Smear Azmin campaign goes full swing
SHAH ALAM: Some influential PKR leaders are going all-out to discredit their deputy president Azmin Ali in the hope of spoiling his chances of taking over the party.
According to a party leader, who declined to be named, Azmin (pix, top) is in the crosshairs of these leaders who are working very hard to get anybody but Azmin to helm PKR after its president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail leaves the scene.
“But Azmin is most loyal to the party ever since it was founded in 1998. He has always been protecting the party, especially ensuring that it does not abandon its 'reformation' label.
"Azmin has been around since the beginning and has a full understanding of the party's struggle," he told theantdaily.
"Many newer members were given posts in the Selangor state government, but Azmin did not ask for any position even though Pakatan won big in the 2008 general election. He remains committed to the party’s platform,” he said.
But the source said that despite Azmin’s track record of party loyalty, his enemies would continue to smear him until he is no more in the running for the top party post.
Even if he decides to defend his number two post, talk is rife that PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar might take on Azmin in the party elections.
Azmin is said to be gunning for the Selangor menteri besar’s post, held by Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim (pix, below), for years.
Azmin blew his top when Khalid was nominated to continue in his job after the May general election. He was angry because the decision to nominate Khalid was done without a consensus from Selangor PKR. Azmin heads the Selangor PKR.
He blamed Wan Azizah for pushing for Khalid’s nomimation and openly attacked her in the mainstream media.
The highly-publicised spat between him and Khalid's political secretary Faekah Husin, who is fiercely protective of her boss, is seen as proof of the rivalry between Khalid and Azmin.
More controversy surfaced last October when Azmin told a Malay daily that Khalid would be made a minister if Pakatan seized Putrajaya and would be vacating the menteri besar's post.
After the GE13, several PKR leaders claimed that the main reason PKR lost many promising seats, including those it won in 2008, was that the selection of candidates was mainly done by PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Azmin.
Azmin chaired the party’s election committee, which had the final say in the choice of candidates.
As a result, they claimed that the candidates they recommended were dropped in favour of the cronies of the two leaders.
“They even overruled the party president’s [Wan Azizah] choice of candidates,” said one source.
“It’s all right if a candidate proposed by a division is rejected because he has a bad record or has never worked in the constituency identified for him.
“But many of the rejected candidates were clean and had worked tirelessly for the party," a source was reported to have said.