SHAH ALAM, Feb 15 — The Selangor Barisan Nasional (BN) is still licking its wounds from the general election and unlikely put up a strong fight in Kajang, said PKR election director Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim.
Appearing to write off the possible challenge by the rival coalition, the Selangor mentri besar said it lacked a strong leader and appeared directionless and disunited as a result.
“At the moment Datuk Seri Noh Omar is still struggling to get his team together,” Khalid told The Malay Mail Online in a recent interview.
“At the moment I do not see leadership,” he added.
Noh Omar is currently the Selangor Umno state liaison chief, as well as MP for Tanjong Karang.
Despite his analysis of the coalition, however, Khalid still expects BN to enter the fray in Kajang where he predicts they will focus their attacks on the intrigue surrounding PKR’s plans for the mentri besar post.
“Kajang voters are urban voters. Our advantage is that they are educated and well aware of what is happening,” Khalid said, adding that the issue of who becomes MB after the Kajang by-election would not gain traction among voters.
Although Kajang state assemblyman Lee Chin Cheh’s sudden resignation had caused a “rough time” for the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) pact and his administration, Khalid believes that the votes have come to accept the so-called “Kajang Move” to allow Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to contest the seat.
“But what we need to do is to work harder to make sure there is no complacency,” Khalid, who is also the state assemblyman for Port Klang, said.
Anwar said recently that his entry into the Selangor state government would be necessary to tackle rising racial and religious tensions.
He said that he would be able to use his political experience to deflect attacks against the state administration currently led by MB Khalid.
But despite previous denials, the move continues to be viewed as machinations for Anwar to replace Khalid as MB.
The opposition leader and PKR remain coy about the possibility but Anwar conceded that replacing Khalid as Selangor MB is an option “on the table” should he win the Kajang state seat next month.
MCA is expected to represent BN in the poll but has yet to name its candidate, while Anwar’s participation has also sparked interest in old foes to take on the PKR de facto chief.
The by-election will be held on March 23 and nominations are scheduled for March 11.
PKR’s Lee won the Kajang seat in with a 6,824-vote majority in the elections held last May.
The Kajang constituency is 48 per cent Malay, 41 per cent Chinese and 10 per cent Indian.
In Election 2013, PR gained a supermajority in the Selangor state assembly when it won won 44 of the 56 seats or more than it did in the 2008 general election.