Khalid says PKR needs people like him


(MM) – Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim said he is needed in PKR to counter the “yes-man” culture within the party.

He told reporters in Alor Star yesterday that although he respects de-facto party leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, he does not always agree with him.

“We have a good relationship but that does not mean that I have to listen to his ideas 100 per cent.

“It looks like I listen to him but I don’t because I’m not a pak turut,” he was quoted by the New Straits Times as saying.

Khalid, who is contesting the PKR deputy presidency, said he wants to use his vast experience to contribute to the party, and can work with either current president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, or her husband, Anwar.

He added that PKR needs to reform to compete with the federal government.

“In the top party leadership, we need to have people who are able to hold discussions and not be yes-men only. I think Anwar needs such friends and we must have a balanced administration.

“I have experience in administration, property management and human resources, while Anwar is a good politician.

“This balance can help us conquer Putrajaya in the next general election,” he said, according to the Malay language daily Sinar Harian.

The relationship between both men, although cordial in public, has not been at its best, with Khalid making state-level decisions without consulting Anwar, the party de-facto leader.

It began with the removal of party deputy president Azmin Ali, who is also the Bukit Antarabangsa assemblyman, from the Selangor State Development Corporation (PKNS) board.

Then there was the “Kajang Move” engineered by party chief strategist Rafizi Ramli, which forced Lee Chin Cheh to vacate the Kajang state seat to give way to Anwar to potentially replace Khalid as the mentri besar.

The plan has since been derailed following the Court of Appeal’s decision on March 7 to sentence Anwar to five years for sodomising his former aide.

Khalid is one of the contenders challenging Azmin, who is defending his post.

Other candidates include secretary-general Datuk Saifuddin Nasution Ismail and Datuk L. Ramachandran.