Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Grassroots Attack on Azmin Finds Him Increasingly Isolated

Azmin Ali is discovering what it is like to be locked out of power. The Deputy President of PKR has begun taking brickbats from all corners in the wake of his now-infamous press conference in which he accused PKR President Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail of "nepotism" and of failing to take the consensus of Selangor PKR before submitting a proposed name for Menteri Besar to the Sultan.
Azmin is the head of Selangor PKR.

Speaking to Opposition web portal Free Malaysia Today, Dr V Neduchelian, a member from the Kapar PKR division, lashed out at Azmin for airing the party's dirty linen in public. "What Azmin did was really unhealthy for the party. And we, party members want him to apologise to Wan Azizah," he said.

He then added a twist, turning Azmin's own instruction against him. "All discussions involving party matters should be discussed behind closed doors. This is the advice given to us. But what surprises us, is that the same leader who propagates this uses the media to attack the president," he added.
"Azmin is not fit to talk about nepotism or cronyism since he himself piggybacked on PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim's popularity to reach where he is now," he added.

The significance of a single grassroots leader attacking Azmin in FMT is easy to both overestimate and underestimate. Neduchelian is not a party leader, and in PKR, the party leadership is as autocratic as anyone has ever accused Umno of being. This is not one of those regular outbursts from the top of the party that shows the fissures and cracks running throughout; Azmin is in no immediate danger.
But it is unlikely that Neduchelian would have spontaneously decided to air his own dirty linen absent backing within the party. He almost certainly had backing, and perhaps direction, before beginning this gambit.

All of this, as FMT correctly notes, is almost certainly a prelude to the party elections later this year. Nurul Izzah Anwar, fresh off defending her seat in a tightly-fought contest, is rumoured to be interested in Azmin's position as Deputy President, as a way to end the battle between PKR's squabbling factions once and for all.

Perhaps coincidentally, Azmin's fortunes have seen a tumble of late. Many had believed he would be MB after GE13, only to see Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's family work with the rest of Pakatan to return Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim to the post. Khalid also let it be known that Azmin is almost certainly not in the proposed executive council list, the post from which Azmin had attacked him for years.

Azmin finds himself increasingly isolated in the party he helped to found.
Azmin has been a cagey survivor for years, and it is too early to say he has lost.
But unless he is careful, that day is almost certainly coming.

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