What’s in store for Selangor if Khalid is removed as MB?


Hazlan Zakaria, The Ant Daily

Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim is adamant that his apparent unseating as Kuala Selangor division chief in the problem-riddled PKR polls won’t affect his hold on the Selangor menteri besar’s post.

This is despite mounting objections from inside PKR and Pakatan Rakyat to him continuing on the hot seat after complaints about his handling of the water issue and Kidex, among others.

But in this he does seem to have the support of PKR de facto chief Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim who said that the decision on whether Khalid will continue as MB is not a snap party decision but will be decided by Pakatan as a whole and only after consultations with the sultan.

But then again, it may well be that Khalid is already targeted by forces within PKR other than his traditional rival PKR deputy president Azmin Ali when he decided to vie for the deputy president’s post.

Some say that being a new player in PKR party politics he may have overstepped his bounds in doing that, especially after stepping over more senior heads to be made Selangor MB.

As the polls results show, incumbent Azmin won just under half of the total votes with Khalid and secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution winning slightly more than 50 per cent of the votes, split between them, leaving Azmin the winner still.

While some say that Saifuddin was there to face off against Azmin, the other way to look at it is that he was there to neutralise Khalid from being a threat to Azmin, on orders perhaps?

For without Saifuddin being the third wheel vote-splitter so to speak, Khalid may have had a real chance to unseat Azmin.

And then there is always the shadow of PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, newly made Kajang assemblyperson, and rumours of her supposed ascension to MB in place of her husband Anwar who was disqualified from running due to the overturning of his sodomy acquittal.

All these seem to show designs that maybe the party really is looking to replace the corporate Khalid from Selangor’s highest political office.

Compounding the internal PKR barbs which seem pointed Khalid’s way is the unrest against his rule among state DAP and PAS leaders, many of whom are said to be baying for his blood too.

But in the event that PKR and Pakatan do decide to replace Khalid with another, what will this mean for Selangor?

First off would perhaps be a major reshuffle of the state government and related agencies as the more politically astute candidate after Khalid will probably listen to calls to replace the Umno affiliated within the state bureaucracy with Pakatan-friendly ones.

Khalid’s policy has reportedly been that “if you do your job, I will not bother you”. And this saw many BN die-hards retain their post if there are no problems in their performance.

Secondly on the chopping block may come the open tender process which had allowed even Umno contractors to compete fairly.

One Umno contractor was said to say that he prefers the open tender under Khalid as it means that if he is competitive, he will get the project without having to give someone a cut, like when Selangor was under BN administration.

Scuttlebutt flying around the state is that some in Pakatan want to see the state do more to assist friendly contractors than give everyone a level playing field.

This may bring the state tender management to return to what it was before under BN.

We can also expect to see the state government to be more liberal with spending as that was one point of contention in PKR and Pakatan with Selangor under Khalid.

Many were the voices calling for state resources to be expedited to reinforce the party standing and also help out with other poorer states under Pakatan rule.