The impending Selangor Constitutional Crisis


Hmm…it looks like Umno may be able to take back Selangor after all. But I will not rub salt into your wound by saying “I told you so” if it does happen. That would be too cruel.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

It looks like we are about to see a repeat of the Perak Constitutional Crisis of five years ago. But this time it is going to be the Selangor Constitutional Crisis.

The Perak Constitutional Crisis started when Nasarudin Hashim of Umno crossed over to PKR. Not long after that, Nasarudin returned to Umno, bringing with him DAP’s Hee Yit Foong plus PKR’s Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi and Mohd Osman Mohd Jailu.

After that the Pakatan Rakyat state government of Perak fell.

Now, we all know that story. However, what most Malaysians do not know is, why, in the first place, did Nasarudin cross over and then cross back very soon after that? That is the untold story, which I am now going to tell you — and, as I said before, Malaysia Today dabbles in untold stories.

Anwar Ibrahim was not happy with the PAS Menteri Besar of Perak, Haji Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin. Nizar would not listen to Anwar and would not do what he was told to do.

Anwar wanted certain ‘chosen’ people appointed to various positions in the state, including the State Economic Development Corporation and state-owned GLCs. Nizar, however, would not do that and he told Anwar to stay out of Perak state government affairs and not poke his nose where it is not wanted.

PAS actually did not control the most number of seats in Perak. DAP did, followed by PKR. DAP, however, did not have any Malay candidate while PKR did not have anyone of calibre who could become the Menteri Besar. Therefore they had to give the Menteri Besar’s post to PAS instead.

However, Anwar discovered he could not control Nizar and this upset him big time. So he wanted Nizar out and replaced with a PKR Menteri Besar. But to do this Anwar first needed to find a suitable candidate and PKR did not have one yet.

So Anwar courted Nasarudin and convinced him to cross over to PKR with the promise that he would be the party’s choice for the Menteri Besar who would be replacing Nizar.

After Nasarudin crossed over that was not the end of the story. Anwar had one more hurdle to jump over. And that was to get the consent of His Highness the Sultan of Perak to replace Nizar with Nasarudin.

But His Highness would not give his consent and that spoiled everything. And since Anwar could not make Nasarudin the new Menteri Besar, the latter saw no purpose in remaining in PKR so he went back to Umno, bringing the Pakatan Rakyat state government down when three others followed him.

The situation in Selangor is almost the same. Anwar cannot control Khalid Ibrahim, just like he could not control Nizar. So Anwar wants Khalid out, just like he wanted Nizar out.

Anwar’s problems with Khalid first started when the former told the latter to give him RM2 million to pay the overdue rental on the party’s headquarters. PKR has been squatting in that building for about six years now and has not paid a single sen in rent since day one.

Khalid refused to give Anwar the RM2 million, stating that he could not use state government money for party purposes. This would tantamount to abuse of power and would be interpreted as a corrupt act. Khalid could actually get arrested and charged if he did that.

It was clear that Khalid was not going to financially support the party using state government money. And this came to a head in the May 2013 general election when Azmin Ali complained to Anwar that the PKR candidates were hard-pressed for money to finance the election campaign and Khalid was refusing to help.

The issue here is simple. Anwar and Azmin want Khalid to give them money but Khalid has been refusing to do that since the very beginning. And to make matters worse, Khalid keeps announcing year in and year out how much money the state has in surplus while the party is practically broke — as are most of the PKR people who are surviving only on their meagre salaries, although some are earning loads of money in director’s fees and all sorts of allowances.

Hence, if the party wants to get its hands on the state’s money, Khalid has to go. There are no two ways about it. However, once the Kajang by-election is over, and even if Anwar does win that by-election, there is still another hurdle to jump over, just like what happened in Perak five years ago.

First of all, His Highness the Sultan would most likely never agree to remove Khalid. To do so would mean His Highness is getting involved in an internal party matter. Khalid would have to resign on his own accord, and if he does not, then they would have to pass a vote of no confidence in the Selangor State Assembly. Short of that it cannot be done.

Then the candidate being proposed to replace Khalid must be an anak jati Selangor. If this person were to be an outsider, meaning not Selangor-born, then His Highness would not consent to this person taking over as the new Selangor Menteri Besar. This applies to all the other states in Malaysia as well — the Menteri Besar must be local born.

Taking all that into consideration would His Highness consent to Khalid being sacked and replaced with Anwar? And does His Highness have the authority to say no?

In Perlis, Perak (on two occasions), Terengganu (on two occasions), Pahang, Johor, Negeri Sembilan, and even in Selangor itself on two occasions in the past, the state rulers have had a say in who becomes Menteri Besar. So why should that change now?

And if His Highness says no to Khalid being sacked and replaced with an outsider, are we going to see a Constitutional Crisis in Selangor like what we saw in Perak in 2009 plus many other states before this?

Hmm…it looks like Umno may be able to take back Selangor after all. But I will not rub salt into your wound by saying “I told you so” if it does happen. That would be too cruel.

By the way, do you know who is the master-strategist behind all this? Yes, you are right, Rafizi Ramli, Anwar’s wonder boy and rising star. And if Rafizi pulls this off then he is going to go down in history as the politician extraordinaire of Malaysia.