Kajang Move: Anwar fails to tell all

Kajang by-election

The much anticipated ‘tell all’ to the Kajang voters did not materialise, instead Anwar Ibrahim could only say Selangor’s political strength should be fortified

Anisah Shukry, FMT

Despite Anwar Ibrahim’s vow to provide Kajang voters a “detailed explanation” for the engineered by-election and his decision to contest there, hundreds of supporters who flocked to his ceramah here last night were not given any new details.

Instead, voters were treated to a reiteration that the Kajang by-election was orchestrated to allow Pakatan Rakyat to fortify Selangor as the “gateway to Putrajaya” – an explanation already made available on PKR strategy director Rafizi Ramli’s blog since Jan 29.

And although last night’s programme had been touted as the launching of the Kajang by-election machinery, there was no such launch and the expected announcement of Selangor Menteri Besar Abdul Khalid Ibrahim as election director did not materalise.

“We believed that Pakatan Rakyat’s top leaders should come together to resolve [the issues plaguing Selangor] and ensure that it not only has a strong economy, but becomes a model state which firmly defends the rights of its people,” Anwar told a packed Taman Mesra community hall.

“The political strength should be fortified…we must bring change to the point that the people are confident we can take over Putrajaya.”

The PKR de facto leader in his first ceramah to address the Kajang voters, said that Selangor was already under attack by Umno, whom he claimed was playing up race and religious issues in the state. This could not be taken lightly, he stressed.

Anwar denied that the move was done to resolve the ongoing spat between Khalid and Selangor PKR chairman Azmin Ali, who is said to have long been eyeing the top position in the state government.

And while Azmin had previously said Lee Chin Cheh’s resignation as Kajang state assemblyman was a “tactical move”, Anwar claimed he had not undertaken any negotiations with the first-term assemblyman.

“I only met CC Lee two hours before he gave his letter of resignation to Selangor Speaker Hannah Yeoh. There were no negotiations between him and I. I’m not from the politics of Umno, where there are always negotiations.

“I want to defend his image and integrity. We should respect his decision because it was his decision. Yes, it was discussed among several leaders and CC made that decision to allow me to contest in Kajang,” said Anwar, referring to Lee by his nickname.

But Anwar did not address the heated speculation that PKR triggered the by-election to pave way for him to eventually replace Khalid as Selangor Menteri Besar, whom he described last night as the best leader in Selangor’s history.

“We are proud of Selangor’s performance under Khalid’s administration. He is frugal. He is stingy because he is dealing with state coffers, the rakyat’s money. That is not a weakness,” said Anwar.