Hasan Ali a thorn in Selangor, say Pakatan Rakyat reps

(The Star) KLANG: Trouble is brewing in Selangor Pakatan Rakyat with its members turning on PAS, specifically Datuk Dr Hasan Ali, who has become increasingly isolated over the last few days over his many outbursts.

Speaker Teng Chang Khim, who is from DAP, has singled out the Selangor PAS commissioner and exco member as the “only problem” in the partnership that was forged after the March 8 general election.

“There is no communication breakdown among coalition members. Hasan Ali is the only problem in the coalition and he has been consistently inconsistent on various issues,” he said, adding that as exco member, Dr Hasan could have brought up his dissatisfaction through the right channels.

Dr Hasan’s most recent outburst was the calling for a revamp of the Select Committee for Competency, Accountability and Transparency (Selcat), which had come under fire from him for their “grilling” of senior civil servants over allocations.

He had argued that members of Selcat — which is currently staffed by legislative assembly members from both Pakatan and Barisan Nasional — should be made up of eminent persons without political inclinations.

Prior to this, Dr Hasan had also quarrelled with DAP exco member Ronnie Liu over the sale of beer in the state and had wanted to impose a blanket ban on alcohol sale in retail outlets in Muslim majority areas.

Teng, who heads Selcat, said the executive council had weekly meetings.

“There is no reason why he should attack Selcat in the open. He’s trying to take advantage of the situation to gain politically,” he alleged.

DAP Klang MP Charles Santiago was more blunt, calling for Dr Hasan to be disciplined by his party leaders and removed as both state commissioner and exco member.

“We will be stronger and better in Selangor without him. PAS should remove him to protect our best interests.

“He is wrongfully giving the impression that things are not well. There always appears to be two voices to everything with him around,” he added.

“He wants to send a message that he is the one who will protect the Malays in Selangor,” claimed Santiago.

Even Dr Hasan’s party colleague Saari Sungib, who is a Selcat member, has distanced himself, saying that the former should be referred to the House Privileges Committee for making public outbursts.

PKR exco member Yaakob Sapari denied any cracks, saying the group practised freedom of speech and encouraged people to speak up.

“We are allowed to say anything we want and air our views. There’s no problem among us,” he said, pointing out that Dr Hasan’s voicing of opinion should not be misconstrued as trouble.

PAS exco member Iskandar Abdul Samad said it was natural for Pakatan members, who were from three different political parties with different ideologies and philosophies, to have opposing views at times.

“That doesn’t mean there’s a rift between us, because at the end of the day, we can all sit down together, discuss the matter amicably and arrive at a single decision,” he said, adding that any final decision rested with the state’s executive council.

Dr Hasan was not available for comment at press time.