Khalid Ibrahim’s Failure to Take Care of Business in Selangor

It is said that one of the most difficult thing about running a state or country is the need to plan far into the future and the necessity of bridging the very wide chasm between that and the demands of the people. It seems like what Khalid Ibrahim is facing is that he is on a journey where he has no plan to stop as he doesn’t nowhere to go and he is being steered by other parties or DAP.

by Haider Yutim, Malaysian Digest 

The Hot Seat of Selangor MB

The seat of Selangor Mentri Besar has always been a hot seat. From the case of Datuk Harun, the undeclared notes of Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib, the alleged sex scandal of Abu Hassan Omar, to the corruption case of Khir Toyo.

And now, it is Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim’s turn as he is facing a variety of issues, both administrative and political. The situation now depends on how Khalid deals with these issues which is expected to last until the next general elections.

Malaysians will always pay attention to Selangor as, for many, it is considered the heart of the nation’s economy and it is surprising that prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak himself, who is also Umno President, has chosen himself to become Umno Selangor State Liaison Chairman.

However, in contrast to the position of the mentris besar before him, which is more associated with internal politics, Khalid faces tests that has jeopardized his credibility and trust among the voters in the most industrialized state in the country.

Khalid’s Issues with Selangor Sultan

Several issues have caused the ties between Khalid and the Sultan become rocky including the water issue and the state secretary issue. In the water issue, Khalid had staged a demonstration to submit a memorandum to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin. The question is, since the Sultan of Selangor is also concerned with this issue, why did Khalid go straight to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong instead of consulting the Sultan first? Does Khalid feel that the Selangor Sultan wasn’t concerned of this issue? Or is it that he feels the Sultan has no power to deal with this issue?

In response, the Selangor Sultan warned that the state will face serious water problems if the water crisis caused by the conflict between state and federal government is to continue. He is also disappointed that this issue is politicized, and doesn’t want the people of Selangor to become the victim should there be any water shortage in the future.

Appointment of Khusrin as SUK

As for the SUK issue, the appointment of Khusrin caused a stir in Selangor recently, mainly to Khalid, who is not satisfied about the appointment as he claims that he was not consulted about the selection.  In response, Khalid announced that Selangor will hold an emergency sitting of the state legislative assembly to change the state constitution to return to the mentri besar and Sultan the power to appoint the state secretary, state finance officer and state legal adviser. He also plans to appoint his own choice of state secretary. Should this be true, then it is not appropriate as mentioned by the Selangor Sultan.

Even to proceed with the state sitting without the Sultan’s consent can make it invalid, then what else if Khalid proceeds to select his own choice of state secretary after former Selangor Islamic Department head Mohamed Khusrin Munawi was appointed to the post.

Analysts believe that if Khalid is to proceed with amending the state constitution then it will surely bring a negative impact not just to his ties to the Sultan but to the Selangor state as well. Thus, by going against the Sultan, the people behind Khalid especially DAP knows that they are getting closer to achieving their agenda of abolishing the special position of the Malays.

Ban on 1Malaysia Logo

The Selangor state government has recently made a move to ban the 1Malaysia logo. For Selangor’s government, the logo only represents a political symbol for Barisan Nasional (BN). But for the BN, they claim that the logo represents the federal government’s call to unite the people of Malaysia to work and live in harmony.

Some of the drastic moves made by Selangor include issuing notices to business vendors to take down their 1Malaysia logo on their premises. There are also buntings and banners known to have been brought down by the orders of some people from ‘high places’. On whether this is a right move is questionable as the people of Selangor are starting to question the credibility of its mentri besar as he has not done much apart from taking action on petty issues such as this one.

Despite the banning of the 1Malaysia logo, DAP continues to use its logo on its food premises called Rocket Cafe which is located in PJ. Inside the cafe, there’s even a big poster of Anwar Ibrahim and Lim Guan Eng with the slogan ‘Jom Ubah’ (Let’s Change). Not just that, the shop also sells DAP books, merchandises and accessories. To ban the 1Malaysia logo but at the same time allow the usage of DAP’s logo, which obviously contains political elements, is somewhat contradicting and confusing. If the Selangor government wants to ban the 1Malaysia logo on business premises due to the political message that it brings, then they should impose a ban to the DAP logo on its cafe as well.

However, Khalid recently explained that it was not a ban but a mere confusion stating that the ban only applies to government-linked companies (GLCs). He also decided to go ahead with his own idea of promoting unity with the ‘Merakyatkan Ekonomi Selangor’ slogan.

All Hopes Lost in Selangor

In Selangor, the mentri besar is entrusted to handle the richest state in the country. If handled properly, nothing should go wrong and, in fact, it should run perfectly smooth. Should the person in charge remain true to what he’s entrusted to do – improve its efficiency and wipe out corruption – then we would actually see some extraordinary progress that voters have been hoping to see. But we have yet to see such developments taking place in Selangor.

Khalid has a chance to show Malaysia what Pakatan can do with a rich and powerful state and convince the rest of the country to vote for them but it seems now that he is showing that he is no different from any other politicians in fact, maybe be even worse.