Snap polls in Selangor?

Selangor Menteri Besar Azmin Ali is well aware that his state administration is relatively safe now and there is no immediate danger of collapse.

Tay Tian Yan, FMT

The latest rumour around town is that a snap election will be called in Selangor.

It is said that the reason for this is PAS’ decision to break ranks with PKR, and how the state government could collapse if PAS reps opt out of it. Snap election is seen as the ultimate solution to resolve the crisis.

Well, sounds reasonable. Moreover, any Pakatan rep jumping ship at this moment will put the state assembly in a “hung” state, and another crossing the line will turn Pakatan virtually into the minority.

It looks and sounds as though this is going to happen, from the way things are developing.

If you were Selangor Menteri Besar Azmin Ali, you might have a hard time sleeping, or perhaps not enough time to sleep to tackle the snap polls now.

But, I was told that Azmin doesn’t feel the slightest uneasiness. Instead, he seems to be having a great time in his overseas trips.

He posted a picture of him happily riding a community bicycle in Taipei last week, and this week he is flying to the Middle East and North Africa to take in the warm Mediterranean sun.

Azmin is the key person to decide whether snap polls should be called. Will he be lazing under the sun if a snap election is just around the corner?

No, unless he’s a real fool.

Azmin, who is PKR deputy president, is no fool but a very smart politician indeed.

As a smart and seasoned politician, Azmin is well aware that his state administration is relatively safe now and there is no immediate danger of collapse. He also knows how to control the current situation to avert any impending crisis.

He understands that it is normal for PAS delegates to hit out at PKR in their muktamar, as PAS leaders have drawn a line between themselves and his party.

But, politics is such that things are often much louder than they actually are, as everyone is so engrossed with playing the game.

PAS is blasting PKR, but that doesn’t mean the two parties are prepared to put up a fight.

On the surface these two parties may no longer be allies, but Azmin and Hadi are not sworn enemies. There is still room for both men to work together, at least to keep the Selangor state government in one piece for the time being.

Azmin needs PAS, just as he needs DAP and Amanah. Keeping the status quo will allow PKR to remain the state’s ruling party, and he the menteri besar.

Azmin will not kick PAS out to keep his administration intact, and to hold down DAP as well.

Neither is Hadi Awang a fool.

His rivals are DAP, Amanah and PKR’s Rafizi Ramli. Not MB Azmin.

PAS pulling out of the Selangor government will not do Hadi or PAS any good. If he orders the party out of the Selangor government, PAS will become an opposition party, completely denied of state government resources and positions.

A friend told me PAS has excos, district and municipal councillors, village chiefs, village committee members and religious department officials in Selangor, amounting to about 500 to 600 positions in total.

PAS is not going to surrender these positions and resources to some other parties, in particular Amanah.

DAP is not stupid too.

DAP is currently the biggest party in the state, reaching its pinnacle after the 2013 general election. Party leaders are well aware that such a record has been unprecedented, and may very likely not be repeated, less so exceeded, in future.

They will want to keep this for as long as they can. Calling a snap election is therefore suicidal, and it is not the party’s prerogative to do so, either.

And Barisan Nasional (BN) is most definitely not stupid.

Perhaps by getting a few rival reps to cross over may bring down the state government, but this will not do BN any good.

In the event the state government collapses, an election has to be called, and BN may not – and it appears that it is unlikely to – win.

Like Musa Aman of Sabah, even if he wants a snap election, Najib will not allow it. The reason is simple enough: if you can’t win more seats than the last time, why call an election now?

Najib’s big bet is GE14, and he is working towards this. Creating trouble in Selangor does not go well with his strategy but could only mess things up further.

If, in the least likely scenario Selangor has to go to the polls very soon, the Sultan’s consent is still essential.

His Royal Highness wants stability in the state. Moreover, the general election may not be too far away. Why snap polls now?

In this whole thing, no one is going to be the fool or desires to be one. A snap election is but a blank shell.

Only those who believe it are stupid!