Split in Azmin’s camp worries supporters as PKR showdown looms

PETALING JAYA: While all attention is on the impending showdown between Mohamed Azmin Ali and Rafizi Ramli in the upcoming PKR elections, a split is slowly emerging within the Azmin camp in the party’s Youth wing.

The wing’s top post is now being contested by three candidates seen as representing the two camps of Azmin and Rafizi.

The three are Akmal Nasir, Dr Afif Bahardin and Najwan Halimi.

Akmal, the Johor Bahru MP, is considered part of Rafizi’s camp, while the two others are seen as Azmin allies.

Afif is the Seberang Jaya assemblyman while Najwan, a former aide of PKR incoming president Anwar Ibrahim, is the Kota Anggerik assemblyman in Selangor.

A source told FMT that the split in Azmin’s camp was a result of Najwan rebuffing Afif’s offer for him to contest for Youth vice-head post.

“Najwan rejected the offer because he wanted to go for the deputy head post as Afif’s running-mate.

“However, Afif has already picked Gombak Setia assemblyman Hilman Idham to run on his ticket for the number two post,” the source said, adding that Afif and Hilman, who is currently Azmin’s political secretary, are seen as close friends in the party.

Last Sunday when Azmin spoke at the Perdana Selangor PKR division meeting in Petaling Jaya, Najwan and Afif were seen seated together.

One PKR assemblywoman has criticised Najwan and Afif, saying their squabble would only split the votes for the Azmin camp in the party polls.

“This would give an advantage to Akmal Nasir,” she told FMT.

Azmin, in his speech at the meeting, indirectly advised his two allies to maintain their decorum and ethics in their campaigning.

The PKR number two, while praising them for sitting beside each other, mentioned Najwan’s name several times but only acknowledged Afif as the PKR Youth deputy head at the beginning of his speech.