WELL-KNOWN for crude political stunts aimed at “exposing” the Selangor government, Umno’s Jamal Yunos wants to fight Azmin Ali for the menteri besar’s post to change the country’s richest state for the better.
The Sungai Besar Umno division chief, who leads the Red Shirts group of vigilantes, said unlike his previous antics, his contesting the Bukit Antarabangsa seat was no gimmick as he sincerely believed he would make a better menteri besar than Azmin.
Jamal said Selangor Umno liaison committee chairman Noh Omar had given him the green light to contest the seat in the next general election, which must be called by August.
“I want to contest in Bukit Antarabangsa because there is no challenge if I were to contest in Sungai Besar. I want a real challenge.
Jamal declared he was not afraid of losing.
‘I can win hearts’
“If I were afraid to lose, I wouldn’t be contesting in Bukit Antarabangsa. I would be contesting in Sungai Besar or Sekinchan, which are safe seats for me,” he told The Malaysian Insight.
He said he would soon launch his service centre in the state seat, which is under the Ampang parliamentary constituency also held by Azmin.
“We will first launch our election machinery in Bukit Antarabangsa.
“I believe I can win the hearts of the people here and convince them to return the seat to BN (Barisan Nasional) because two terms with Azmin have brought no changes.”Azmin, who has held Bukit Antarabangsa since the 2008 polls, defended the seat in 2013 against BN candidate Nazim Ibrahim, beating him with a majority of more than 4,000 votes. In the last election, Bukit Antarabangsa voters were 57% Malay, 36% Chinese, and 6% Indian.
Jamal last month announced his intention to contest the seat and has posted photos of himself on social media holding up a banner with the words “N19 Bukit Antrabangsa”.
Controversial reputation no problem
He did not think his reputation of being a controversial leader and track record of pulling outrageous stunts in the name of showing up the PKR-led Selangor government would hurt support for him.
“The decision lies with the prime minister (Najib Razak). I have done my best, if I’m a potential candidate I hope the prime minister will field me.
“I have already expressed my intention to Ampang Umno division chief Ismail Kijo that I’m serious about contesting.
“Initially there were complaints, but I have managed to convince them that what I’m doing is for the good of Selangor.”
Jamal is also unfazed by Azmin’s able defence of the seat in the last election as Jamal believed the PKR deputy president had done little for his constituents.
“The Ampang Jaya Municpal Council hall is in a dilapidated condition and so are other amenities. If I win, I will upgrade the area and the surau here.”
Jamal warned that Azmin “and his cronies” would be jailed should BN win back Selangor.
Jamal is no stranger to controversy when it comes to run-ins with the Selangor government.
His Red Shirts movement took form as a counter-protest to rallies organised by electoral reform coalition Bersih 2.0. He has since launched numerous attention-grabbing stunts, including appearing in nothing but a towel at the Selangor secretariat to protest water cuts in Ampang. More recently, he smashed bottles of beer outside the same building to show his objection to the state’s decision to conditionally allow beer festivals.
‘Azmin will run away’
While many of Jamal’s protests have been against the Selangor government, whose leaders are from the federal opposition, Pakatan Harapan (PH), the largely Chinese DAP is a favourite target.
On September 30, he held a “market day” to sell fresh fish at lower prices and blamed DAP and Chinese middlemen for conspiring to raise prices so that the rakyat would be angry with the government.
Jamal has vowed continue to with such stunts until the issues in Selangor that he has raised are resolved,
Becoming the menteri besar would, of course, be the ideal solution.
“If I win and defeat Azmin Ali and if BN takes back Selangor, that means the person who defeats Azmin is the most deserving of being the menteri besar.
“My only fear that Azmin will run away to (contest) another place. If that happens, I will ask the Umno leadership to allow me to face off with Azmin wherever he contests in Selangor.”
THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT