Pas and partners are “best friends”

(NST) SHAH ALAM: Papering over the cracks in Selangor, Pas yesterday reaffirmed its commitment to Pakatan Rakyat, calling the two other parties in the alliance its “best friends”.

It brushed aside talk of leaving Pakatan or being in dispute with Parti Keadilan Rakyat and DAP.

The man at the centre of a storm in the Selangor Pakatan government, Selangor Pas commissioner Datuk Hasan Ali, an executive councillor, denied any infighting between the three parties and said it was a “little mistake on my part or the others who did not understand the information I was trying to convey”.

He was speaking to reporters after a four-hour, closed-door meeting to discuss the open criticism made by Hasan and Pas state secretary Mohd Khairuddin Othman of the select committee on competency, accountability and transparency (Selcat).

The meeting, attended by the heads and secretaries of Selangor Pas’ 22 divisions, began with Hasan explaining his attack on Selcat.

After he was bombarded with questions, the meeting gave its support to the state commissioner, agreeing with him that Selcat should be improved and that the state government should foster a good relationship with civil servants.

This is based on the six resolutions that came out of the meeting.

“All I did as an exco member was to highlight the method of questioning by Selcat. Is it wrong for me to suggest ways to improve its effectiveness and efficiency?” Hasan said.

“Is it wrong for me to suggest ways to improve its image so that the method of questioning is accepted by the public?” he said after the fiery session with some 60 senior members of the state Pas.

He said he would have referred to the state liaison committee on policy “but it would be a mistake to think that I questioned policy matters”.

Refraining from responding to Pas officials who felt he was a loose cannon, Hasan said some of his Pakatan colleagues did not get the right information.

“I want Selcat to be looked upon as an important tool for the government and to be looked upon with respect. “I think that is the little misunderstanding there,” Hasan said, adding that he hoped to end the confusion at a meeting today with Selcat members, the Selangor menteri besar and district officers.

Asked whether it was right for him to speak in public on Selcat, he said the committee’s proceedings were widely reported online.

He further defended his actions after hearing about the Klang district officer’s wife, who was now embarrassed to step out from her home. Klang district officer Bakhtiar Husin was one of the officers questioned.

“Everyone read that the Klang district officer was not efficient and not the right person for the job. “When this became public knowledge, I felt as an exco member that it was apt for me to speak out.”

“How many hearts were broken during the questioning? I highlighted it because the image of Selcat was being tarnished.”

Hasan described the DAP and PKR as “the best of friends”.

On the perception that he did not get along with fellow executive councillor Ronnie Liu of the DAP, he said: “I have known him for 25 years. We are best friends.”


Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad, who was at the closed door meeting, said Selangor Pas wanted Pakatan’s standing to be enhanced by procedural changes in Selcat.

“We do not want government officers to be our enemies and, at the same time, we want to improve the image of Selcat.”

Khalid said party members wanted future statements to be better coordinated, and in the spirit of strengthening Pakatan.

He said some had criticised the method of questioning as too harsh. “We are looking to make the method of questioning more professional.”

The six resolutions passed at the meeting were:
• Hasan’s position as state commissioner and state executive councillor should not be questioned as the post was appointed by the party president and the Selangor menteri besar;
• The state liaison members agreed that Selcat would not run smoothly if suggestions by Hasan were not followed;
•The Selangor state government should look at several principles, such as its responsibilities and integrity;
• The state government should take immediate steps to review Selcat so that it will be respected by all;
• The state Pas will stay with Pakatan and that no statements threatening to leave the alliance will be made;
• The state government must have good relations with its civil servants to further develop the state.