SHAH ALAM: Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) understands why Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Azmin Ali cannot be involved in its Sungai Besar by-election campaigning.
â€œHe has to take care of sensitivities in the state government because three of his senior exco members are from PAS,” Amanah communications director Khalid Samad told a press conference Thursday.
He said having PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and its secretary-general Rafizi Ramli helping in the campaigning is more than enough.
Azmin was not present when Amanahâ€™s Ustaz Azhar Abdul Shukur was named on Wednesday night as the Pakatan Harapan candidate for the by-election.
Dr Wan Azizah explained that her party had decided that Azmin would give the event a miss in line with his position as Pakatan Rakyat head of government in Selangor, which also involves PAS.
â€œThe party decided that Azmin has to take care of his government,” Dr Wan Azizah had said.
On another matter, Khalid said Amanah took a long time to name its candidates for the Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar by-elections because the party had wanted sufficient time for negotiations to prevent three-cornered fights.
â€œWe are sincere in wanting to avoid three-cornered fights but PAS is not interested in discussions or negotiations,” he said.
PAS has named Meru assemblyman Dr Abdul Rani Osman as its candidate whilst Barisan Nasional is fielding Sungai Panjang assemblyman Budiman Mohd Zohdi as its man in Sungai Besar.
Sources say PAS had to “parachute” Dr Abdul Rani into Sungai Besar because none of its local leaders wanted to contest in a three-cornered fight.
Khalid said Amanah picked Azhar because the constituents know him and he is well liked.
â€œHis father was also a teacher in a Chinese school in Sekinchan for a while, so the old timers there know him,” said Khalid.