Pakatan insiders: Khalid safe, but Azmin wobbly as Wan Azizah tarries


(MMO) – Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail’s surprise decision to defend her PKR presidency in May has scuppered the scheme to oust Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim from leading Malaysia’s richest state for now, Pakatan Rakyat (PR) insiders said.

Several senior leaders within the opposition pact told The Malay Mail Online yesterday that the manouevre, dubbed the Kajang Move, stalled because the engineers are vacillating between crowning the ambitious Azmin Ali and sticking with Dr wan Azizah, a devout Muslim respected for her devotion to the party and her husband and de facto chief, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

“Wan Azizah’s win in the Kajang by-election and her presence as a representative in the Selangor state assembly is not a coincidence,” said Rafizi Ramli, PKR’s director of strategy.

He added, “(Wan Azizah) is an option we can exercise, if we need a change of leadership.”

For the cautious Rafizi, said to be the architect behind the Kajang Move, such remarks are not to be taken lightly and rather indicate that any plan to replace Khalid as Selangor mentri besar remains merely “an option” at best.

A PKR source said that although there was strong grassroots support within the party for Azmin to become MB, party defacto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is worried that his long-time protege would not be accepted by PR partners, DAP and PAS.

“Wan Azizah is the safest option, because if the plan comes into fruition she will be able to get support from the likes of Lim Kit Siang and (Datuk Seri) Abdul Hadi Awang.

“But Azmin… is a different story. He is capable, but not everyone in PAS or DAP is comfortable with him assuming the MB post,” an influential party leader told The Malay Mail Online, on condition of anonymity.

Azmin had previously been hotly tipped to take over Selangor from Khalid.

But the subsequent vehement opposition from PAS and DAP dimmed the 49-year-old star power somewhat, prompting Anwar to step and announce his plan to run for Kajang.

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