Ex-NST boss: Kajang move to prevent mass PKR defections in Selangor

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(MM) – PKR’s Kajang move is more likely the party’s way of preventing mass defections from disgruntled Selangor representatives than to stop Putrajaya from launching a coup in the country’s richest state, veteran newsman Datuk A. Kadir Jasin has said.

The former group editor-in-chief of the New Straits Times cited the factional war between PKR deputy president Azmin Ali and Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim to back his suggestion, saying PKR assemblymen unhappy with the duo’s public tiff could opt out of the party.

He said members of Azmin’s camp are more likely to abandon ship as theirs is seen as the losing faction.

Although Azmin has the support of PKR de facto chief Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Kadir said, Khalid is better accepted by Pakatan Rakyat (PR) allies PAS and DAP.

“So Anwar’s entry into the Selangor DUN has more to do with keeping the PKR ADUNs from abandoning ship than warding off a coup bid by the Federal Government or the BN,” he wrote in a blog posting yesterday.

At a press conference yesterday, PKR’s chief strategist Rafizi Ramli reportedly suggested the possibility of a BN coup in Selangor through the declaration of a state of emergency.

He cited the example of Kelantan in 1977 when the federal government declared emergency and subsequently succeeded in toppling the PAS government.

Should the rising tensions over the “Allah” row escalate into street violence, Rafizi said the federal government could very well repeat the Kelantan example.

But Kadir disagreed. He pointed out that if such tensions should worsen, the same would be the case in other states.

As an example, he pointed out that it was a church in Penang that was recently firebombed, not Selangor.

“So why should only Selangor be the target on an emergency rule by Putrajaya and a coup by the BN?” he asked.

“I think there’s something that Rafizi is not saying.”

Instead of the Kelantan example, Kadir said Rafizi was more appropriately referring to the fall of the Perak PR government in 2009.

At the time, three PR assemblymen – two from PKR and one from DAP – quit their respective parties out of disillusionment with the leaderships, causing PR to lose its three-seat edge over BN in the 59-seat assembly.

BN subsequently took control of the state and swore in its own mentri besar.

But in Selangor, Kadir pointed out that PR has a staggering 32-seat edge over BN, holding 44 seats in the 56-seat assembly.

To wrest control of Selangor would mean that at least 17 PR assemblymen would have to defect.

As such, the newsman told Rafizi and other PKR leaders to “stop making excuses” for forcing the Kajang by-election.

“If they want Anwar as the new Mentri Besar of Selangor just say so. If they want to solve the party’s internal problem via a by-election, so be it.

“There’s no need for them to beat around the senduduk (straits rhododendron) bush,” he said.