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Amirudin admits Azmin 'the mathematician' was a good MB, very careful

But the Selangor menteri besar says his predecessor was too detailed and would micromanage, traits he says are not good for a leader.

Staff Writers
2 minute read
Selangor Menteri Besar Amirudin Shari (right) and his predecessor, Mohamed Azmin Ali.
Selangor Menteri Besar Amirudin Shari (right) and his predecessor, Mohamed Azmin Ali.

Selangor Menteri Besar Amirudin Shari has admitted that his former mentor turned rival Mohamed Azmin Ali was a good administrator when he led the state government five years ago.

Amirudin, who is currently tasked with fighting off the biggest electoral challenge to the Pakatan Harapan (PH)-led government since it came to power in 2008, was responding to a question from Khairy Jamaludin in the latest edition of the podcast Keluar Sekejap, which he co-hosts with former Umno comrade Shahril Hamdan.

Khairy had asked Amirudin, who served as an exco member during Azmin's administration, whether his former boss was a good menteri besar.

"In certain aspects, yes, he was a good MB," Amirudin said, before quickly adding, "But because his method is to micromanage, sometimes he would take so much time to make decisions and be very careful, just like one is doing mathematical calculations," Amirudin said, alluding to Azmin's academic qualification in the field of Mathematics.

Asked if Azmin's penchant for details in arriving at a decision was due to his background, Amirudin said it is not a good trait for a leader entrusted with administering a large state.

Saying Azmin was politically ambitious, including for the country's top office, Amirudin said Azmin's "micromanaging" approach would not help him.

Amirudin has been stepping up his attack on Azmin since defeating him at last year's general election.

The attacks have increased in recent days in the run-up to the Aug 12 polls, with Amirudin claiming that he managed to attract more investments as well as handle the Selangor economy better than Azmin.

Azmin completed his bachelor of science degree in economics and mathematics from the University of Minnesota before later teaching modern and additional mathematics at Mara Junior Science College (MRSM).

He was picked by Dr Mahathir Mohamad in the eighties to work for the government and later for Anwar Ibrahim, with whom he fell out in 2020 following years of factional politics within PKR.

Azmin was appointed as the Selangor menteri besar in the aftermath of the failure of the so-called Kajang Move in 2014, a strategy devised by Anwar and his supporters with the goal of ousting then-menteri besar Abdul Khalid Ibrahim and replacing him with the PKR leader's wife, Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.

The plan fell apart following opposition from PAS – then an ally of PKR and DAP – culminating in Azmin's rise in Selangor politics. He had to vacate the state post in 2018 after then-prime minister Mahathir offered him a federal Cabinet post as the economic affairs minister.

Selangor is seeing some of the biggest battles in the upcoming state elections, with Azmin heading Perikatan Nasional's (PN) charge in the quest to wrest the state.

There have been multiple surveys on the chances for both PN and PH, the latter having joined hands with Barisan Nasional (BN).

Pollsters have predicted everything from a clean sweep for PH-BN to PN successfully capturing the state on the back of a tide of support from Malay voters.

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