PM: Pakatan being disrespectful of the Sultan is not surprising

(The Star) – It is hardly a surprise for the Pakatan Rakyat-led Selangor government to be disrespectful of the state Sultan, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

“They would rather show more respect to the state’s economic adviser, who has no locus standi, than the Sultan, the symbol of sovereignty in the country,” he said.

Selangor’s economic adviser is Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who is also PKR leader.

Najib was responding to reports that Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim had not issued an invitation to the Sultan to attend state-level Merdeka eve celebration in Shah Alam.

The Sultan’s private secretary Datuk Mohamad Munir Bani had claimed that it was a norm to invite the Sultan to the event, adding that it had been a common practice of the previous Selangor government.

“It is also weird that they want to do things like change the flag,” Najib said, referring to reports of individuals waving “alternative flags” to the Jalur Gemilang during the Janji Demokrasi gathering at Dataran Merdeka on Aug 30.

Firing more salvos at Pakatan, Najib said winds of change were also blowing in Selangor with more people responding positively to Barisan Nasional.

Speaking at the Selangor Barisan Hari Raya open house at the Rubber Research Institute here Saturday, he said this year’s crowd, estimated at 100,000, was a lot more than last year’s attendance.

“And it is definitely more than the state government’s Merdeka eve celebration. This proves that the people of Selangor are ready to make that change so that the state’s administration will return to Barisan,” he said.

Najib said while the state government had not fulfilled its promises to the people, the Federal Government had gone above and beyond that was promised in its manifesto with various aid programmes for the people.

Meanwhile, in SHAH ALAM, Khalid defended the state-level National Day celebration against criticisms that the Sultan of Selangor was not invited.

He said the celebration was held according to all common practices and guidelines put into place by the previous state government.

“There was nothing surprising in the way the celebration was held. I did not see anything wrong in the way the function was planned and executed.

“Planning for the event was undertaken by a special task force under the purview of the Selangor state secretary (Datuk Mohd Khusrin Mohd) and it has been doing it this way before 2008,” he said at the Shah Alam Gallery here.

Khalid said that although he would meet the Sultan every Wednesday to discuss various issues, they never talked about the celebration.

“There was no need to discuss the matter as the planning for the celebration was under the state secretary. Besides, there are many other important issues that need attention,” he said.

On Saturday, members of the Selangor Perkasa, including its president Abu Bakar Yahya, lodged a report at the Shah Alam police headquarters on the matter.