Often misses depth and understanding on issues, Azmin slams Anwar

09 Aug 2023 05:42pm
Azmin Ali asserted that Anwar Ibrahim was dissimilar to Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, who exhibited a high level of precision and thoroughness - FILE PIX
Azmin Ali asserted that Anwar Ibrahim was dissimilar to Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, who exhibited a high level of precision and thoroughness - FILE PIX

SHAH ALAM - As Selangor Perikatan Nasional chairman Datuk Seri Azmin Ali recounts the chapters of his life, a story unfolds of loyalty, principle, and pivotal decisions that would redefine his own fate and leave an indelible mark on the nation's narrative.

In the early 1980s, during his time as an activist student in the United State of America (USA), his relationship with former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir began when they met in Chicago around 1982-1983; a time when the USA held an adversarial stance towards strong governments, making engagement with students a rarity.

"Despite this, leaders like Dr. Mahathir displayed courage in interacting with students, leading to our extensive discussion on strategies to garner youth support.

"This collaboration continued until my return in 1987 and he later asked me to serve alongside Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, as both leaders were closely connected," Azmin said in the 'Keluar Sekejap' podcast hosted by former Umno youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin and former Umno information chief Shahril Hamdan, which was aired yesterday.

Azmin explained within this role, Dr Mahathir entrusted him with various professional responsibilities across ministries such as education, finance, and the Prime Minister's Department until his dismissal in 1988, a challenging period.

He said while he was labelled as a gatekeeper, the distinction between Dr Mahathir's detailed approach and Anwar Ibrahim's adept debating skills with a relatively shallow substance became evident.

"I recollect instances like overseeing the meticulous construction of KL International Airport (KLIA), where Dr Mahathir's hands-on, meticulous management style was prominent.

"In contrast, Anwar Ibrahim's focus often remained on surface aspects, lacking depth in understanding." he said

Azmin added that through these experiences, he formed enduring relationships with both leaders, recognising their respective strengths.

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During Dr. Mahathir's dismissal, Azmin said he faced a pivotal choice: to align with his or Anwar's principles.

Defending Anwar against accusations, Azmin faced the brunt of imprisonment, emphasising his unwavering loyalty during a time of pressure to confess against Anwar.

"I was rooted in the 2018 party polls rather than the Kajang Move, which had led to the removal of then Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Datuk Seri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim.

"I disclosed that I had openly expressed my intention to contest for the presidency to Anwar.

"I had also offered to maintain my role as the party's deputy president if Anwar sought the presidency."

However, Azmin asserted that Anwar opted to support his rival for the deputy presidency.

It was at that point he realized he couldn't rely Anwar trust.

In response to the question of Anwar's skepticism, Azmin clarified that it stemmed from Anwar's inability to envision his (Azmin's) potential successes surpassing his own.

"He continues to perceive me solely as his political aide." Azmin said