‘Khalid will not budge as MB’

Khalid Ibrahim

(The Star) – Despite Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim saying that there had been discussions that he would take over as Selangor Mentri Besar, Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim is not likely to resign, said sources close to the Mentri Besar.

They said, Khalid would only do so if PKR deputy president Azmin Ali also vacates his Bukit Antarabangsa state seat.

“Khalid is firm on this stand and will not budge if this compromise is not met,’’ said a source close to the state government.

According to the source, it has already been agreed for Khalid to give way to Anwar; but by having the PKR adviser contest in Bukit Anta­rabangsa, the seat to be vacated by Azmin.

However he claimed that Anwar went back on his word by asking former Kajang assemblyman Lee Chin Cheh to make way for him to contest the state seat instead.

Another source said Khalid has refused to fulfil his part of the plan as Anwar had failed to convince Azmin to vacate his seat.

“Khalid had declined the second plan involving Lee. His initial agreement was made on the premise that Azmin would be out of Selangor,” said the source.

Another source close with the Mentri Besar office said Khalid had actually agreed to Anwar taking over if he wins a state seat.

“However, he had imposed a condition, that is for Azmin, whom he views as a troublemaker, to be removed from the state assembly.

“He views Azmin as the root of the problem in Selangor and removing Lee for Anwar to come in was not addressing the real issue at all,’’ said the source.

The source also said Khalid, who is popular with the masses for his people-centric policies and down-to-earth personality, would probably not budge if Azmin was not removed.

“Khalid is a very seasoned corporate figure who is well experienced in wheeling and dealing. He will not back off unless he gets what he wants,’’ said the source.

The nation was taken aback when Lee resigned last week and Anwar was named the candidate for the Kajang seat.

The move was seen as part of the measures taken by PKR to remove Khalid who is regarded as a miser for refusing to spend state money unnecessarily.

The rivalry between Khalid and Azmin who is Selangor PKR chief had also seen the latter being thrown out of the Selangor State Develop­ment Corporation board of directors early last month.