Still recovering from his recent surgery, Economic Affairs Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali today said he is ready to assist Pakatan Harapan’s machinery in the upcoming Semenyih by-election.
“I will set up camp in Semenyih because it is part of Selangor and Selangor is very close to my heart,” the former Selangor menteri besar told reporters when met after a PKR function in Subang Jaya.
“I have recovered. My body is much lighter now, it is easy for me to move around,” said the PKR deputy president.
Azmin said he is also prepared to resume his ministerial duties, particularly on coming up with measures to strengthen the economy and address issues surrounding the cost of living.
Queried about his health, Azmin said the doctors were not too happy with his many activities since being discharged from the hospital last Wednesday.
“But as long as I don’t exert myself, and take proper medication, Insya Allah I should be okay.
“I lost some weight. I lost 10kg. Today when I was on the scale it was 79kg, so I looked five years younger,” he said.
Asked for comments on the strengthened Umno-PAS cooperations ahead of the Semenyih polls, Azmin said it could be part of the opposition’s bloc election strategy.
Azmin, however, expressed confidence that Harapan has proven its ability to bring development in Selangor as well as through various initiatives that have benefitted the people.
“Now is the time for us to go back, engage with the voters, make sure they are still with us and understand our predicaments as the federal government.
“There are legacy issues that we have to deal with, but Insya Allah, everything is back on track,” he said.
‘Unaware of deputy prime minister rumours’
Meanwhile, Azmin also laughed off reported rumours that he would be appointed as deputy prime minister in a purported cabinet reshuffle after the Chinese New Year holidays.
“I don’t know… I was under general anaesthetics for four hours, so I’m not sure what happened outside (the hospital),” he said when asked for comments.
Earlier this week, a blog post had claimed that Azmin would be appointed deputy prime minister after the Chinese New Year and triggered speculation over Harapan’s succession plan which involves PKR president Anwar Ibrahim becoming the eighth prime minister.
Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad subsequently dismissed as “fake news” rumours of the cabinet reshuffle.
ECRL MATTERS STILL OPEN FOR DISCUSSION, SAYS AZMIN
Putrajaya’s discussions with China on the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project are still ongoing, said Economic Affairs Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali.
“The cabinet has decided this matter should be open for discussion. There are new developments that we need to discuss mutually and we should allow the parties involved to continue with the discussions.
“And once we conclude, we will come back to the cabinet and inform the public about the decision,” Azmin told reporters in Subang Jaya today.
Previously there was confusion regarding the ECRL’s status late last month, after Azmin stated that the government had decided to cancel the project, while Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said otherwise.
Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad eventually said that the matter was still being negotiated.
Meanwhile, on whether the project could see a local developer being appointed, Azmin said it would be premature to speculate on such matters.
The ECRL was a BN-era project backed by China, which the Pakatan Harapan government claims was highly overpriced.
Mahathir had said that paying compensation for cancelling the project would be cheaperthan the debt Malaysia would be saddled with if the ECRL were to be continued.