Azmin Vs Zaid: Mat King Leather vs Wan Azizah

Contest is out in open. The office of the PKR Deputy President is up for grabs. The two names are being hawked around, even outside party circle are Azmin Ali and Dato’ Zaid Ibrahim. The two are big names in their own right. One is a long time partyless-Opposition-Leader Anwar “Mat King Leather” Ibrahim closest aide. The other one is a defected former Minister of Law during PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s tenure.

However, the fight is rather lopsided. 75% of the PKR MPs are throwing  support behind Azmin:

20 PKR MPs, senators back Azmin for No 2
Hemananthani Sivanandam


PETALING JAYA (Sept 6, 2010):
A group of 20 MPs and senators from Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) have declared their support for Gombak MP Mohamed Azmin Ali to contest for the deputy presidency post in the party’s upcoming elections.

“Azmin is a leader who has gone through many challenges, including being humiliated by his own family members in his struggle for mass reformation.

“His leadership skills together with president Datuk Seri Wan Azizah will bring the party to greater heights,” Teluk Kemang MP Datuk Kamarul Baharin, who is representing the MPs and senators, told a press conference at the party’s headquarters today.

Also present were Ampang MP Zuraida Kamaruddin, Kapar MP S. Manikavasagam, SungaiPetani MP Datuk Johari Abdul, Tanah Merah MP Amran A. Ghani, Kelana Jaya MP Low Gwo Burne and Senator Datuk Mustapa Kamal Mohd Yusoff.

Although Azmin has not announced his intention to run for the party’s number two position, Kamarul said that the Azmin has voiced his intentions before.

“There is a guarantee (that he is contesting) or else we will not announce our support,” added Kamarul.

Zuraida said perhaps Azmin has not announced his intention out of respect for the incumbent Senator Dr Syed Husin Ali who has remained mum in his intentions to re-contest for the position.

“Our resolution is, if Azmin contests, the MPs will give him our support,” added Zuraida.

Kamarul however added that the announcement of support for Azmin will not stand in the way of Pakatan Rakyat co-ordinator Datuk Zaid Ibrahim who announced his intention to contest for the deputy presidency post on Saturday.

“We are not stopping anyone from contesting. We are only voicing our support for Azmin. Ultimately, the decision is made by the party members and not only us MPs,” said Kamarul.

He also said that claims by Zaid that there are attempts by certain quarters to topple him are merely allegations.

“That’s just an allegation. Besides, how could there be an attempt to topple (him) if he does not even have a position in the party in the first place?” said Kamarul.

Besides supporting Azmin for the deputy presidency, the MPs also encouraged other leaders who intend to contest for other party posts and appealed to its members for support.
Meanwhile, Sungai Petani MP Johari said that Azmin, as the chief whip, “should be given a chance as a leader because he has done a great job”.

Zaid on the other hand is new, he said, adding: “We don’t know his leadership style. I think Zaid is young in the party and he should take time to understand how the party works. He should know the struggles of the party and grassroots,” said Johari.

PKR elections begin Sept 17.

The other supporting MPs are Kuala Langat MP Abdullah Sani, Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh, Indera Mahkota MP Azan Ismail, PJ Selatan MP Hee Loy Sian, Gopeng MP Dr Lee Boon Chye, Ketereh MP A. Aziz A. Kadir, Balik Pulau MP Mohd Yusmadi Mohd Yusoff, Merbok MP Rashid Din, Batu MP Tian Chua, Selayang MP William Leong, Subang MP R. Sivarasa, Kuala Kedah MP Ahmad Kasim and Senator Zamri Yusof.

PKR currently has 24 MPs in the Dewan Rakyat.

***********

Those who are not openly supporting Azmin comprises of former-abuse-of-power-convict Anwar “Mat King Leather” Ibrahim, party President Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Lembah Pantai MP  Nurul Izzah Anwar, Secretary General and Machang MP Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, Bandar Tun Razak MP Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim and Segambut MP Tan Kwee Kwong.

