Sunday, November 27, 2022

Azmin seen as wounded tiger[ESS] returning with vengeance in Selangor polls

Azmin seen as wounded tiger[ESS] returning with vengeance in Selangor polls

Azmin Ali at a ceramah during the campaign for the recent election. (Facebook pic)

PETALING JAYA: Two analysts see Azmin Ali’s political career as far from ebbing after his mauling in Gombak.

They said he was bound to try to bounce back in the Selangor state election next year.

They said the Bersatu information chief, who is the assemblyman for Bukit Antarabangsa, would use his experience as a former menteri besar to attempt a strong return by being the poster boy for Perikatan Nasional.

Awang Azman Pawi of Universiti Malaya warned Pakatan Harapan that Azmin’s loss in the parliamentary contest for Gombak had marked him as a wounded tiger.

“Azmin is not going to lie down and lick his wounds,” he told FMT. “The Selangor election is not far off. He will definitely use his vast experience as the MB and the current strong influence of PN to win Selangor and head it again.

“PH had better be warned because Azmin knows all the strengths and weaknesses of the coalition in Selangor.”

Azmin was the menteri besar from September 2014 to June 2018 before being appointed minister in Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s PH Cabinet after the 2018 general election.

Awang Azman said the Bersatu-PAS partnership was expected to have a major impact on the political landscape of Selangor.

Ahmad Fauzi Abdul Hamid of Universiti Sains Malaysia said Azmin would do his utmost to redeem his loss in Gombak now that he could focus on Selangor affairs.

“As a former MB, Azmin is going to lead PN in its role as watchdog to the PH state administration helmed by Amirudin Shari, his one-time protege,” he told FMT. “It’s part of the checks and balances of a functioning democratic system.

“He will use his influence and PN to return strongly but will not necessarily be able to defeat PH.”

Fauzi said PN would probably do well in rural Selangor but not necessarily the whole state. He noted that this was what happened last week in Penang, where PN trounced Barisan Nasional in its Malay-majority strongholds in northern Seberang Perai.

“PH should gentlemanly regard this as a challenge, not a threat,” he said. “Despite having been in the driving seat since 2008 in Selangor, it must still be kept always on its toes.

“Poster boy or no, Azmin and PN should strive to be a responsible opposition in the state assembly if they don’t win power.”

Last week, Azmin, among those behind the Sheraton Move that led to the collapse of the PH federal government 22 months after winning power in 2018, was punished by Gombak voters for abandoning PKR to join Bersatu.

He lost to Amirudin, who polled 72,267 votes to win by a 12,729-vote majority.

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