraught.”

Despite that, the daily backed Khalid by saying that the Selangor mentri besar now has a better chance considering recent developments and endorsements from several PKR top leaders.

Awang claimed Khalid’s decision to offer himself for the number two post is a signal that he will not leave the Selangor mentri besar post to Anwar easily should the latter win the Kajang by-election.

According to the daily, Khalid also allegedly has the support of PKR lawmakers Nurul Izzah Anwar, Chua Tian Chang, Saifuddin Nasution, and Datuk Johari Abdul to go against Azmin.

Khalid confirmed at a special dinner function on Friday that he will contest the PKR deputy presidency at the party polls this April, as rumours swirl of his possible removal as mentri besar after the Kajang state by-election to make way for party de-facto chief Anwar.

Khalid was Selangor PKR chairman before being succeeded by PKR’s current deputy president Azmin Ali, who the former will likely face in the party election.

Khalid’s rivalry with Azmin for control of Selangor has been chronicled in local news reports, and is expected to manifest during the party’s upcoming elections.

It was this rivalry that kick-started the ongoing drama unfolding in the upper echelon of the Selangor administration, and is believed to be the reason behind Anwar’s “Kajang move”.

The nomination date for all top PKR posts will be on March 29, while nominations for divisional posts will be from April 4 to April 13.

Voting will begin on April 25 and end on May 11, and the results will be announced either on May 12 or May 13.