GE14: Analyst gives 3 reasons why Azmin may lose Gombak seat


PETALING JAYA: Selangor Menteri Besar Azmin Ali may be staring at defeat in his Gombak parliamentary seat if he decides to contest there in the coming general election (GE14), a political analyst predicts.

Kamarul Zaman Yusoff, the Malaysian Institute for Political Studies director at Universiti Utara Malaysia, gave three reasons for his prediction.

The first reason is that two of the three state seats – Gombak Setia and Hulu Kelang – in Gombak are strongholds of PAS and were won by the Islamist party in the last general election, while PKR only retained the Batu Caves state seat.

The second reason is that PAS is not in the Pakatan Harapan coalition and Amanah’s Hulu Kelang assemblyman Saari Sungib is not on good terms with him.

The third reason, according to Kamarul Zaman, is that Selangor voters may throw their support for former menteri besar Khalid Ibrahim who has said he would help the Barisan Nasional wrest Selangor from Pakatan Harapan in GE14.

Kamarul Zaman said if Azmin wanted to retain his seat in Selangor, he had to set his priorities right.

“There are a large number of Malay voters, including PAS supporters in that area. This explains why certain PKR Selangor leaders talked about the possibility of Azmin contesting elsewhere.

“And this explains why Pakatan Selangor is facing problems resolving allocation of state seats among its component parties even though the initial deadline was Jan 31. It is now extended for another week,” he told FMT.

Amanah’s Dzulkefly Ahmad had told FMT that Pakatan Harapan (PH) had extended the Selangor state seat allocation talks by another week. He had said the extension was needed so that an amicable solution could be found.

Kamarul Zaman said the problem was not so much about whether Azmin was well liked as a menteri besar by the people, but more about the support he had from Amanah, DAP, and even PKR members.

“Being liked by the rakyat might mean nothing if he fails to get re-elected or if he fails to get enough support from his component parties in the opposition coalition.”

The problem might be compounded by the seeming determination of his predecessor, Khalid, to campaign against Azmin and PH.

In the general election of March 2008, Azmin defeated the BN’s Said Anuar Said Ahmad by a margin of 6,867 votes. In the following election, in May 2013, he shook off a challenge from the BN’s Raman Ismail to retain the seat with a majority of 4,734 votes.

PKR was then an ally of PAS under the now-defunct Pakatan Rakyat pact.

On Jan 7, PH had announced its parliamentary seat allocation agreement for Peninsular Malaysia, with PPBM assigned 52 seats, PKR 51, DAP 35 and Amanah 27.