PAS leaders continue angry tirade over Kajang

Dr Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali

(MM) – Despite assurances of support by PAS’s top leadership, heads of the party’s various wings remain unassuaged over the sudden decision by Pakatan Rakyat (PR) partners PKR to hold a by-election for the Kajang state seat.

Criticism by leaders from PAS’s ulama and youth wings intensified as they grapple with what they claimed was tantamount to betrayal of the deal struck between the three PR partners in Selangor, especially over the coveted mentri besar post.

Dewan Ulama information chief Datuk Dr Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali said the position of current Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim should not be questioned, as his appointment was agreed to by PAS President Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang.

“The PAS president decided that Abdul Khalid be appointed as mentri besar. If PKR insists on their action (to replace the mentri besar), that is the same as insulting our president,” Mohd Khairuddin was quoted as saying in Malay daily Sinar Harian.

State PAS youth leaders also reacted strongly against the sudden vacancy, with several division leaders already declaring in separate reports in the Sinar Harian that they may not support PR’s campaign this time around.

Kuala Langat PAS youth chief Hairul Nizam Tohar said they would be hard-pressed to give their support, unless PKR can give a convincing explanation for the current fiasco.

Petaling Jaya Selatan PAS youth chief Aziz Mahaiyuddin said Lee’s resignation had only succeeded in denting the rakyat’s trust in PR, while Pandan PAS youth chief Mohamed Zahriezan Jamaludin said the Kajang seat should be given to a PAS candidate instead of Anwar.

On Tuesday, PKR de-facto chief Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim announced his intention to contest the Kajang state seat, barely a day after incumbent Lee Chin Cheh announced his sudden resignation from the state legislative assembly.

Lee’s decision to quit came hot on the heels of media speculation of a ploy to pave way for Anwar to become a member of the state assembly, so he can qualify to take over from Khalid as mentri besar.

PKR leaders have so far denied the claim, though PKR deputy president Azmin Ali revealed that the opposition leader had known about Lee’s plan to resign beforehand.

The denial, however, did little to pacify PAS leaders at both state and national level, who felt that Lee’s sudden decision was a betrayal of voters’ trust and that any alleged attempt to replace Khalid with Anwar goes against what had been agreed by the three PR partners.