KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 12 — PAS must immediately clarify if its Selangor assemblymen will side with Umno representatives in supporting embattled Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim who is clinging on as mentri besar, with ally DAP saying that a refusal to do so signified an end to the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) pact.
DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said that PAS’s reluctance to state the affiliation of its state assemblymen is the last lifeline of the Selangor mentri besar, who has been publicly rejected by lawmakers from both PKR and DAP.
Lim said that clarity on PAS’s stand in the matter was now imperative as the implication of Khalid’s claims that he still commands the majority of the state assembly was premised on a co-operation between the Islamist party and rival Umno.
“If PAS refuses to endorse a change of the Selangor Mentri Besar, by replacing Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim with PKR’s choice of PKR President Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, this will immediately lead to a break-up and end of PR both in Selangor and nationally,” Lim said in a statement today.
The demand is the most direct issued to PAS since the start of the crisis, after the Islamist party broke away from a purported agreement with PKR and DAP to replace Khalid with Dr Wan Azizah.
PAS was due to meet and deliberate on its support for Khalid on August 10, but has now postponed this twice, first to August 13 and again to August 17.
PKR has since sacked Khalid for insubordination following his refusal to yield to the party’s decision to nominate its president as his successor.
Yesterday, Khalid told reporters that the Selangor Sultan has consented to him remaining as mentri besar, after he convinced the ruler that he still commanded the confidence of the majority of the state assemblymen.
Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin yesterday said that all 12 Barisan Nasional assemblymen will unconditionally support Khalid to remain as mentri besar.
Today, Lim said the new development meant that further dallying by PAS would be a neglect of public trust.
“Failure by PAS to provide clarity will only further erode PR popular support and damage voters’ confidence not only in Selangor but also nationally,” he added.
Khalid’s position was thrown into question after PKR’s disciplinary committee expelled him on Saturday ostensibly for his open defiance of the party’s decision that he must step down to make way for PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.
Khalid’s sacking leaves the coalition in a precarious state and will add to worries that snap polls may have to be called to ward off a stalemate.
Without Khalid, PKR’s share of the 56-seat Selangor state assembly drops to 13 from 14 while allies DAP and PAS have 15 seats each. Umno, the opposition in the state, holds 12.