Friday, May 31, 2013

Azmin's ambition thwarted

Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim has chosen his exco list - an all-female cast from PKR, three DAP men and four representatives from PAS.

Unsurprisingly, PKR deputy president and Bukit Antarabangsa assemblyman Azmin Ali was not on the list.

Following his thinly-veiled attacks on Khalid and comments on Selangor not needing a "lame duck" MB, Azmin would never have been considered for a position close to what is PKR's seat of power - Selangor.

But now that Azmin's ambitions of being MB have been thwarted, what next? The Gombak MP has never been subtle about his grabs for power - from spats with PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and her daughter Nurul Izzah Anwar, to sly comments about Opposition leader and party adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's "nepotism".

The 48-year-old Azmin even has a separate Twitter account for his office - @AzminAliOffice is the Twitter handle for "Pejabat Timbalan Presiden Parti Keadilan Rakyat" (Office of the PKR Deputy President). Even Wan Azizah, who reluctantly leads the party, doesn't indulge in such demonstrations of "power".

The new exco list is also devoid of Azmin's supporters, and word on the ground is that Azmin is rapidly losing them following his recent complaints and contrivances regarding the position of Selangor MB.

"Before, maybe some of the new exco members would support him," said a source close to the MB.
"But after Azmin showed his true colours in the MB appointment fiasco - to the extent of calling another leader a lame duck - I doubt any true reformist would want to be aligned with him anymore. He's a lost leader," he said.

A PKR party insider said that now the real concern was that of party elections.
Azmin has already begun his campaigning, claiming nepotism was at work within Selangor's political ranks and that PKR "does not belong to a family".

This is a far cry from the Azmin of yesteryear, who would even risk jail for his boss.
His loyalty took him to the extent of being convicted for lying in court during Anwar's trial. He was later acquitted.

Azmin has been close to Anwar since the age of 23, serving as his special officer in 1987 when the Permatang Pauh MP was Education Minister.
When Anwar was convicted of sodomy and corruption, Azmin was one of PKR's founding members.
But now the gloves are off.

The party insider is confident that Azmin's days are numbered, despite having Anwar's ear and commanding healthy respect from other PKR members like women's wing leader Zuraida Kamarudin.

Azmin is a strong politician, and the obvious horse to back for his experience and ruthlessness.
"Everyone knows Wan Azizah is a reluctant politician, and that Nurul Izzah fought very hard during the party elections in 2010. If there's any nepotism, it's between Anwar and his ex-staff when he was in government, like Penang's Mansor Othman (Nibong Tebal MP, Anwar's officer when he was deputy prime minister).

"His time is coming to an end. There's a limit to everything, and he's pushing it by condemning the family."

Anwar has thrown his support firmly behind Khalid because supporting his man Azmin would anger the public. A source has said Anwar bowed to Khalid's wishes regarding the state exco line-up, even angering members of his own party who he had promised would be rewarded for their loyalty.

But the former Umno politician trusted the wrong man, and now has to lie in the bed he made with Azmin.

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