Azmin in big trouble, says BN leader

Senior Minister for Economy Mohamed Azmin Ali.

PETALING JAYA: A Selangor Barisan Nasional (BN) leader has warned Senior Minister (Economy) Mohamed Azmin Ali that his political future is in danger unless he works to improve his ties with Umno and PAS.

“He seems to have a problem with everyone,” Selangor BN information chief Isham Jalil told FMT.

Commenting on a criticism Selangor Umno chief Noh Omar made early this month over a meeting Azmin held that did not include Perikatan Nasional representatives, Isham said there was a trust deficit between him and the Umno and PAS leaderships of Selangor.

The meeting discussed Selangor’s economic development and Menteri Besar Amirudin Shari, a member of PKR, was the only person of significance invited to attend, according to Noh.

Isham Jalil

Isham alleged that Azmin had lost half of his grassroots support in PKR and in PPBM as well as the trust of Chinese voters.

He said the Chinese would vote neither for Azmin nor his colleagues who had jumped ship from Pakatan Harapan in the next election.

“I think he’s in real trouble now,” he added.

Isham said Azmin should work on improving his relations with Umno and PAS and forget about regaining support from PKR members.

“That ship has sailed,” he said.

Gombak PAS chief Salehuddin Mohd Nasir has also criticised Azmin over the meeting with Amirudin and indicated reluctance to work with him. Azmin is the MP for Gombak.

Isham also spoke on plans for the 15th general election, saying Selangor Umno would prefer to contest under its Muafakat Nasional pact with PAS.

“There is no formal pact on the Perikatan Nasional side other than Muafakat Nasional,” he added.

On whether Selangor Umno could work with PPBM, he said this would depend on that party’s preparedness to mend ties with Umno.

“Negative rhetoric like ‘Umno is not popular, Umno are losers,’ as uttered by PPBM leaders, does not help in mending the relationship and only makes things worse,” he added.

He claimed that there was no grassroots support for PPBM and said it won 13 seats in the last election only because Malay votes were split between Umno and PAS.

“This time around, it will no longer have this advantage. The Chinese are not going to vote for PPBM again and the small group of Malays who are PKR hardcore supporters are going to abandon it.

“If PPBM does not work with Umno, it’s going to be in trouble.”

Isham claimed the Malays needed only Umno and PAS, one to fight for Malay interests and the other to fight for Islam.

He said PPBM should consider dissolving itself like Semangat 46 did.

Semangat 46 splintered from Umno in 1988 and was dissolved in 1996. Many of its members rejoined Umno.

“If PPBM members don’t like Umno, they can always join PAS,” Isham said. “This is, if they really care about Malay unity.”