Pakatan Harapan has identified a candidate to be the prime minister should it win the coming general election, PKR deputy president Azmin Ali said today.

However, Azmin, who is also Selangor menteri besar, declined to name the person selected.

“We do have (a candidate for the prime minister’s post), and we will announce it at the right time,” he said when attending the #Peoplecentric Carnival at Kota Damansara.

Azmin said this when asked whether Harapan was ready for the 14th general election (GE14), since it was yet to determine its choice for the PM’s post. It is widely speculated that Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak may call for the election in September.

Speculation has also been rife that Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) president Muhyiddin Yassin is one possible candidate to be prime minister, while Azmin could possibly be picked as the deputy prime minister.

Asked about this, Azmin said, “There are so many capable leaders in the country to lead. I am just a small leader for Selangor.”

Harapan wanted to identify a temporary prime minister while waiting for jailed leader Anwar Ibrahim to be released from prison and be eligible to contest in the general election.

Veteran DAP leader Lim Kit Siang was reported to have proposed opposition leader Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail as the interim prime minister, with Muhyiddin Yassin as her deputy.

With Bersatu joining the opposition pact, Harapan is currently seeking to register the coalition with the Registrar of Societies (RoS).

It was reported that the names of Bersatu chairperson Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Wan Azizah were submitted to RoS as the council adviser and chairperson respectively.

Coup drama being played up

Azmin also said that a drama was being played up in Selangor, as though there would be a coup within the ruling party in the state.

“Many are jealous (with our performance), If we watch (TV news) at 8pm every night, I am attacked on a daily basis and the state is bullied.

“During the week I was abroad, it was played as though there will be a coup in the state, as though the state government will be ousted as we are not stable. This is all drama and a game played up by them (referring to the BN, but not naming it),” Azmin lamented.

Azmin was away in Taiwan, Jordan and Egypt in the past one week.

“I am not nervous. I assure you that the state government will remain stable, intact and strong under the current administration. Don’t play with me, this is the mandate given by the rakyat,” he told the crowd in his speech at the event.

Asked about this after the event, Azmin jokingly said he was referring to Umno minister Noh Omar.

On another development, Azmin blamed the federal government for the state’s the Paya Indah Wetlands project being held back. The state government unable to present the project paper at a National Physical Planning Council meeting chaired by Najib last week.

“Under the current provisions (of law), we have to submit (a project paper) to the National Physical Planning Council if a project exceeds an area of 100 acres.

“It was in this context we brought the paper to the council. But I was informed that a minister instructed the paper to be excluded (from the meeting). So, the blame is not on us,” he explained.

Elaborating further, Azmin said the minister told the secretariat that prepared the paper and submitted it to the council a week ago not to table it.

“So, we have to wait until the next meeting,” he said.

“He should have allowed the paper to be tabled to the council. Why did he ask for the postponement of the paper?” Azmin asked.

The project needs the approval of the federal and state governments, with the council needing to give its approval after determining the proposed infrastructures. The local authority would decide on the development order and planning, he added.

Noh Omar, who is the urban wellbeing, housing and local government minister, had urged Azmin to come clean on the progress of developments around the Paya Indah Wetlands.

The minister claimed that the project had commenced without approval from the National Physical Planning Council.

– M’kini