KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 22 ― PKR deputy president Azmin Ali is not qualified to be the new Selangor mentri besar because of his support for the right of Christians to call God “Allah”, Datuk Zulkifli Noordin said today.
Zulkifli, a former PKR colleague sacked from the party in March 2010, also said Azmin, who is reportedly the front-runner for the MB post, should not hold the top post in the country’s wealthiest state also because of his purportedly “terrible” relationship with the prime minister and Putrajaya.
“Azmin has said that he agrees with the stand of the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) presidential council meeting on January 8, 2013, that acknowledged that Christians can use the word ‘Allah’, even though this is against the Quran,” the one-time Kulim-Bandar Baharu MP wrote in an opinion piece published today in Malay daily, Utusan Malaysia.
“The question is, will there be a conflict and confrontation between the Selangor state government led by Azmin and the Selangor Sultan, the state’s Islamic institutions, as well as Selangor law?” asked the man who later joined Malay group Perkasa and was once its vice-president.
Selangor religious authorities have yet to return the Malay and Iban bibles containing the word “Allah” that they had seized from the Bible Society of Malaysia last January during Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim’s administration.
Zulkifli claimed that Azmin did not have warm ties with the federal government, pointing out that Selangor needs to have a good relationship with Putrajaya in major issues like water supply.
“The federal government tried to help through the Langat 2 project to channel water from Pahang to Selangor. Abdul Khalid, who realised that the water issue needs to be resolved with help from the federal government, took a positive step by signing a memorandum of understanding with the federal government,” he said.
He noted that Khalid’s move was widely criticised by Pakatan Rakyat (PR) and that it was said to be among the factors behind the Kajang Move to oust the former PKR man from office.
“On March 7, during the Kajang campaign, Azmin made a speech that clearly shows how bad his relationship is with the prime minister, when he said that ‘Najib is Mahathir’s livestock’,” said Zulkifli.
The former Perkasa leader said Azmin’s remarks were made in response to the Court of Appeal sentencing PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to five years’ jail for sodomy, a sentence that disqualified Anwar from contesting the Kajang by-election in order to enable him to be the next MB.
Zulkifli also argued that Azmin’s “prayer” for the downfall of a political foe rendered the latter unfit for the MB job.
“Don’t forget that Azmin has also made a statement praying for Dr Mahathir to ‘fall flat’ when Tun Mahathir was ill in Australia,” Zulkifli said, referring to former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
The Selangor palace confirmed last week that Khalid’s replacement will be sworn in tomorrow.
Rumours that Azmin is expected to be the new MB have been gaining momentum, with another Malay daily, Berita Harian citing unnamed sources as putting the PKR deputy chief as the frontrunner after the palace’s first pick, PAS assemblyman Iskandar Samad declined the post, allegedly due to health reasons.
In a statement yesterday, PKR reiterated that its president, Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, is the party’s sole nominee for the post.