Azmin keeps cards close to chest as rumours fly over MB appointment

Sources close to the PKR deputy president Azmin Ali say that he is rumoured to be the next Selangor mentri besar. — Picture by choo choy may
Sources close to the PKR deputy president Azmin Ali say that he is rumoured to be the next Selangor mentri besar. — Picture by choo choy may

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 22 ― Azmin Ali, rumoured to have received the Selangor sultan’s blessing to be state’s next mentri besar, has not received any official word on his alleged appointment, sources close to the PKR deputy president said today.

Malay Mail Online understands the Bukit Antarabangsa assemblyman is playing his cards carefully and does not want to pre-empt anything, especially with his party still adamant on PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail as the preferred MB candidate.

"He has not received any word or notice yet from the palace, not since the Selangor Sultan interviewed him last week.

"Right now, it’s a tense situation… he does not know what to expect," a source close to Azmin told Malay Mail Online when contacted.

It is understood that the new Selangor MB would have to take part in rehearsals for tomorrow's swearing-in ceremony.

"But if this is true, Azmin has not received any word. He is being careful, does not want to pre-empt palace," the source added.

Another senior PKR official said that Azmin has not informed de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim or the party leadership on anything so far.

“There has been no news despite the reports and rumours.

"But if he gets appointed, PKR will have to meet and discuss. It’s not as straight forward and simple as just accepting the palace decision," the PKR leader told Malay Mail Online when contacted.

Malay daily Berita Harian reported today that Azmin is expected to be sworn in as the new Selangor mentri besar tomorrow.

Citing unnamed sources, the paper reported that the Selangor palace had initially picked Iskandar Samad for the post but the PAS assemblyman turned down the offer, allegedly due to health reasons.

“The palace will only announce Azmin’s appointment tomorrow (today) through a press statement or a press conference with His Royal Highness’ consent,” the anonymous source was quoted as saying.

“Then, the appointment of six new state executive councillors will be done on Friday, while the four executive councillors from PAS will be retained,” the source added.

English-language daily The Star reported Saturday that Azmin, as well as PAS state executive councillors Iskandar and Dr Ahmad Yunus Hairi, were interviewed by the Selangor palace separately last week on their potential to be the next mentri besar.

Iskandar, who is Selangor PAS commissioner and Cempaka assemblyman, and Dr Ahmad Yunus, PAS’s Sijangkang assemblyman, were two of the three individuals named by PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang in the party’s list of potential mentri besar candidates to the Sultan.

PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail was reportedly not among those interviewed by the Selangor Sultan, despite having obtained majority support of the 56-seat state legislative assembly through statutory declarations from 30 assemblymen.

PKR secretary-general Datuk Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said in a statement yesterday that Dr Wan Azizah remained the party’s sole nominee as MB.