50% of those who are not openly supporting are of the one single family. The Secretary General is compelled to not disagree with the President. Khalid as the Selangor MB sees Azmin as a direct threat.

The subtle message of the division within PKR is very clear: the contest for the Deputy President PKR post is about Anwar “Mat King Leather” Ibrahim Vs Wan Azizah.

Keluarga bahagia Azmin Ali - Shamsidar

Many reasons attributable to this. First of all, Azmin is a long time Anwar aide. He was once a Special Function Officer to Anwar when the latter was the Education Minister, which was in 1987. He stayed on with Anwar ever since. During the controversial episode of Khalid Jaffri’s “50 Dalil Kenapa Anwar Tidak Boleh Jadi PM”, Azmin’s wife Shamsidar Taharim was accused to have a very intimate relationship with Anwar where it was rumoured that they had a child together.

This burns Wan Azizah for the longest time. For this reason, Khalid was picked as the MB for Selangor when Pakatan Rakyat wrested the state from BN in the 12th General Elections, instead of Azmin who is Pakatan Rakyat defacto leader Anwar’s preferred and obvious choice of candidate. Hence the near-civil-war within Pakatan Rakyat Selangor. It was said that Azmin is the ‘insider’ who leaked the information about Bukit Lanjan Assemblywoman and Exco Elizabeth Wong having the affair with Helmi and he intended to use the episode to tip-over the Pakatan Rakyat Selangor leadership and force Khalid to vacate his post.

Azmin also openly criticized “The performance of Selangor Exco” insinuating that Khalid be moved. Obviously that would create a void for him and this must not go down well with Wan Azizah, who is ’emotionally adversarial’ with Azmin.

The writing has been on the while for quite a bit. Being Anwar’s strongest supporter (especially since the defection of Ezam Md. Nor back into UMNO in May 2008), Azmin is the pioneer of Parti KeAdilan Nasional, the original KeAdilan political party incepted in 1999. Ezam left PKR is because of Azmin and Anwar’s adamant to defend him over Ezam when the push comes to shovel. Ezam also advised Wan Azizah as party President to sack Anwar, for PKR’s sake.

This ‘animosity’ between Azmin and Zaid is not without earlier skirmish. The stand off started last year and Zaid actually announced his ‘sabbatical leave’.

It obvious that Anwar is strengthening his position in the party. Angkatan Muda KeAdilan’s contest for the Head is about Anwar pitting his blue-eyed boy Rafizi Tamli against incumbent Shamsul Iskandar “Mayor of Urinasia” Akin.

All these are interesting developments to watch. Anwar’s maneuvers are obviously unfavoured and in fact felt threatened by Wan Azizah. This is a ‘bedroom tussle’ brought onto mainstream politics. The disintegration of PKR is eminent. Soon Zaid will join the exodus ranks of Dr Chandra Muzaffar, Abdul Rahman Osman, Ruslan Kassim, Ezam Md. Noor, Lokman Noor Adam, Marina Yusuff, Jamaluddin Radzi, Osman Jailu, Mohd. Fairus Khairuddin, Badrul Hisham Abdullah, Mohd. Radzi Salleh, Zahrain Hashim, Tan Tee Beng, Mohsin Fadzil, Zulkifli Nordin and Wee Choo Keong from PKR.

The real losers in this contest would be the hopefuls that PKR under Anwar would make a change for a better Malaysia. Its the same losers who had the ‘false faith’ on Anwar to form the Pakatan Rakyat Federal Government on 16 September 2008.

*Updated 1130am

This is how the mainstream media analysing the ‘Azmin Vs Zaid’ race for PKR Deputy President:

Tuesday September 7, 2010

Azmin is pick of the party YBs

ANALYSIS
By JOCELINE TAN

The Yang Berhormats in PKR have come out in force to endorse Azmin Ali for the party’s No. 2 slot. But, the opinion on the ground remains to be seen.

THE Azmin Ali juggernaut has rolled into town, even though the man himself has not uttered a word about contesting for the PKR deputy president’s post.

