‘We did not misinterpret Azmin’s statement on Selangor MB’ – Sinar Harian

(Malaysian Digest) – Malay daily Sinar Harian has refuted PKR deputy president Azmin Ali’s claim that the newspaper had misinterpreted his statement on the leadership of Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim.

Azmin, also Gombak MP, was responding to his comrades who had wanted him to clarify the statement he made.

In a report by New Straits Times today, Azmin denied saying that Abdul Khalid would no longer be the state’s Menteri Besar but will be transferred to a federal ministerial post, should PR take over Putrajaya in the upcoming elections. Instead, he insisted that his statement had been taken out of context.

Sinar Harian’s editorial executive advisor, Datuk Abd Jalil Ali in a statement today said every news, article and picture published in their paper is obtained from legitimate sources either via live interviews, phone calls or on ground.

“It is not in our practice, ever since we began operations five years ago, to change facts in hopes to boost sales,” he said.

“What we published was a recorded interview by our journalist and photographer without anything being twisted or misquoted. Our journalist can produce proof that Azmin had said what he said,” said Abd Jalil.

The New Straits Times today had quoted Azmin as saying, “I was asked a simple and direct question of whether a corporate figure like Abdul Khalid could perform well as a politician or could run a governmnet.

“I never discussed about a Cabinet or about the reshuffling of leadership either at state or federal level.”

Azmin maintained that the reason for him saying so was to dismiss allegations that a corporate figure could not run a state or Federal government.

Azmin’s statement was published in Sinar Harian Online on Wednesday under the heading “MB Baru Selepas PRU13” (new MB after GE13).

That drew the ire of several Pakatan Rakyat (PR) figures, one of them being Faekah Hussin, Abdul Khalid’s political secretary.

Faekah took to questioning Azmin’s jurisdiction in determining who gets appointed as the state’s MB.

“Who is Azmin to make such a deduction? I don’t know what drove him to come up with that statement,” Faekah had reportedly said, adding that the appointment of the Menteri Besar is solely in the hands of the state’s Sultan.

Meanwhile, PAS secretary-general Datuk Mustafa Ali called on DAP and PKR to refrain from making public opinions regarding the PR Cabinet.

Mustafa had reportedly cautioned opposition allies from making such statements as they did not result from discussion with component parties, hence should be avoided so as to not confuse the public.

However, Abdul Khalid himself responded to Azmin’s statement by saying that it was nothing more than a personal view and did not represent that of the opposition coalition. He added that there was also no need for Azmin to apologize.

PKR vice-president N. Surendran had also dismissed Mustafa’s statement, saying that it was more of a “friendly advice” and there was nothing objectionable in that.

Anthony Loke, who is DAP Socialist Youth chief, said that as far as his party was concerned, no such statement has been made.