The question is not whether Azmin Ali has been a great administrator or the Genghiz Khan of managers. It is clear he should not hold a position in the Selangor government. He is the economy minister, now. He should do that, and not complicate his governmental brief.
Which is why, it is such a misjudgement. He chose to leave Selangor government, and head to Putrajaya, and he should honour his own decision.
He picked Amiruddin Shari to replace him, and Selangor has to get on with it, with the new MB and his crew.
In Putrajaya, Azmin has to get on with the task of contributing to our economic planning. Working hand in hand primarily with Finance, International Trade, Agriculture, Domestic Trade, Tourism and others in growing the overall pie. There are no light days, if he does his job right.
He will invariably deal with the respective states, therefore being in Selangor even in an emeritus position, may unsettle other states. Would Selangor be his focus, like how Greater KL was the focus of the previous prime minister? It is difficult enough being the former MB, to shed the playing favourites tag fulfilling his new capacity, it would be impossible when actively serving Selangor.
There is the suggestion that Azmin needs Selangor in view of the PKR elections in August. Selangor is the party’s largest state in terms of membership. Is there an eye on the votes, with who-knows what will transpire in the topsy-turvy world of coalition politics?
Regardless if Azmin seeks only the PKR deputy presidency,or aim higher, consolidating Selangor would be a huge consideration for success.
Then there is the small matter of Amiruddin having to operate under the prying eyes of Azmin, if they sit in the same exco meetings, which the new man heads. “Old boss, new boss, kinda boss, but the old boss is an ever bigger boss now which means he really is still the boss,” will be playing in the back of the state’s mind, not the least those in the meetings.
But, is it bad for Azmin?
On the face of it, no, as we Malaysians are always keen on saying the capable must run as many things as possible, even though they can’t halve their minds. Prime minister cum finance minister cum state investment board chairman cum dodgy investment company chairman cum anything one can think of. The precedence is there, and it appears it is hard to rid, especially since it does not disgust the people as much.
It’s bad for Malaysia.
Future of the federation
Because are we saying there are no sources of institutional knowledge without the former MB in the line-up. There is a whole state civil service which has worked with Pakatan for 10 years, they’ll know where the staplers are.
And in regards to talent, a country seeking to raise itself to world standards must believe there are enough world standard people in its midst to call upon to drag the nation up the ranking. If they cannot be found inside the common room the politicians are used to, then they might want to pop over to the next room to have a peek.
But above all things, it’s the overlaps which lead to a lack of transparency and the inability to keep power in check. They leave so much in the hands of so few, derailing speed of reform and the belief in those tasked to have their respective spaces to forward the agenda.
Or can I just say, in plainspeak, we require from those in power now to possess more faith in all of us to make Malaysia better. Otherwise, it’s slower if not more tenuous path to success.