Is it time for Azmin to step up?


(The Star) – Selangor Mentri Besar Azmin Ali is a man whose time may have come, as he is seen as the man in the right place at the right time. With Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in jail, he could be the one replacing the PKR adviser as Opposition Leader in Parliament.

National Council of Professors’ political cluster head Prof Datuk Dr Mohamed Mustafa Ishak said that going by his position as the PKR deputy president, it was very likely that Azmin, who is Gombak MP, would replace his mentor.

“The Pakatan Rakyat leaders will need to sit together and discuss who they want as the opposition chief in Parliament and given the tension between DAP and PAS, it looks like Azmin will be the ultimate choice,’’ said Dr Mohamed Mustafa.

Universiti Sains Malaysia Assoc Prof Dr Sivamurugan Pandian concurs. He said being a mentri besar would also play a role in helping Azmin clinch the position.

He added that DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang and PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, who had both taken the role of Opposition Leader in the past, may vie for the position.

“However, due to the current tension between PAS and DAP, the decision would likely be to appoint someone from PKR to defuse the situation. That someone would probably be Azmin,’’ added Dr Sivamurugan.

Dr Mohamed Mustafa also said someone close to Anwar would be the one selected to contest for his Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat.

Anwar has automatically lost the seat due to his conviction and jail sentence and a by-election will be held for the constituency.

According to Dr Mohamed Mustafa, Pakatan will have to use the Anwar issue to gain public sympathy. For that, someone from his family would likely contest in Permatang Pauh.

He added that Anwar’s wife Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, who is PKR president and Kajang assemblyman, may not be the one picked for the seat.

“Anwar has six children and apart from Nurul Izzah, who is already an MP, there are five others who are eligible to contest,” he said.

Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah is Anwar’s eldest child. Their other children are Nurul Nuha, Mohd Ehsan, Nurul Ilham, Nurul Iman and Nurul Hana.

Dr Mohamed Mustafa said that it was highly likely that Anwar’s second child Nurul Nuha would contest the seat.