FORMER ministers Datuk Seri Azmin Ali and Datuk Dr Radzi Jidin are seen as Perikatan Nasional’s (PN) main contenders for the Selangor menteri besar post should the coalition win the state’s upcoming election.
According to Nusantara Academy for Strategic Research senior fellow Azmi Hassan, Azmin had an advantage over Radzi as he had helmed the state from 2014 to 2018.
However, there are concerns that the former PKR deputy president could suffer another round of defeat after losing his Gombak parliamentary seat in the 15th general election (GE15).
Speaking with FMT, Azmi said if that were to happen again, Radzi would be the coalition’s contingency plan, seeing as to how he has experience as a minister and not to mention, he had also wrested the Putrajaya seat from UMNO heavyweight Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Mansor in GE15.
“Now it depends on where Azmin contests. A win is not guaranteed. That’s why Radzi and (Selangor Bersatu chief) Datuk Abdul Rashid Asari are next in line if Azmin loses,” Azmi told the news portal.
Azmin is now a member of the Bersatu Supreme Council and the PN’s information chief while Radzi is a Bersatu vice president.
Azmin, Radzi and Rashid have been named as Bersatu’s coordinators for the Selangor election.
Bersatu president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had previously stated that the position of menteri besar for Selangor and Negri Sembilan would be given to the party if PN succeeds in capturing the states in the coming polls.
Azmi further noted that Muhyiddin seemed to confident that PN would gain control of Selangor from PH, although the ongoing court cases involving the PN chairman and other Bersatu leaders would be a major impediment.
On the “green wave” of support for PN, particularly PAS in GE15, Azmi believed that the phenomenon did not occur on the peninsula’s west coast, which included Selangor and Negri Sembilan.
Meanwhile, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) political science professor Dr Ahmad Fauzi Abdul Hamid contended that while Azmin was set to become PN’s Menteri besar candidate, the Bukit Antarabangsa assemblyman will need to be fielded in a “safer” seat for the state
“If Muhyiddin feels the Bukit Antarabangsa seat is problematic based on the GE15 results, he could move Azmin to a more winnable seat. But there will be a tough fight in Selangor, so there needs to be ‘Plan B’ and even ‘Plan C’ if the MB candidate loses,” he said.
Azmin’s Bukit Antarabangsa state seat is in the Ampang parliamentary constituency, where Pakatan Harapan’s Rodziah Ismail defeated Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin with a majority of 29,681 votes in GE15.
Azmin ended up losing his Gombak parliamentary seat in GE15 to current Selangor MB Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari, who won by 12,729 votes. – March 14, 2023
Main pic credit: Berita Harian