KLANG: PKR deputy president Datuk Seri Azmin Ali is being forced to put out fires from all sides in this general election. He not only needs to fend off his political foes, he also has to handle enemies within his own party, and worse, now he’s got his brother on his back.
Azmin, who enjoyed strong support and backing from the PAS grassroots in his Gombak parliamentary constituency in the past, may suffer the repercussions of Pakatan Rakyat’s split with the Islamist party.
The 54-year-old now faces at least a three-cornered fight for the seat with Gombak Umno chief Datuk Abdul Rahim Pandak Kamaruddin, 62, and PAS deputy Youth chief Khairil Nizam Khirudin, 34.
The PAS leadership believes engineer Khairil Nizam will rake in the support of the PAS grassoots.
Azmin is also facing some internal issues within PKR with another faction trying to dislodge him.
As though that was not enough, there is an elephant in the room – his younger brother Azwan is going all out to tarnish Azmin’s image. He says he will stand as an independent in the Bukit Antarabangsa state seat, where Azmin is the incumbent.
“Hot, hot, hot ... I can confirm that I will contest as an independent using the elephant logo. I am going there because I am confident that Bukit Antarabangsa residents are sick of Azmin’s false promises,” Azwan told Malay daily Sinar Harian.
Azmin’s trials and tribulations clearly showed on his face at a PKR event on Monday night at the Kuala Selangor stadium.
The usually smiling and bright-faced Azmin looked drawn and distanced.
However, his political secretary Mat Shuhaimi Shafiei said Azmin had the experience and expertise to overcome any political challenges that might come his way.
“Azmin is very smart. Don’t underestimate him. He is capable of making last-minute movements that no one can predict.
“He has the knack of accurately reading a political situation. He knows when to enter the game, exit and attack,” said Mat Shuhaimi.
As for Azwan, Mat Shuhaimi brushed him off as a “no-problem”.
Azwan said he was not afraid of losing and would be satisfied with even one vote. “I have gone to the Election Commission to show that I am serious about contesting.”
He said he has drawn up his own manifesto for Bukit Antarabangsa, including finding a solution to the Selangor water supply issue, and combating corruption.
This was not the first time Azwan had attacked Azmin publicly. Last year, Azwan went to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission office in Putrajaya to hand over what he claimed to be “hot” information.
He also attended last year’s Umno annual assembly and declared that he would help Barisan Nasional take down Azmin.
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