KUALA LUMPUR, July 26 — All three Pakatan Rakyat (PR) parties have already agreed to nominate Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail to replace Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim as the new Selangor mentri besar, PKR said today.
PKR secretary-general Datuk Saifuddin Nasution Ismail pointed out that it was also agreed during last Wednesday’s presidential council meeting that the issue of nominating the Selangor MB is PKR’s prerogative.
“Pakatan Rakyat’s presidential council meeting on that day confirmed the commitment from each party that PAS and DAP respected the principle of nomination of the mentri besar post should come from Keadilan,” he said in a statement here.
Saifuddin pointed out that six top PAS leaders, with the exception of PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, had attended the meeting and agreed to this.
The leaders are PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu, PAS secretary-general Datuk Mustafa Ali, vice-presidents Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man and Datuk Husam Musa, Youth chief Suhaizan Kayat and central committee member Datuk Dr Hatta Ramli.
Saifuddin added that this mechanism applied to other states as well, where PKR had respected the decision of other PR parties in the past.
“Even in the issue of the Kedah mentri besar post before the 13th general election, Keadilan respected that the nomination should come from PAS even though there were all sorts of requests from PR for Keadilan to state whether we wanted a change in MB,” the PKR man said.
Yesterday, Hadi publicly expressed his support for Khalid to remain as Selangor Mentri Besar despite allies PKR and the DAP’s open declaration that they want Khalid replaced.
“I have heard all the arguments, and I find that majority of PAS grassroots are in agreement that Khalid Ibrahim should remain as mentri besar,” Hadi was quoted as saying in Terengganu yesterday.
Hadi’s defiance, if followed through as PAS’s official position, could push Selangor into a leadership crisis and possibly force the state to hold early elections, observers said.
Political pundits also believe that a snap poll could break the three-party Pakatan Rakyat coalition.
In a strongly-worded statement earlier this week, Khalid warned that any attempt to replace him must be done according to the state legislative enactment, which contained several processes or provisions before a new state mentri besar can assume office.
Khalid survived his own party’s abortive “Kajang Move” to oust him from the position last March, but surfacing controversies in the state have since renewed the push to have him replaced.
Among others, these include the still-unresolved row over the seizure of bibles in the state and Khalid’s perceived partiality towards the developers of the proposed Kinrara-Damansara Expressway (Kidex) that is facing mounting resistance from state residents.
A major barrier to Khalid’s removal was the absence of a clear candidate to replace him, with PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail previously touted as the most likely candidate.