Phahrolrazi breaks his silence over Kedah crisis

Azizan laughs off demand, says he will only listen to Pas president

(NST) – ALOR STAR: DATUK Phahrolrazi Zawawi, breaking his silence yesterday, said he has strong views on the leadership style of Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Azizan Abdul Razak, who must now meet some of his demands for him to return as state executive council member.

In what was intended as a “tell-all” press conference, Phahrolrazi said the other rebel executive council member, Datuk Dr Ismail Salleh, shared his sentiments against Azizan.

The press conference at his house in Taman Gunung Bayu, Lencong Barat, near here, came on the day the other executive council members were sworn in for the 2012-2013 term.

Phahrolrazi and Dr Ismail had reportedly written to Azizan, requesting to stay out of the line-up, and Pas secretary-general Datuk Mustafa Ali had since asked the menteri besar to retain the status quo.

Phahrolrazi declined to reveal his “terms and conditions”, but requested the party leadership to mediate peace talks between him and Azizan. His existing tenure as executive councillor expires on March 7.

In an immediate response, Azizan said he found it amusing to learn about Phahrolrazi’s stance and demand.

“What’s with him? I don’t know what he is saying,” he said laughing off his former No. 2 in the Kedah Pakatan Rakyat government.

Asked if he would consider reappointing Phahrolrazi, Azizan said: “There is no hurry to decide. Let’s wait on his next course of action because he has until March 7.”

Asked about Dr Ismail, who has since “gone into hiding”, he said: “He can also wait.”

Phahrolrazi and Dr Ismail’s actions have been deemed by Azizan’s supporters as efforts to topple him.

Azizan, who is Kedah Pas commissioner, yesterday maintained that he takes no orders from anyone except party president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang.

He also dismissed a call by Mustafa to reinstate the rebel duo.

“I am only answerable to the party president and not to anyone else. Was the call made on a personal basis or was it a directive from the party leadership?

“As far as I know, the central committee has not discussed the matter. So, I don’t know,” he said when questioned on his defiance to heed Mustafa’s call.

Azizan was speaking after witnessing the swearing-in ceremony for eight state executive councillors, including five of his loyalists, at Istana Anak Bukit here yesterday.

Azizan, seen as fighting back attempts by Pas and Parti Keadilan Rakyat leaders to topple him, also said he did not have to answer to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

“Anwar may be the opposition leader but the respective parties in Pakatan Rakyat have their own leaders and we follow what our leaders tell us to do.”

Meanwhile, Bernama reports that Pas will hold a special central committee meeting tomorrow to discuss the issue surrounding the Kedah executive council line-up.

Mustafa said a Pas central delegation led by deputy president Mohamad Sabu, vice-president Salahudin Ayub and assistant secretary-general Syed Azman Ahmad Nawawi had met with Azizan and Phahrolrazi yesterday to discuss the matter.

“The outcome of this meeting will be among matters to be discussed at the special meeting on March 1,” he said when contacted yesterday.

However, Mustafa declined to reveal the outcome of the meeting with Azizan and Phahrolrazi, except to ask the media to refer to Salahudin’s statement carried by the party organ, Harakah.