To resolve Selangor crisis, Khalid says willing to be MB again
KUALA LUMPUR, June 26 ― Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim has offered to resume the post of the Selangor mentri besar to end the current uncertainty over Pakatan Rakyat’s (PR) rule in the state.
Khalid, who was sacked from PKR last year in a leadership putsch that cost him the mentri besar post, said, however, that he would only consider making a comeback if he wins a vote of confidence in the state assembly with a simple majority.
“Yes I am willing (to return) to ensure that Selangor is administered with transparency, accountability, competency and is free from corruption,” the Port Klang assemblyman told Malay Mail Online.
Khalid added that he was not interested in petty politics, but wanted to do what he could to ensure that the needs of the people in Selangor are cared for.
The three-party PR coalition currently holds the majority in Selangor with 43 state seats, with DAP and PAS each having 15 seats while PKR holds 13 more.
Barisan Nasional (BN) has 12 seats in Selangor, while Khalid is the state’s sole independent lawmaker.
Although PKR holds the least number of seats among PAS, PKR and DAP, the party’s deputy president Azmin Ali was picked to replace Khalid last September as Selangor mentri besar following a consensus agreement by all three parties.
Apart from the hudud controversy, Khalid’s ouster has also been blamed for the souring of ties between PAS and DAP, which led to the former party’s decision earlier this month to end its working relationship with the latter.
Although yet to be endorsed by PAS’s Syura Council, which is expected to meet this week, the fallout between DAP and PAS has thrown PR’s rule in Selangor into a state of uncertainty.
Without PAS’s numbers, PKR and DAP’s assemblymen only occupy 28 seats or exactly half the 56-seat assembly and short of a demonstrable majority needed to govern the state.
With his position as MB possibly in jeopardy, Azmin has since disagreed with DAP’s claim that PR is dead, insisting instead to stand by his party leadership’s assertion that although PAS and DAP have parted ways, the pact still exists in spirit.
However, the Sultan has the authority to call for a state election should he find that Azmin no longer has the support of the majority in the state assembly.
Aiding Azmin’s position is the fact that PR is ― or was ― an informal pact that exists only in name and is not an official entity in the same manner as BN.
Last week, Khalid alleged that Selangor residents are being made to pay by PR whose political intrigue now puts the state at risk of snap polls.
Khalid said the three parties were disregarding the interests of the state and its residents in the pursuit of their own.
“Excessive political manoeuvring and shenanigans have again taken the priority over the wellbeing and welfare of the Selangor people,” he was quoted as saying by the New Straits Times.
“Greed, insensitivity and lack of magnanimity all are ingredients for deep distrust, non-cooperation and finally a fallout. Sadly in the end, the rakyat are the biggest losers,” Khalid added.
DAP and PAS, have been at loggerheads for nearly a year now, with the former accusing the Islamist party’s leadership of breaking ranks during last year’s Selangor mentri besar crisis and unilaterally pursuing the implementation of Islamic penal law or hudud in Kelantan.