It will be hard to wrest back the Gombak parliamentary seat held by Mohamed Azmin Ali since 2008, said Amirudin Shari.
The Selangor menteri besar said while PKR doesn’t deny Azmin’s influence among Gombak voters, the opposition is preparing to launch a challenge to wrest back the seat.
“In Gombak, 77% of the voters are Malays and this is a challenge for PKR. But we will see how far we can go.
“Is it going to be an individual factor (Azmin) or a candidate party factor that will draw the crowd?” he told The Malaysian Insight.
Azmin has held the Gombak seat since 2008. He was appointed as Selangor menteri besar in 2014 and relinquished the post in 2018 to take on a cabinet post after Pakatan Harapan came into power.
The Gombak and Ampang (MP Zuraida Kamaruddin) parliamentary seats, Amirudin said are going to be a challenge if snap polls are called.
The party at a state convention vowed to wrest back both seats from personalities whom it calls traitors to the reformist cause.
PKR information chief Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin reminded Azmin and Zuraida that the two seats are traditionally PKR seats and that the duo had betrayed the party by defecting.
“We wish to remind these traitors that these are PKR territories. We will fight to win back Ampang and Gombak in the (next) general election,” he told a PKR convention in Ampang on Sunday.
Azmin retained the Gombak seat in the last general election by 48,721 votes, beating Barisan Nasional’s Abdul Rahim Pandak and PAS candidate Khairil Nizam Khiruddin.
Azmin polled 75,113 votes while Rahim garnered 26,392 votes and Khiril (17,537).
Zuraida has held the Ampang seat since 2008. She was also former PKR Wanita head.
She retained the seat for PKR by 41,956 votes, polling 54,307 votes against BN’s Leong Kim Soon (12,351), PAS candidate Nurul Islam Mohamed Yusuf (9,598) and PRM’s Tan Hua Meng (294).
On February 24, PKR sacked Azmin and former vice-president Zuraida.
They together with 10 MPs joined Bersatu led by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.
Amirudin believes that the opposition still has hope, especially in semi-urban and urban areas.
“I believe with our track record and achievements the people can compare between individuals and what the party has done.
“We must understand that the representation (for the seat) must not focus on only one group (Malays).
“Maybe in Ampang, the opposition might have a chance as 40% of the voters are non-Malays.”
Pakatan Harapan must also see what seats Perikatan Nasional are discussing.
“We see that Muafakat Nasional has expressed different views at the Gombak locality level.
“It’s an uphill battle for both to retain their seat as it will be up to the individual’s influence and their pulling factors to retain the seats in the next general election.”
Amirudin said it’s not an “easy road or an open highway” for Azmin or Zuraida in their respective constituencies.
“It’s going to be a battle in their respective constituencies when their influences and factors will be tested in GE15.
“There are state, federal and the candidates’ factors that are involved…which can also determine the outcome.”
Voters are more pragmatic now, he said, which will make the seats competitive.
“Voters are more open now to whichever party that can explain the current situation (what’s happening in Selangor).
“In order to win we need to get more than 50% from the turnout (GE15).
“Because if more people come out and we have a positive impact, good governance and a proper campaign, then we can win.” – TMI