Khalid Ibrahim

Zaid Ibrahim

There’s been a lot of speculation of late about Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim’s future. I hope the gossip will come to an end soon—allowing all this uncertainty to continue is not good for Selangor, for the Pakatan Rakyat or for Khalid himself. When Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and his advisers made the now infamous “Kajang move” I said that it was a bad idea, that it was, in fact, a mischievous one. I felt strongly that such an attempt to unseat Khalid would undermine Pakatan’s solidarity and therefore should not even be considered.

Khalid’s relationship with the Prime Minister seems to be getting warmer, which is why speculation is rife that the MB will soon be joining UMNO. It’s tempting to join the enemy when your own party mistreats or betrays you, but I hope for his own sake that he will not do that. He may succeed in retaining his position as Menteri Besar by doing so, but it won’t last. His reputation will be tarnished and this will leave his future bleak. UMNO is beyond repair. It’s a party that does not differentiate between its interests and those of the public and state institutions. It’s a party filled with leaders who are beyond questioning. Joining UMNO means Khalid has abandoned the principle of integrity and accountability in government that he believes in. In any case, UMNO will not win Selangor in his lifetime, so why bother?

However, it’s unlikely that Khalid and the Pakatan can come together again, regardless of how his position as MB is resolved. Too much bad blood has been spilt. Khalid has served the state for more than six years now and he has done well—at least that’s the view I get from many quarters. As a compromise, Anwar should allow Khalid to complete his term in office, but Khalid must do everything the coalition wants him to do. He must accept that he is also accountable to his party in the management of the state. Khalid must be prepared to go willingly at the end of his term since it’s clear his party wants him to. In this way, the Pakatan can move forward as a united coalition to serve the state better, with no more public acrimony and feuding.