In damning critique of Pakatan, Zaid says Selangor polls the only real answer

Former Cabinet minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim says the political intrigue over the Selangor MB’s post has now exposed that the tripartite pact comprising PKR, PAS and DAP as an inferior alternative to the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng
Former Cabinet minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim says the political intrigue over the Selangor MB’s post has now exposed that the tripartite pact comprising PKR, PAS and DAP as an inferior alternative to the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 20 ― A state election is the only acceptable solution to the crisis inflicted on Selangor through Pakatan Rakyat’s political machinations to remove Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim as mentri besar, a former Cabinet minister said today.

Datuk Zaid Ibrahim said the pact has disappointed Selangor residents by trying to get rid of a mentri besar who steered the state with “some integrity and professionalism” from the time PR took the reins in 2008.

He also said the political intrigue over the Selangor MB’s post has now exposed that the tripartite pact comprising PKR, PAS and DAP as an inferior alternative to the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition.

“The people want a function government and leaders who are able to plan and move the country forward. If there is a better choice than the Barisan Nasional, they will go for it,” he said in list latest posting on his blog, the Zaidgeist.

“Unfortunately, there is none. There may be more corruption under Barisan rule than many would like, but the Barisan has shown its ability to govern without breaking one another's necks and changing mentri besar for no reason at all.”

Rather than using its administration of the country’s richest state to showcase its potential as a replacement for BN, Zaid said the pact failed to display the expected “political maturity” and instead delivered “false hope” to the public.

Zaid, who quit as de-facto law minister during Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's administration and had a brief stint with PKR, slammed his former party for wanting to replace Khalid with president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, despite previously touting the former as a credible leader worthy of leading a state administration.

Zaid said PR are now intent on installing a replacement “whose greatest strength is complete adulation for and subservience towards her husband”, referring to PKR de-facto chief Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

While PR has now reached an uneasy consensus to back Dr Wan Azizah for the post, Zaid asserted that the decision was motivated by political expedience rather than any common goal or “direction”..

Zaid pointed out that although PAS and DAP has now come around to PKR’s point of view, both parties were caught unawares by the so-called “Kajang Move” to oust Khalid in March and the Islamist party had also tried to the very end to push for an alternative to Dr Wan Azizah.

“The reason they are now united is only to avoid a breakup - it was not because, after the shameless wrangling in public, they had found the answers to the 'direction' and 'future' of the opposition.

“They may be united in removing Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim as mentri besar, but that was done to preserve the Pakatan coalition. It was pure self-interest and nothing more.”

Zaid stressed that the public’s faith can only be restored if the parties involved in triggering the crisis are willing to expose themselves to judgement by voters.

He added that Khalid and his supporters should also join the fray, as it would  then give him the opportunity to explain the reasons for his continued defiance and all that had happened over his tenure as mentri besar.

“His credibility requires him to stand firm, clear his name and let the voters judge him. Only the voters' decisions count, so let Khalid, Anwar and the Barisan use the election campaign to explain why each is better suited to govern than the others.

“I hope that this time the people will critically examine the speeches of their leaders with more care and, more importantly, I hope they will judge them on their actions,” he said.

Selangor remains in a political crisis after Khalid removed six PKR and DAP executive councillors following PKR’s decision to sack him for refusing to step down as mentri besar for Dr Wan Azizah to take over.

This has left Selangor in the hands of an independent mentri besar and just four excos from PAS.