‘Azmin must put out political fires to survive as mentri besar’

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 24 Sep 2014

Royal nod: Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah handing over the appointment letter to Azmin at Istana Alam Shah in Klang.

PETALING JAYA: Azmin Ali must put out four political “fires” to survive as Selangor mentri besar until the next general election, says an academic.

National Council of Professors’ political cluster head Prof Datuk Dr Mohamed Mustafa Ishak said Azmin’s appointment did not mark the end of a divide in Pakatan Rakyat caused by problems over Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim’s ouster.

He said the PKR deputy president’s appointment only settled the issue of who replaced Khalid.

“Azmin will be tested by four political ‘fires’ that he must douse if he wants to succeed in his new job.

“His challenges are to stay ahead in the intra-PKR rivalry, help heal a rift among Pakatan parties, keep state agencies in tow and maintain ties between the state and the Federal governments,” Mustafa said.

He said the wrangling in PKR over who should replace Khalid had exposed bad blood between the rival supporters of Khalid, party president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and Azmin.

Mustafa also noted that DAP’s labelling of four PAS exco members who remained in their positions after Khalid was sacked from PKR as “traitors” reflected inter-party problems in Pakatan.

DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said yesterday that his party deeply regretted the PAS exco members’ “betrayal” after six other councillors from PKR and DAP were sacked by Khalid.

“Lim’s statement is a signal to Azmin that they should not be picked as his exco members. The question is, can Azmin keep both DAP and PAS happy?” he asked.

Mustafa said Azmin’s ability to manage and work with state agencies such as the Selangor Islamic Religious Council to handle the Bible seizure issue would also be a key test for him.

He said Azmin would also need to find a way to maintain good ties with the Federal Government as he needed its cooperation whether he liked it or not.

“On issues such as the Langat 2 water treatment plant and affordable housing, it will be difficult for Azmin to succeed if he cannot work with the Federal Government.”

Mustafa said Khalid would be remembered as a mentri besar who lost his job because he put the interests of the state and people first over his party’s.

“In the event that Azmin finds himself facing a similar dilemma as mentri besar, which will he choose first – his party or the people of Selangor?” he asked.

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