Six reasons why Khalid must go, according to PKR

While the party acknowledged that Khalid’s performance in managing Selangor during his first term was 'good and satisfactory', PKR highlighted three areas of concern in the state administration. — file picture
While the party acknowledged that Khalid’s performance in managing Selangor during his first term was 'good and satisfactory', PKR highlighted three areas of concern in the state administration. — file picture

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 5 — Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim’s performance as Selangor mentri besar may have been “good and satisfactory” during his first term but according to PKR, missteps taken by the leader as he entered his second term have cast doubts on his level of integrity and ability to work as a team player.

From this, the party leadership has put together a comprehensive report listing down six key reasons why Khalid should no longer helm the country’s richest state

The report, announced yesterday, was distributed to DAP and PAS today in PKR’s bid to convince its allies that Khalid should go before his term expires.

It listed Khalid’s questionable out-of-court settlement with Bank Islam, Selangor’s water restructuring deal with Putrajaya, the Kidex highway project, as well as issues of garbage collection, potholes and the increase of business license fees in the state, as its reasons for wanting the mentri besar replaced.

In the report titled “The Decision to Replace the Selangor Mentri Besar” that was sighted by Malay Mail Online, the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) party cited Khalid’s out-of-court settlement with Bank Islam over his RM70 million debt to the bank as the first reason for his ouster, saying the circumstances surrounding the deal had placed his integrity under suspicion.

“As a party that has experienced problems because of betrayals from former people’s representatives who jumped ship, it is not unusual for the Keadilan leadership to take note of the allegations and actions of its representatives that arouse suspicion,” said PKR in the report.

“YAB Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim’s refusal to give a logical explanation or to act transparently in the matter of settling his RM70 million debt to the bank, especially after his rushed actions in the month following Bank Islam ending its legal action, only strengthened the Keadilan leadership’s conclusions that there was reasonable doubt on YAB Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim’s integrity,” the party added.

The report noted that in March, a month after Bank Islam dropped its loan settlement suit against Khalid, two business deals worth hundreds of millions of ringgit were signed between the Selangor government and Eco World Berhad, a company controlled by Tan Sri Rashid Manaf, whom PKR said was an ex-lawyer of former Finance Minister Tun Daim Zainuddin.

Tropicana Corporation Berhad reportedly announced on March 19 that it sold 308.72 acres of land bought from the Selangor government last year to Eco World.

PKR also noted that the Selangor government’s sale of 1,172 acres of land to Tropicana in April 2013 for RM1.3 billion had appeared to favour the company as Tropicana had 20 years from the date of the agreement to pay the state government in full.

On March 25 this year, less than a week after Tropicana’s announcement on its land deal with Eco World, Khalid reportedly awarded Eco World a contract to build 2,400 affordable houses in Sungai Sering, Ukay Perdana, estimated to be worth RM591 million.

PKR also said Selangor was on the losing end in its controversial water industry restructuring agreement with Putrajaya, pointing out that the federal government obtained Selangor’s approval to construct the Langat 2 water treatment plant, while Putrajaya was not obligated to force a takeover of the water concessionnaires that refused Selangor’s offer.

“On August 1 2014, YAB Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim once again ignored the Keadilan and Pakatan Rakyat leadership when he signed a ‘Heads of Agreement’ deal with the federal government to detail the water restructuring agreements in the MOU (Memorandum of Understanding),” said PKR.

The party added that Khalid had never given copies of the water restructuring agreements to the PR leadership before signing them.

PKR cited the controversial Kinrara-Damansara Expressway (Kidex) project as the third reason to oust Khalid, accusing the MB of ignoring public criticisms despite being instructed by the party leaders to hear out opponents of the construction project.

“It is feared that this will drastically affect the support of non-Malay voters in Selangor for Pakatan Rakyat,” said PKR. “So far, the objections against Kidex have turned into a national issue that can threaten the support of non-Malays in the whole of Malaysia for Pakatan Rakyat”.

While the party acknowledged that Khalid’s performance in managing Selangor during his first term was “good and satisfactory”, PKR highlighted three areas of concern in the state administration.

The first was the problem of cleanliness and garbage collection that PKR said needed to be addressed quickly.

The second was residents’ frequent complaints of potholes. PKR pointed out that its leadership has instructed Khalid several times to fully spend the annual federal grants on fixing roads.

“From 2010 to 2012, only RM640.24 million was spent as it should be to fix roads, while the remaining RM499.76 million was saved,” said PKR, citing the 2012 Auditor-General’s Report.

The last issue was the tripling of business license fees in Selangor amid the rising cost of living that PKR said was against PKR’s and PR’s principles.

“Keadilan believes that an administration is the result of teamwork, not the reliance on one person alone, no matter how smart or capable that leader is. The capability and skills of a leader as an administrator also cannot ignore basic principles, integrity, honesty, respect for collective decision-making and responsibility,” said PKR in its conclusion.

PKR said the report was written to fulfil PAS spiritual adviser Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat’s request for the party to give official reasons for wanting to change the Selangor MB.

The PR leadership council is set to meet on Sunday to come to a final decision on the issue after PAS and the DAP meet separately to discuss if they will accept PKR’s nomination of party president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail to replace Khalid.