Will Azmin’s move scuttle Anwar’s plan?

By FMT staff

The question will remain if Azmin’s decision – whatever it may be – is also a sideshow to keep BN distracted while Anwar gets defecting MPs to form the government.

PETALING JAYA: PKR supremo Anwar Ibrahim has his hands full right now. In one hand he is fighting against Najib Tun Razak, Barisan Nasional and the Election Commission for ‘stealing’ the elections through fraudulent means.

On the other, he is said to be trying to pacify his most trusted aide Azmin Ali from not ditching the fight by walking out of PKR – all apparently because he (Azmin) is being overlooked again for the Selangor Menteri Besar’s post.

And most interestingly, on the third front, he is fighting against time to ensure he has enough BN members of parliament who are willing to jump ship so that Pakatan will have the numbers to form the government.

According to blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin, Anwar is looking at “stealing a government” by having enough defectors to form a two thirds in the parliament!

First the Azmin saga.

For days now Azmin is said to be sulking over the reluctance shown by Anwar in naming him as the Selangor Menteri Besar, to replace Khalid Ibrahim.

Azmin is said to have the support of at least 17 out of the 22 divisions in Selangor, as well as the support of a number of party’s state representatives and PKR parliamentarians. But, the party leadership is believed to be in favour of Khalid for the top post. Likewise, both DAP and PAS have also indicated that they wanted Khalid to continue as the MB.

With this tiff going on, Azmin did himself no favour yesterday with a series to tweets which questioned the need for public rallies to protest against the election results. At one look, it appears as though the target of his ire is Anwar, who is the architect behind the rallies to protest against the “illegitimate BN government”. Azmin was the sole senior PKR leader who was absent at the rally in Kelana Jaya on Wednesday.

Anwar in fact is planning a nationwide series of public rallies to get the rakyat to support his call for the election results to be declared in his favour.

However by the time he starts his next rally, he may have lost his most trusted lieutenant – Azmin.

Azmin’s PC on Friday

Azmin is scheduled to hold a press conference on Friday morning, apperently to tell that he is quitting all party posts, as well as to stand down as the Gombak MP and the Bukit Antarabangsa state rep. He is however expected to remain as an ordinary PKR member.

Party sources said that his decision was made on Thursday following a meeting with the 17 PKR divisions who support him.

“He was in tears when he said that after being loyal to Anwar for more than 30 years, Anwar has decided not to support him as the Selangor MB,” said an insider who attended the meeting.

“He will resign from all posts but he will remain loyal to the party and Anwar,” said the insider.

Azmin too had said the exact words to Sinar Harian today: “I will not abandon this noble fight and will never betray the trust of the people who want change”.

FMT learnt that several senior PKR members had met Azmin to convince him to change his mind but he was adamant with his decision.

Another PKR elected rep said that there were at least 11 elected reps who were willing to “fight with Azmin”. The 17 divisions too, it seems, had told Azmin that they would stand by him.

However as a last ditch effort, the divisions had submitted an appeal to Anwar to seek his interference so that this matter can be solved amicably.

That means, Azmin being made the Selangor MB in place of Khalid. That would be a highly unpopular decision, and Anwar knows that, even if he bases it just on the support Khalid got from the 100,000 people at the PKR rally at Kelana Jaya.

Just a sideshow

This is not a distraction which Anwar and PKR need right now, especially when he is zeroing in to save the elections.

Raja Petra however claims that the rallies are just a sideshow to keep BN distracted as Anwar secretly negotiates with the BN members of parliament from Sabah and Sarawak.

“Pakatan needs at least 23 more parliamentary seats to form the federal government. 25 would be better. Then Pakatan Rakyat would have six more seats than Barisan Nasional.

“Anwar’s ‘war room’ masterminds are Dr Rahim Ghouse, Saifuddin Nasution, Johari Abdul and Azmin Ali. These are the people hatching all the plots and planning the strategies,” he wrote in his latest entry in his Malaysia-Today portal.

Raja Petra said that the horse-trading is now going on with Anwar making his offers “and Najib will have to counter-offer something better”.

“So we may yet see Anwar become the new prime minister if Najib cannot better Anwar’s offer and the members of parliament from Sabah and Sarawak crossover,” he wrote.

He added that for the plan to succeed, Anwar has to try to pacify Azmin to make sure he does not jump if he is not made the Menteri Besar of Selangor.

“If not then Anwar might as well abandon the negotiations because the crossovers from Sabah and Sarawak will be neutralised by Azmin and gang once they declare themselves ‘independents’,” said Raja Petra.

In this in context, Azmin’s press conference on Friday morning will be an interesting one to watch. However the question will remain if Azmin’s decision – whatever it may be – is also a sideshow to keep BN distracted while Anwar gets his MPs. – FMT

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