Rumble in S’gor PKR


The power struggle among top two PKR leaders in Selangor is not about to die down with state assemblymen taking sides to show their loyalty

Leven Woon, FMT

Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim seems to be walking on a tightrope, facing revolt among fellow party leaders who want him replaced with nemesis Bukit Antarabangsa state assemblyman Azmin Ali, who is also the PKR deputy president.

The fight between the two could result in long-term instability to the state leadership, now in the hands of Pakatan Rakyat.

The 14 PKR state assemblymen in Selangor have taken sides and this has caused nighmares for Khalid in running the state smoothly.

Pakatan Rakyat cornered 44 state seats in Selangor at the last general election in May 2013. Fellow components DAP and PAS hold 15 seats each, in the 56-seat Selangor state assembly.

Seri Andalas assemblyman Xavier Jayakumar and Sri Muda assemblyman Mat Shuhaimi Shafie confirmed that Selangor PKR, headed by Azmin, at a meeting on Jan 12, unanimously decided to write a collective letter to the national leadership stating their unhappiness with Khalid over several issues.

Sources told FMT that the letter triggered the PKR supreme council to discuss the review of Khalid’s position in a meeting on Jan 15, in which “two or three” attendees called for Khalid to be removed.

PKR secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution said no concrete decision was made at the meeting and that Khalid was still the Menteri Besar.

The fact that he is facing revolt from Selangor PKR state assemblymen makes it difficult for Khalid to administer the state efficiently as he would be without the support “his own party leaders.”

Shuhaimi said the Selangor PKR meeting had good attendance made up of state supreme council members, branch chiefs and also elected PKR representatives.

He said the attendees reached a consensus to write the letter to air their dissatisfaction towards Khalid on three issues. The grouses are:

  • Khalid’s decision to enter into a joint effort with the federal government to acquire the Selangor water concessionaires and to allow the federal government to construct the Langat II Water Treatment Plant;
  • Hiking licensing fees affecting shops and factory operators; and
  • Removing Azmin from the Selangor State Development Corporation (PKNS) board.

“Nobody opposed the issuance of the letter, even if there were, they kept silent. So the motion was passed without much ado,” Suhaimi told FMT today.

While momentum against Khalid seems to be growing by the day, observers feel the menteri besar faced an uphill task in running the state even with the backing from DAP and PAS state assemblymen.

In-fighting and internal sabotage is starting, evident when PKR’s Kuala Langat MP Abdullah Sani Abdul Hamid and Batu Caves assemblyman Amirudin Shari organised a protest recently to oppose Khalid’s decision to transfer out the PKNS general manager and executive secretary, blaming them for excluding Azmin from the PKNS board.