Azmin-Gerakan handshake good for both, says analyst

(FMT) – A political analyst foresees Mohamed Azmin Ali boosting his political fortunes and Gerakan revivified if the PKR deputy president joins the Chinese-dominated multiracial party.

Mohd Azizuddin Mohd Sani of Universiti Utara Malaysia told FMT he believed the best option for Azmin would be to join Gerakan if his rift with PKR president Anwar Ibrahim were to become permanent.

“If it comes to a point of no return in PKR, then he and his team should join another multiracial party,” he said. “Gerakan is an established party. It just needs new blood to be injected into its drying veins.”

He said the only issue standing in the way was the popular view of Gerakan as a Chinese-based party.

But Azmin could change this perception by taking in leaders from all races, he added.

He said Gerakan needed leaders like Azmin for its rebranding and to regain its former glory. “When a new leader comes in, it will have a different model and the model may have popular appeal.”

Azizuddin said it would not be a good idea for Azmin to form a new party because, with so many political parties around, it might fail to gain traction with the public.

He also said he believed DAP would not invite Azmin to join it to avoid being seen as betraying PKR.

He ruled out the idea of Azmin’s team of ministers and MPs joining PPBM because they would not have positions in the party.

“Azmin should look elsewhere if his political career goes bust in PKR, and Gerakan is looking for leaders to strengthen the party.”

Gerakan quit Barisan Nasional in the wake of the coalition’s defeat in last year’s general election.

It was formed in 1968 and at its peak it ruled Penang and enjoyed strong support in Perak.

It couldn’t make inroads after losing Penang to DAP in 2008 and did not win a single seat in last year’s general election.