Should Azmin lead the Opposition?

azmin ali

Is Azmin still the trusted ally of Anwar after the episode of him coming through to become the menteri besar of Malaysia’s most prosperous state?

John Chin, Berita Daily

In the post era of Mr Opposition Anwar Ibrahim who remains imprisoned, there is a need for someone to unite them

As the country becomes transfixed on the drama associated with the election in Sarawak, one outcome is more or less certain.

It is that the Opposition continues to be in a state of disarray, and what was hatched in the peninsular, has come to roost in the nation’s biggest state with polling set in some four weeks’ time.

There is this subtle rift between DAP and PKR, the animosity between PAS and their breakaway faction – Amanah.

And mixed with the cluttered Sarawak opposition of STAR, PBDS, Sarawak Workers Party and the unknown Parti Cinta Malaysia, it has become a complex web of politics.

Sarawakians are largely a conservative kind with a dose of humility, but an inward looking mentality.

They might not appreciate the aggressive nature of politics which the Opposition tends to bring from across the South China Sea, nor comprehend the complexity of their politicking.

It is their “bread and butter,” – to be aggressive and to lampoon the ruling national coalition – Barisan Nasional, said People’s Alternative Party (PAP)’s organising secretary Rahmad Isahak, of Pakatan Harapan.

Eventually, the question which needs answering on May 7 is whether the people of Sarawak want the complex Pakatan to represent them.

“Whatever happens, the outcome is that there no unity within Opposition ranks, and it is disgraceful that they cannot come together even when BN is said to be weak,” said Rahmad.

Rahmad offered his views from a neutral standpoint, having no vested interest in Sarawak except to observe how everyone fares.

PAP was formed as an independent party from BN or Pakatan, but it is likely to go up against both blocs in the states of Penang, Selangor and Negeri Sembilan in the 14th General Election.

There are also reports that DAP and PKR may contest in the same seats in Sarawak – something which can undermine the Pakatan alliance that they had painstakingly formed last year.

Then, there are the different personalities trying to be associates in the open, but in private, they tend to despise each other.

But all is not lost!

In the post era of Mr Opposition Anwar Ibrahim, who remains imprisoned, there is a need for someone to unite them.

Stumbling block 

Actually, it is a position which needs to be urgently filled – someone to galvanise the Opposition troopers.

It is certainty not looking to be the Opposition Leader Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, who is looking uncomfortable than ever in the new stage of politics gripping the country.

There is an amusing narrative that the Opposition kingmaker is now the former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamed, but he is not interested in leading anyone.

His only aim for now, is to remove Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak for alleged misgovernance.

There is a Kelantan Prince, but Tengku Razeleigh Hamzah has suddenly grown a “conscience,” and he has decided to stay neutral from the rough and tumble world of politics.

DAP’s icons Lim Kit Siang and son Lim Guan Eng, the Penang Chief Minister, continue to be polarising as their preaching or deeds have yet to convince the non-Chinese plethora.

Amanah is also struggling to find relevancy while Husam Musa, the disciple of the late PAS spiritual adviser Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat, is preoccupied, fighting his own battles in PAS.

The spot may now open to Selangor Menteri Besar and PKR deputy president Azmin Ali on this score. The 51-year-old certainty has the credentials.

He was once a loyal personal assistant to Anwar, but it is believed the duo disagreed over who should best become the Selangor menteri besar.

The fact that Azmin seemed to have regained ties with the country’s oldest “political animal” – Mahathir, is evident enough of his potential to lead an alliance.

But the stumbling block continues to be the lack of clarity in his relationship with Anwar, who continues to be a presence, although a subdued kind, through his wife Wan Azizah and his eldest daughter Nurul Izzah Anwar.

Is Azmin still the trusted ally of Anwar after the episode of him coming through to become the menteri besar of Malaysia’s most prosperous state?

It is a poser which neither the Opposition nor the people can find an answer, countered Rahmad.

In the end, when there is uncertainty, the people may just prefer to remain with the “devil” rather than the “deep blue sea,” when the unknown beckons, he added.

Whatever the outcome, the voters in the peninsular and Sabah are watching on with great intent over how their Sarawakian counterparts will vote.

Due to the monumental split in both BN and Pakatan in the peninsula, voters are now saddled with contenting with the “lesser of both evils.”

Perhaps, it is an ideal platform for Azmin to come in, and show off his capabilities. He may not be a “saint,” but at least, he may be able to steady the “devils,” in the Opposition.

But it is unlikely to take precedence in Sarawak though.

Azmin for all of his clout, remains just a leader from “seberang” in the eyes of the discerning and parochial voters in Sarawak.