Pakatan yet to officially decide Khalid’s fate, says Anwar


(Malay Mail Online) – Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said today the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) pact has yet to officially decide whether to keep or remove Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim from his Selangor mentri besar post.

Rubbishing rumours of a unanimous agreement within the three-party bloc, Anwar added that his PKR party-mate’s fate will be decided based on consensus and in consultation with the Selangor Ruler.

“That is not the official statement. The decision to retain or replace would be made through discussion and decisions of Pakatan Rakyat, and certainly in consultation with His Majesty,” the PKR de facto chief was quoted as saying by news portal Malaysiakini, after speaking at the Centre for Reform, Democracy & Social Initiatives in Puchong, Selangor.

“So decisions aren’t made through listening to rumours,” the Permatang Pauh MP was further quoted saying.

Yesterday, news portal The Malaysian Insider quoted state PAS leaders such as Jaafar Sulaiman as saying that Khalid’s tendency to make unilateral decisions without consulting PR parties had resulted in a unanimous call for his removal.

Selangor PAS, however, later repudiated the report, saying the article was “erroneous” and did not reflect the stand of Islamist party’s state chapter.

Selangor PAS secretary Mohd Khairuddin Othman also confirmed that the Islamist party’s state leadership has instructed Jaafar to take legal action against the news portal for its “erroneous” article.

Khalid’s position as MB has remained contentious since his own party, PKR, initiated the so-called “Kajang Move” to oust him from the position.

The move was ostensibly engineered to remove the Port Klang assemblyman as MB and to replace him with Anwar, who had intended to contest the Kajang state seat, which was vacated in February.

But the “Kajang move” fell through after Malaysia’s second highest court overturned his sodomy acquittal and sentenced him to five years in jail earlier this year. Anwar has filed for an appeal against this decision.

Although Anwar’s disqualification had then appeared to put to rest plans to remove Khalid, recent controversies involving the Selangor administration have prompted new agitations for his removal.

Among others, these include the still-unresolved row over the seizure of bibles in the state and Khalid’s perceived partiality towards the developers of the proposed Kinrara-Damansara Expressway (Kidex) that is facing mounting resistance from state residents.

But the major barrier to Khalid’s removal was the absence of a clear candidate to replace him, although Anwar’s wife and official PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, now assemblyman for Kajang, has been touted as a possible choice.