KLANG: The long-standing feud between Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim and Azmin Ali appears to have flared up afresh with the Mentri Besar dropping the PKR deputy president from the board of directors of PKNS, the Selangor State Development Coporation.
While PKNS sources claim the decision was “to strengthen the corporation”, Azmin loyalists are acccusing Khalid of trying to weaken their man ahead of party polls in February or March.
The removal of Azmin was “a business decision to strengthen the positioning of the state’s biggest economic conduit”, the PKNS source insisted.
However, Azmin’s supporters rejected this reason, saying the Mentri Besar and PKNS chairman had acted arbitrarily to be rid of his nemesis.
They have called for a meeting to be held at the party’s headquarters tonight to discuss Azmin’s position and other issues related to Selangor.
One of them said Azmin had given the Mentri Besar a “headache” at PKNS board meetings.
“Azmin asked a lot of questions and often challenged what Khalid said or decided during the meetings.
“That was why he has been shown the door,’’ he said.
Another supporter said: “If you are a politician, it is important that you hold a position in a government-linked company or organisation to be influential.
“What Tan Sri (Khalid) has done is to clip Azmin’s wings just before the PKR elections.”
He added that Khalid was also sending a message to the party grassroots members that he was more powerful than the PKR deputy president.
Another party insider said pushing Azmin out was part of a bigger plan by “hidden hands” to send him into political oblivion.
“Khalid is just a tool,” he said.
Selangor Umno deputy chief Datuk Abdul Shukur Idrus said he had seen the move coming.
He said he was not surprised with Azmin’s ouster from PKNS as he had long foreseen a “hatchet job” taking shape.
He said Khalid’s move was a show of disrespect for Azmin, adding that the move probably had the support of the state’s PAS and DAP leadership.
“DAP, for instance, regards Azmin as an obstacle in achieving their political goals and that is why many in DAP are very loyal and close to Khalid,’’ said Abdul Shukur.