Will Azmin Ali get nominated as the next MB?
KLANG: There is a strong possibility that PKR deputy president Azmin Ali will be nominated by his party as the new Selangor Mentri Besar to replace incumbent Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim.
“There is no doubt about it anymore. We are going to get what we want, which is to get Azmin to replace Khalid,” said a senior PKR member who is also an assemblyman in Selangor.
He added there was a big rift in the party currently as about two-thirds of its members wanted Azmin rather than party president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail as Khalid’s replacement.
He claimed Selangor PKR and the leadership of eight other states had asked the party to submit Azmin’s name together with Dr Wan Azizah’s as Khalid’s replacement, but it was rejected by several top PKR leaders and their supporters.
The source said the relevant leaders submitted only one name because they knew if they submitted Azmin’s name as well, it is likely that Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah would choose him over Dr Wan Azizah.
He added these same leaders had also refused to submit Azmin’s name together with Khalid’s to the Sultan after the conclusion of the 13th general election last year.
National Council of Professors political cluster head Prof Datuk Dr Mohamed Mustafa Ishak Khalid (pic) opined that Azmin’s chances of becoming Mentri Besar were bright.
“There is already widespread speculation that Azmin will be recommended as the next Mentri Besar if PAS accepts the move to replace Khalid,” said Mohamed Mustafa.
PAS, which is steadfast in refusing to endorse Dr Wan Azizah as Khalid’s replacement, is scheduled to meet today to decide whether the party would continue supporting Khalid.
If PAS leaders agree to Khalid being replaced, Pakatan Rakyat sources said Azmin as well as Ijok assemblyman Dr Idris Ahmad would be proposed as alternatives.
However, Mohamed Mustafa added that should Azmin be selected, Khalid would call for snap elections.
“But if it’s Dr Idris, Khalid could be persuaded not to do so,” said Mohamed Mustafa.
Meanwhile, a Pakatan assemblyman who declined to be named said the sad reality was that there was no one else in PKR other than Azmin and Dr Idris who could be proposed as Khalid’s replacement.
“Actually, only Azmin has the political acumen, experience and charisma to be Mentri Besar,” said the assemblyman.
USM political scientist Assoc Prof Dr Sivamurugan Pandian concurred that there was high probability that Azmin would be named the next Mentri Besar if his name was proposed by PAS.
Sivamurugan said the Selangor Ruler could emulate the late Sultan Azlan Shah’s handling of the 2009 Perak crisis by speaking to the assemblymen to find out who they really supported.
“There could be two or three PKR assemblymen who are silently supporting Khalid, and it would also be known after the PAS meeting if its two assemblymen (Saari Sungib and Hasnul Baharuddin) still insist on supporting Dr Wan Azizah, or have made a U-turn,” he added.