Azmin Ali calls time-out on political career

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Datuk Seri Azmin Ali has announced his hiatus from politics, saying he needed to go “back to the drawing board” to decide his next steps.

After failing to defend his Gombak federal seat in the 15th general election last year, the former senior minister had still been tipped for a return to prominence, including talk that he could be presented as Perikatan Nasional’s candidate to be its Selangor menteri besar this year.

However, Azmin has put these rumours to rest, saying he was taking an indefinite break from politics.

“To all Malaysians. It is a momentary pause in my career for public service that warrants going back to the drawing board.

Firdaus Latif

“Nevertheless, there remains no let-up in my resolve to serve the nation and the rakyat,” he wrote on Twitter.

Azmin had been a central figure in Malaysian politics over the past three years, after he defected from PKR with a faction of loyalists as part of the so-called “Sheraton Move” of 2020 that brought down the Pakatan Harapan government at the time.

He came a prominent leader in the government of Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who became prime minister as part of the move, and was made the pre-eminent “senior minister” after the latter opted to forego a deputy at the time.

After Muhyiddin was forced out of office by Umno, Azmin continued to a enjoy an elevated role in the Ismail Sabri administration, in which he was again made the senior minister for the economic cluster.

In GE15 last year, PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim fielded Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari against Azmin in Gombak, in what had then been seen as a test of Amirudin’s loyalty.

Amirudin won the contest by a margin of nearly 13,000 votes, leaving Azmin without an elected seat for the first time since 2008. – MMO