Wednesday, October 1, 2014
Anwar tries to influence Azmin’s administration
Treading on egg shells between governmental duties and his political party’s demands, Azmin was apparently irked by PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s hankering for the former to use his position to justify Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim’s ouster.
An aide claimed Azmin had wanted to focus on running a tight ship, rather than jumping into another political fray as soon as entering office.
“He has, in some way, now agreed why Khalid was pulling his best efforts to keep party politics away from the office. Too much political bureaucracy will create a noose around his neck. Azmin does not want that.
“My boss wants to lead the administration well. He wants to do better than his predecessor,” the aide said, referring to Khalid’s rocky tenure as menteri besar.
Anwar recently urged Azmin to “expose” the alleged discrepancies in the RM30 billion deal between the state and the Federal Government, made to restructure Selangor’s water industry and mitigate its perennial shortage of supply.
He also demanded Azmin review the construction of the RM2 billion Kinrara-Damansara Expressway. The two projects were used as prime catalysts to boot Khalid from office.
The sultan of Selangor last week described Khalid as an excellent administrator, in a speech that also blamed PKR for prompting the state’s leadership crisis.
“This is another point that Azmin has to look into. He would not jump the gun against someone endorsed by the Sultan as capable.
“Since PKR was at loggerheads with the ruler on the menteri besar candidate controversy, Azmin wants to build a cordial relationship with the palace after everything that has happened,” the aide said.
Azmin had chosen to be quiet on the sidelines and has turned his attention to the delegation of work among his new state executive councillors. He is expected to announce their portfolios today.
“He is busy with work. At least, Anwar should not be hasty in coercing Azmin to justify the removal of Khalid,” the aide claimed.
Universiti Utara Malaysia political scientist Dr Muhammad Fuad Othman agreed that Anwar was attempting to use Azmin’s office to justify PKR’s case against Khalid.
“Anwar used to heap praises about Khalid’s administration. Back then, Khalid was perfect. And now, he is somewhat desperate to substantiate the accusations against his former comrade,” said Fuad.
At the same time, Fuad suspected that Anwar was working his way to dictate how Azmin should run the state government. He said it was another opportunity for Anwar to be in the limelight.
“Anwar just wants to show Azmin who’s boss. The man still wants to assert his authority. Anwar is now akin to an old, retired gladiator who wants to wield the sword because he likes to be in the view of spectators.”
Another analyst said if Azmin let himself be led by others, it would only prove that he was incapable as a leader and, worse, inferior than Khalid.
National Professors’ Council political cluster head Professor Datuk Dr Mustafa Ishak said as a menteri besar, Azmin was more answerable to the sultan and the people, rather than Anwar.
“The menteri besar must use his wisdom in asserting leadership qualities. He should be professional and prioritise the task at hand, instead of looking for mistakes supposedly committed by the previous administration. Does he want to be a better leader than Khalid?”
Mustafa added that if Azmin were to review the agreements made by Khalid’s office, it should be carried out with a sense of responsibility for the people.
“You cannot just scrap all the projects set by Khalid. The people’s interest will have to come first. He has to see whether the said projects are beneficial to the people. He has to be his own man and not be influenced by the need for political mileage, especially in his first days as menteri besar.”