Saturday, May 11, 2013

Anwar backs Azmin on Khalid’s MB job, says must have consensus

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim appeared to have backed his confidant Azmin Ali in calling for a consultation process for the Selangor mentri besar post after the latter claimed Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim’s candidacy had bypassed the democratic process.

The PKR advisor also appeared to have suggested that the party were considering removing Abdul Khalid when he told Sinar Harian that the consultation should include discussions on other possible candidates for the job.

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“I have no problem with Tan Sri Khalid. But the problem is... there is no problem but there should be consultation. Are there other names? New faces? Do we continue?” Sinar Harian quoted him as saying.

Anwar (picture), however, added that they will solve the debacle within these few days.

The tussle over the mentri besar post has pushed PKR into a leadership crisis with its deputy president now openly accusing the party of “nepotism” when he alleged it had bypassed the consultation process in picking Abdul Khalid for the job.

Azmin also appeared to question Abdul Khalid’s leadership at a press conference yesterday, and said he was seeking a meeting with PKR’s national leaders for a consensus decision to be made on who gets to be the new Selangor MB.

The debacle has sparked talk that Azmin, who is also said to be vying for the position, would leave PKR following the party’s supposed endorsement of Abdul Khalid’s governance.

Azmin dismissed the speculation at yesterday’s press conference where he was flanked by some of the party’s Selangor line-up in what appeared to be a sign of protest against Abdul Khalid’s likely reappointment as the state’s chief executive.

Although the Bukit Antarabangsa assemblyman was evasive when bombarded by questions for his view on the candidacy for the post, the PKR deputy president made several insinuations that leaders from the party’s Selangor chapter were against Abdul Khalid’s reappointment.

However, a majority of Selangor PKR lawmakers and division chiefs want Abdul Khalid to be reappointed as the state’s mentri besar, party sources have said, amid protests by a faction led by Azmin.

The Malaysian Insider understands the endorsement was made at a closed-door “gathering” held at Empire Hotel in Subang Jaya on Monday where most of the 14 state assemblymen, 16 division chiefs and a few federal MPs who attended felt that Abdul Khalid should be allowed to lead the PR Selangor government for a second term.

The two other Pakatan Rakyat component parties, the DAP and PAS, have also backed Abdul Khalid for the job despite winning more seats than PKR in Selangor.

The DAP and PAS each won 15 seats in Selangor at the May 5 general election, with PKR netting 14.
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