Politicians and diapers should be changed frequently and all for the same reason.

— José Maria de Eça de Queirós, Portuguese writer

Some two months ago, I was chatting with a minister on the never-ending politicking taking place in the country.

There were some statements I’ve made which he disagreed with and vice-versa. That’s all part of a healthy discourse.

However, on the subject of Datuk Seri Azmin Ali, we were on the same page. That is not surprising as it is not difficult to dissect Azmin’s character and personality or read his mind these days.

There are valid reasons as to why Azmin has been described by many as the most vilified politician in the country today. His role as a major player in the Sheraton putsch last February being a key one.

I hope the Senior Minister and Minister of International Trade and Industry or his acolytes will read this, even if they disagree or dislike my message.

If politicians only read what is complimentary to them (all must surely relish ego-boosting articles about them) and condemn what they disagree with, that is not a positive reflection about them at all. Intolerance is one clear indicator of poor leadership acumen.

When I said I think that Azmin is an expert in politicking to further his political ambition, my friend wholeheartedly agreed.

This was his response, “Azmin’s hobby is politicking. He indulges in it day in and day out, from morning till evening, from the beginning of the month till month-end and from the start of the year till it ends”.

In case Azmin doesn’t know, now he is aware of a cabinet colleague’s opinion of him. Understandably, he would resent this.

Not that I expect Azmin to pay heed to what others said or think about him. As a politician, he would probably brush it aside as a colleague sniping at him behind his back, probably jealous or envious of his seniority in the cabinet and his meteoric rise in politics.

But many of us were not wrong. Azmin’s penchant for politicking was in full public view again in recent days.

Clearly, he is after Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, yet again. We can feel Azmin’s intense dislike for his former boss, firing fiery salvos at Anwar these past two weeks.

It is widely believed that Azmin’s role in the Sheraton putsch was primarily to prevent Anwar from becoming prime minister. Why? He is said to be gunning for the top post himself.

On Sept 23 when Anwar dropped his bombshell, announcing that he has the numbers to form a new government, declaring in the process that Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s administration has effectively collapsed, Azmin wasted no time in calling Anwar an “incorrigible liar and political psychopath”.

Now, those were strong, demeaning words indeed!

Anwar wisely ignored the initial salvos from his former protégé.

But that was not enough for Azmin.

On Oct 2, Penggerak Komuniti Negara, a group believed to be allied with Azmin, lodged 46 police reports against the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) president.

The group claimed that Anwar had committed treason by claiming that he had the numbers to form a new government.

Nor Hizwan Ahmad, the group’s leader who is also Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) supreme council member Zuraida Kamaruddin’s aide had accused Anwar of committing keganasan (terror) against the nation’s security and economy.

He urged Anwar to not disturb Muhyiddin’s administration and wait for the voters to decide who should form the next government.

Isn’t that a case of a pot calling the kettle black? Hizwan has apparently forgotten that last February, the schemers and traitors did not bother to respect the 14th general election (GE14) mandate of the voters.

Of course, for someone like Hizman who is on the payroll of his political master, he would do or say anything as ordered.

But why didn’t Azmin or his staunch ally, Zuraida, lodge the police reports themselves if they feel strongly that Anwar had committed treason or terror?
Those are serious allegations and charges with severe repercussions if proven true.

However, we know that this is just politics and politicking.

This Azmin-Anwar rivalry will not end, perhaps until one has left the political scene or this world.

For now, we know who has the upper hand and who is the lesser of the two evils.

Certainly, it’s not the one whose hobby is politicking.

The views expressed here are those of the columnist and do not necessarily represent the views of New Sarawak Tribune.

• Francis Paul Siah is the author of ‘Hijack in Malaysia: The Fall of Pakatan Harapan’ which was recently launched. Contact him at sirsiah@gmail.com. The book retails at RM40 (Sarawak) and RM42 (West Malaysia).