Malaysia election: PKR’s Amirudin Shari sweeps Gombak, leaving ex-mentor Azmin in his wake

Selangor Menteri Besar Amirudin Shari (right) and caretaker International Trade Minister Azmin Ali at the nomination centre on Nov 5, 2022. Datuk Seri Amirudin won the seat of Gombak from his former mentor. ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

GOMBAK - Selangor Menteri Besar Amirudin Shari on Saturday proved that he no longer lives under the shadow of caretaker International Trade Minister Azmin Ali, by trouncing his former mentor in the Gombak parliamentary seat.

The 42-year-old Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) candidate won the four-cornered fight with a whopping 12,729 vote majority over Datuk Seri Azmin, ending Mr Azmin’s three-term grip of the opposition stronghold.

For more than a decade, Datuk Seri Amirudin was seen as one of Mr Azmin’s lieutenants in PKR, rising in tandem with his mentor, who was then the party’s deputy president.

Mr Azmin’s strong grassroots support in Gombak had helped him to retain the Malay-majority seat for three terms while he was still with PKR, which leads the opposition Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition. In 2014, he was appointed Selangor Menteri Besar, and handed over the post to Mr Amirudin after PH won the 2018 General Election and Mr Azmin was made economic affairs minister.

But Mr Azmin’s friendship with Mr Amirudin soured in 2020, after Mr Azmin, 52, led a faction of PKR leaders out of PH to form a new federal government with Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, Parti Islam SeMalaysia and PKR’s rival, Umno. The so-called Sheraton Move, named after the hotel at which the plan was supposedly hatched, resulted in the collapse of the 22-month-old PH government.

All eyes were on the Gombak contest in this election as Mr Azmin returned to defend his seat under Bersatu, which helms the Perikatan Nasional alliance.

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