PKR still pursuing plans to replace MB Khalid, insiders say


(The Malay Mail) – Some PKR leaders are still pursuing plans to unseat Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim and are confident they will get the support from allies DAP and PAS even with Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim now out of the picture.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, key party officials told The Malay Mail Online that top leaders in the three Pakatan Rakyat (PR) parties are agreeable that Khalid must to step down as chief of the country’s wealthiest state.

They said Khalid’s arch rival, PKR deputy president Azmin Ali, has been touted by party leaders as the replacement, and that the party is now working to convince PAS and DAP to agree to this proposal.

“Azmin is a logical choice since Anwar cannot become Selangor MB, he has the political experience,” a high-ranking PKR leader said, adding that Azmin has the support of senior party members and at grassroots level.

The PKR MP also said that Azmin is the “right” choice as the Bukit Antarabangsa assemblyman has a good “working relationship” with the Selangor palace.

Khalid’s tendency to unilaterally make decisions in administering Selangor has stirred dissatisfaction among PR leaders, especially PKR leaders in Selangor.

But it remains to be seen whether PKR’s allies would agree having Azmin as MB.

Senior DAP and PAS leaders had objected to early plans that would have resulted in Azmin becoming mentri besar. That brought about the ‘Kajang move” in which the Kajang state seat was vacated so that Anwar could have a shot at helming the state government.

The plans went sour after the Court of Appeal overturned Anwar’s acquittal for sodomy and gave him a five-year jail sentence. The PKR adviser has filed an appeal to Malaysia’s highest court.

The matter must be dealt with some urgency, another top-level PKR leader told The Malay Mail Online.

“Whether all parties agree to Azmin becoming MB is an issue which will have to be dealt with as soon as possible.

“But as far as the ‘Kajang move’ goes, it is still on. Khalid must go. We are in agreement about that,” the insider said, adding that “many” within the party’s Selangor and national leadership wanted a “definitive” decision to be made on the matter before the Kajang by-election this Sunday.

But several DAP and PAS leaders said they have not received or agreed to any such proposal so far.

“There has not been any concrete proposal. Obviously there are leaders within PKR who would want to change things in Selangor, but for the time being it has not been officially decided by the Pakatan Rakyat leadership,” PR secretariat member Anthony Loke told The Malay Mail Online.

There are signs however that the DAP may want PKR’s Kajang candidate Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail to take over from Khalid and lead PR should Anwar be jailed.