A total of 18 MPs and two senators from the party have thrown their support behind Azmin to go for the second highest post in the party.

It was quite a coup for Azmin and provided yet another clue to his political style – talk softly and carry a big stick.

“It’s part and parcel of any election for people to declare support.

“These are individual decisions made by people on their own accord,” said Seri Setia assemblyman Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad.

But, a couple of powerful names were missing from the Yang Berhormat list.

Permatang Pauh MP and de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s name was not on the list even though it is well-known by now that Azmin has his backing.

Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar’s name was another glaring absentee.

In Nurul’s case, it is because she is not endorsing Azmin for the post.

Father and daughter are evidently not on the same page regarding who should become the next No. 2.

Party insiders said Nurul Izzah was pressured to add her name on the list, but she refused to budge even when told that her father had given his blessings to the group.

It looks like the eldest daughter of Anwar and Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail has a mind of her own.

Besides, Nurul Izzah is known to be aligned to the other candidate – Datuk Zaid Ibrahim.

But Nurul Izzah and her mother’s stand on Azmin may have more to do with personal than political reasons.

Party sources suggest that the mother-and-daughter feelings about Azmin date back to the post-1998 period, during which Azmin’s sister Umi Hafilda and his wife Shamsida Taharin had supporting roles in the political turmoil that the Anwar family went through.

Old feelings die hard, as they say.

Zaid, the serious rival to Azmin, has decried the MPs’ action as a move to bury him ala Ghafar Baba in the Umno elections of 1993.

Back then, Ghafar was snowed under by the massive show of support for Anwar in the contest for the Umno No. 2 post, even before it could take off.

The implication here is that Azmin’s side is trying to overwhelm Zaid even at the nomination stage.

But, it is really not the best of analogies to use in this context.

The Umno contest then was between Ghafar and Anwar who, as the youthful and ambitious challenger, came under a lot of flak.

Some in PKR have questioned Zaid’s motive for bringing it up.

They are asking whether he is hitting out at Azmin or if his target is actually Anwar, given that the latter appears to have taken sides in this critical contest.

The comparison to Ghafar is also rather misplaced.

It is like admitting one is going to lose.

People on the ground want to back a winning horse and not a horse that looks like it is going to trot in second.

Zaid has been getting tremendous coverage in the news portals.

That is a good thing – except that he has been doing quite a bit of complaining about the dirty tactics he has to face and how he was welcomed into PKR as a hero but is now treated as a power-crazy politician.

One portal that is closely tied to his interests reported on the MPs’ support with the heading: “MPs back Azmin for No. 2 – Cartel at work?”

“We are not out to bury anybody. We are just telling party members that as MPs, we know who works hard for the party,” said Teluk Kemang MP and leader of the group Datuk Kamarul Bahrin Abbas.

The deputy president’s post has always been a coveted one, even before PKR became a party to be reckoned with, and the seat is not going to be handed over on a silver platter.

However, several MPs whose names were on the pro-Azmin list, have since denied endorsing him.

One of them had joined the press conference chaired by Kamarul but later claimed that he was not with them. Asked why he had not protested then, the MP who requested anonymity said he did not want to upset the group.

Azmin, unlike Zaid, has yet to give a single interview, but his long years in the party may be coming to fruition, even though some insist that he may have overplayed his hand by getting the MPs to come out so early in the day.

Today, a group of PKR assemblymen are expected to follow suit and announce their support for Azmin.

Azmin, it would appear, is the Yang Berhormats’ choice for deputy president.

But the election will be determined by some 400,000 members on the ground.

Will the ground go along with the Yang Berhormats or will it go its own way?

*************

How could Zaid compare himself the Mighty Ghaffar Baba with the episode when Anwar challenged Tun Ghaffar Baba in 1993? He is nothing like Ghaffar!

Anwar was the challenger. He wanted to topple Ghaffar. And he did.

Advertisements
Published in: on September 7, 2010 at 03:36  Comments (2)