Why hasn’t Azmin sacked PAS excos?

Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali
PAS' Selangor state executive councillor Zaidy Abdul Talib.
PAS' Selangor state executive councillor Datuk Ahmad Yunus Hairi
PAS vice president Datuk Iskandar Abdul Samad

"AZMIN tells PAS exco men to resign", screamed several headlines over the weekend following the decision by PAS to sever ties with PKR, which helms the Selangor government.

One must surely wonder why Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali did not just sack all three PAS state executive councillors if he truly wanted them out. After all, the prerogative to select or drop exco members is within the powers of Azmin's office.

According to political analysts, Azmin appears to want to keep PAS in the state on his side as he is clearly looking out for political stability.

And he is doing what every wise captain would do, and that is to keep his ship afloat as much as possible as the general election draws close.

"I can understand why Azmin is so reluctant for immediate action. The priority must be to ensure stability and avoid another meeting with the Sultan of Selangor (Sultan Sharafudin Idris Shah) over the state administration," Wan Saiful Wan Jan told theSun yesterday.

The brouhaha also led new state PAS commissioner Sallehen Mukhyi to say PAS's continued involvement in Selangor is because it wanted to continue doing good and to ensure DAP does not involve itself in any mischief.

The last thing Azmin would want to do with elections so close is to irk the Islamist party by pulling the plug on all three PAS exco members, Datuk Ahmad Yunus Hairi, Zaidy Abdul Talib and Datuk Iskandar Samad, and risk seeing PAS shift their support to Umno.

With DAP (14 state seats), PKR (13) and Amanah (2) holding a combined 29 seats in Selangor, a PAS (13 seats) move to join Barisan Nasional would bring the total seat count down to 25.

Factoring in independent assemblymen and former mentri besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim and Teluk Datuk's Loh Chee Heng, both more likely to support the state opposition given their histories, Harapan would then only hold a two-seat majority.

This makes the situation delicate for Azmin, knowing that should any one of the current 29 Pakatan Harapan assemblymen jump ship, it could lead to the collapse of the government or the state's opposition forming a new coalition government.

"I wouldn't be surprised if PAS goes down that route should Azmin forcibly sack them.

"This could possibly be why Azmin is not sacking them. If I were him, I too would want to make friends with as many people as possible," Wan Saiful said.

Independent pollster Ibrahim Suffian said as it stood, the state government remained stable and well-received by Selangor residents, and that Azmin would not want to jeopardise it by expelling the PAS excos.

"Azmin would want to avoid any kind of excessive politicking that could affect the state. But yes, I think it's on everybody's mind that Selangor does not want to head into the elections knowing they only hold a two to three seat majority," he said.

Now ask again, why hasn't Azmin removed PAS exco members from the state government?