Sabotage in PKR: Anti-Khalid group leaks meeting recordings to media

(The Ant Daily) – There are possible attempts within PKR’s top decision making body to “amplify” the voices of dissent against Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim.

PKR secretary-general Datuk Saifuddin Nasution told theantdaily he received information that a recording of the party’s Central Leadership Council meeting on Jan 15 was “leaked” to several media outlets, leading to speculative reports on Khalid’s position as menteri besar.

“We (PKR) will investigate the matter (because) it is a serious breach of party discipline.

“The few journalists who we contacted (about the reports) said that they received the recording (of meeting proceedings),” said Saifuddin when met after a press conference at PKR headquarters today.

The press conference was called to refute a Sin Chew Daily (evening edition) report on Jan 22, quoting sources from the PKR council meeting that a decision was made to remove Khalid from his position and he was to be replaced by PKR deputy president Azmin Ali.

“The PKR meeting did not make any such decision to remove Khalid as menteri besar.

“There was also no suggestion (as reported by Sin Chew) for Azmin to replace Khalid,” said Saifuddin, who added that he was sitting next to Azmin, who chaired the monthly meeting, throughout its proceedings.

Contrary to the report, Saifuddin explained there were only three or four council members (from the total 55) who had voiced the “extreme” opinion that Khalid should be sacked for his mismanagement of certain issues in the state.

“It was not a formal suggestion or proposal which was discussed (but) more of expressing their opinions on issues affecting Selangor,” he said.

Saifuddin said these issues, as discussed during the meeting, include the hike in business licence fee, restructuring of Selangor water assets under Section 114 of the Water Services Industry Act 2006, construction of the Langat 2 water treatment plant project, swiflet farming, and the pay hike for Selangor elected representatives.

Prior to the Sin Chew Daily report, an online portal had on Jan 21 carried a similar report quoting sources of PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as saying: “I am not in a position to defend the MB anymore. There is no discussion, no consideration; he thinks it is his state, he is in control.”

The source further quoted Anwar as saying during the same Jan 15 meeting: “No one knows his stand, he does not refer to anyone, no one knows … So we have a problem.”

While it was reported at the time that attempts to reach Anwar to verify his comments were unsuccessful, Saifuddin confirmed that Anwar’s quotes, while taken out of context, were the same as his own notes as secretary-general.

Saifuddin said that Anwar had meant he could no longer defend Khalid against criticisms on his handling of the issues discussed at the meeting, instead of against calls for Khalid to be sacked.

Saifuddin, however, refused to comment when asked whether the calls were made by PKR leaders aligned to Azmin. He also said he would not speculate on who had leaked the recording.

When contacted, Kuala Langat MP Abdullah Sani Abdul Hamid who had on Jan 23 protested against the termination of Azmin’s contract as Selangor State Development Corporation (PKNS) board member, admitted that he is one of the council members mentioned by Saifuddin.

“I am not very happy with the MB because very often he is not following procedures of how things should be handled, especially PKNS,” said Abdullah Sani, who is also the Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) deputy president.

The ongoing spat between Khalid and Azmin is expected to escalate in the run-up to the party elections scheduled for later this year.