Friday, February 26, 2016

Azmin must answer CheguBard's claims

It has been just about a year since opposition PKR deputy president Azmin Ali took over leadership as menteri besar of Selangor, the nation's most prosperous state.

In that short span of time, Azmin's helm is being condemned by some as being Umno-friendly, given Azmin's leanings towards cronyism - he was said to have offered road maintenance projects in the state to Umno-linked companies.

According to PKR life member Badrul Hisham Shaharin, one of the three companies has a track record of not completing projects.

"All three companies are linked to Umno. There is no need to wonder why Umno is not hitting out at Azmin. He also played a role in ensuring Pakatan Harapan is not as strong as it should be."

This damning accusation plus allegation that Azmin, who is also the assemblyperson for Bukit Antarabangsa, practices cronyism in the appointment of local councillors begs clarification from the menteri besar.

Badrul, who is better known as CheguBard, wants answers from Azmin, and he and the people of Selangor have every right to know the truth.

Be it claims that Azmin  was bulldozing appointments of his cronies as local councillors without regard for the party and state guidelines or that the menteri besar had no qualms about spending millions on renovating a mosque, they give rise to the question as to just how capable Azmin is when it comes to striking a balance between power and responsibility.

It was not only the RM65.7 million set aside for the renovation of a mosque that rattled CheguBard. He is also dumbfounded that the Selangor government approved RM32.4 million to change a mosque dome and approved an additional RM33.3 million to renovate the mosque's administration office.

"There is a mosque that was built after waiting 10 years for allocation in Rawang."

So why is Azmin hardly batting an eyelid in wasting away state funds on refurbishment works? Is it a question of need or is it all about the menteri besar flexing his political muscle to supposedly define his leadership?

Azmin must clarify

If these claims made by CheguBard are baseless and defamatory, it becomes all the more necessary for Azmin to take a stand and defend himself.

Until and unless the menteri besar has the wisdom to clarify matters, these one too many allegations that have cropped up threaten to disrepute Azmin's administration.

As for CheguBard, the claims made against Azmin saw him come under attack from the Selangor PKR Youth wing - it wants the party's disciplinary board to re-open its investigation on the former over his continued attacks on Azmin.

Selangor PKR Youth deputy chief Zainol Abidin Mohamed, at a press conference, rubbished claims made by Chegubard and described the latter's antics against Azmin as wild allegations and a publicity stunt.

“We urge the disciplinary committee to reopen the case against Badrul that we lodged last year. We ask that Chegubard’s membership be revoked as we don’t want him to cause cancer to our beloved party,” said Zainol.

Cronyism and wastage of funds aside, there is also the issue of mismanagement of logging contracts in Selangor, the evidence of which CheguBard has submitted to the PKR disciplinary board.
"I have testified and Azmin has been given a chance to defend himself. I was told that I had a case against Azmin. If no action is taken, I will be forced to leak the documents which are protected under the Official Secret Act," said CheguBard.

To make matters worse, the state administration under Azmin has turned egoistic, and according to CheguBard, it dismisses criticism in a typical Umno/Barisan Nasional style.

If Azmin's leadership is all about being a chip off the old block i.e. emulating Umno/BN's way of handling power, the people of Selangor then have every reason to worry.

The trouble is Azmin has shown no interest in negating the claims made by CheguBard. The menteri besar's silence would only confirm the truth behind the saying that 'absolute power corrupts absolutely'
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