Regardless of what Azmin Ali says, one thing is clear: There's a power struggle going on in PKR Selangor.
The party deputy president's press conference on Friday was telling. Surrounded by a cadre of supporters, he called out the party's leadership for not practicing a consultative approach to the appointment of the next Selangor Menteri Besar.
As interesting as what was said during the press conference was what was NOT said.
Azmin was twice asked about Khalid Ibrahim - once if he endorsed the former MB, then what he thought of him - and twice he deflected the question.
Both times, he used the word 'consensus', saying his personal opinion doesn't matter and that he and his backers will accept the party leadership's decision - if it's reached by consensus.
At no time did he voice support for the incumbent. Sometimes, silence is deafening.
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Interestingly, he brought up the issue of 'nepotism' and said the party doesn't belong to an individual or a family.
The whole of Malaysia knows the familial triumvirate of Anwar Ibrahim, Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and Nurul Izzah Anwar is the rock upon which PKR is built.
Who else could Azmin be referring to? And, more importantly, what does he mean by that cryptic statement?
Do his comments later on in the press conference shed light?
He intimated that party heads did not consult the newly elected state reps when deciding on whom to choose for the coveted position of Selangor MB.
Did he mean Anwar and Wan Azizah took it upon themselves to make this choice? Only Azmin and the people he directed his barbs at will know.
What we do know is that this is the second time in three days he's spoken about 'family ties'.
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On May 8th, he tweeted "Rakyat letih dengan asakan politik melampau. Terima hukuman. Muhasabah diri. Akui kelemahan. Maju kehadapan. Tumpu rakyat bukan kerabat."
Another curious thing that came out during his press conference was that he did not even bother to deny his political ambitions.
In fact, he said any attempt to do so is hypocrisy and that political ambition is a motivating factor.
So the question becomes, what does Azmin really want?
Is it truly a transparent and fair approach to selecting the Selangor MB or is it to see himself elevated to that exalted position?
Related story: Khalid gets PAS, DAP backing to remain as Selangor MB
During Friday's press conference, he took pains to point out more than once that he was not speaking of his own accord, but merely as a spokesman for several state reps disgruntled at the MB selection process. Is this a veiled threat at the party leadership, telling them he's got the middle-management's support?
The fact is, Azmin has gone from being Anwar's number one ally and PKR's strongman to becoming the party's loudest internal critic.
His tweets of recent days seem to blame internal factors for the party's failure to capture Putrajaya. He promised an 'explanation' soon (which wasn't given in today's press conference, by the way).
Senior party officials have been strangely silent on this increasingly divisive issue, which in itself, speaks volumes.
So, he's denying that he's leaving PKR. So what? Sir Alex Ferguson said he wasn't retiring just days before doing exactly that.
Politicians will always be politicians and we should know better than to take what any of them say at face value.
Azmin Ali needs to understand that regardless of how he or his supporters feel, this is something that needs to be addressed internally. There's no need to call a press conference on this as it makes the party look indecisive and worse, splintered.
More importantly, he needs to grow up and put the party and the rakyat before his own political ambitions.
As a friend of mine succinctly put it: "Just as he asked Pakatan leaders to accept the elections results, he should accept that Selangorians want Khalid Ibrahim as their MB."
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