Selangor MB Mohamed Azmin Ali says he is finding it hard to settle issues with PAS’ top leadership as the Islamist party has forgotten the basic principles of the Opposition.
“I can accept differences of opinion, but it is not worth damaging and destroying an alliance created in 1998. Through this coalition, DAP and PAS could sit together, something that had never happened before.
“I am a little disappointed because there are some in the PAS top leadership who have forgotten the most basic principles of the pact. This is dangerous. We need to respect and protect the idea and have a stand on it,” said the PKR deputy president in an interview with the Oriental Daily.
Azmin said Selangor PAS Commissioner Iskandar Abdul Samad had acknowledged that the Islamist party could not fight alone, and this, he said, showed there was still a chance for talks.
“But there are a few individuals in PAS who have a different stand.”
The menteri besar explained that the defeat in the Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar by-elections did not mean that the Opposition would not rise again.
“To bounce back, the Opposition needs to be more honest, respectful of different opinions, other parties and leaders, aware of people’s realities, to have an Opposition that is strong and united.
“Even though the process is difficult, we should not give up. Opposition unity means the support and cooperation of all parties,” he said, hoping the leaders would have an open attitude and accept the fact that people wanted change.
Meanwhile, Azmin, who was once considered the “adopted” child of ex-premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad, said his relationship with the former prime minister was good, but pointed out that his loyalty was to de facto Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim.
He added that he had not stopped supporting Anwar since the latter was sacked from the Cabinet in 1998.
“In fact, in the last 17 years, I never met Mahathir until last year. The former premier, through a middle man, had asked to meet me.
“I met Mahathir alone after getting approval from Anwar,” he said, adding that he could not accept the charges against Anwar, which he felt were cruel and unkind.
Azmin said he had become Anwar’s aide on the recommendation of Mahathir after his graduation in the United States and upon returning to Malaysia.
He explained that he had to make a choice between the number one and two, after Anwar was sacked as deputy prime minister on Sept 2, 1998.
“They were both very powerful but I chose fairness.”
He said if he had left Anwar for a better position, it would have been very cruel of him. He decided not to be with Mahathir but to protect Anwar because he was good and clean, said Azmin who had served Anwar for over 14 years.