Can Azmin truly deliver Selangor to PN? Experts express doubts

19 Jun 2023 02:38pm
Azmin Ali (left) and Muhyiddin Yassin (centre) with PN leaders at the launch of the coalition's election machinery in Shah Alam. - Photo from Facebook
Azmin Ali (left) and Muhyiddin Yassin (centre) with PN leaders at the launch of the coalition's election machinery in Shah Alam. - Photo from Facebook

SHAH ALAM - After a brief hiatus from politics, former Selangor menteri besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali has made a strong comeback, reinvigorating his presence in the political arena.

Perikatan Nasional (PN) Chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has entrusted Selangor PN chairman with the responsibility of securing victory in the upcoming state elections.

Speculations are rife that Azmin could be a formidable candidate for the position of Menteri Besar, representing the PN coalition in their efforts to gain control of Selangor from the ruling Pakatan Harapan (PH) alliance.

However, experts still need to be convinced about Azmin's power and whether he can help PN win Selangor

International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) Political Science Association Professor Dr Syaza Shukri said she is still determining whether Azmin can help PN defeat Selangor.

"As a Member of Parliament, assemblyman, and menteri besar, he has formed a formidable relationship with the people of Selangor. These relationships are at stake in state elections.

"His weakness is people's mistrust of him and PN, particularly in metropolitan regions," Syaza said.

She added that while Azmin may be able to support PN in northern and western Selangor, there are other factors besides this.

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According to Dr Syaza, Azmin has some influence, but it is limited, and PN's approach extends beyond Azmin's involvement, presenting a challenge for him.

Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) Political Science professor Datuk Dr Jayum Anak Jawan opined that Azmin had lost all respect as a result of his own actions.

"Azmin's fallout rapidly demonstrated that he was not up to it, and his changing ship may not demonstrate that he is a person of integrity, which would endear him to PKR followers.

"Azmin won elections and rose to the position of menteri besar not because of his personal qualities, but because he was a member of PKR, and when he left PKR, he had nothing to offer his new party," Jayun said.

He added that it would be challenging for someone who lost their seat in the last election to spearhead the move to take over Selangor.

"PN would need to find another politician with a chance of succeeding," he added.

Meanwhile, National Council of Professors senior fellow Dr Jeniri Amir believes Azmin is the ideal leader to lead PN in the upcoming state election, and he has previously led the state as menteri besar, which will put him in a precarious position.

"His integrity has been impeccable, as has his reputation. As a former menteri besar of Selangor, he is quite familiar with the terrain.

"He has now advanced to the national level and he is well aware of the strengths and weaknesses of the opponents," said Jeniri.

He added, "While it does not solely depend on Azmin, with his understanding of the adversaries' strengths and vulnerabilities, he can strategise for the upcoming election."

Jeniri also acknowledged that it would be an extremely challenging task, but he believed that PH has the advantage as an established government at both the national and state levels.