KLANG: An attempt by PKR’s political bureau to oust Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim as the Selangor Mentri Besar failed after the party’s de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim shot it down.
A PKR source said almost 90% of the bureau members wanted Khalid removed from his position, and added that almost the entire political bureau was aligned to PKR deputy president, Azmin Ali.
“They were enraged that Azmin was unceremoniously thrown out of the Selangor State Development Corporation’s (PKNS) board when his tenure should rightfully end only in February 2015,” he added.
A senior Selangor PAS leader said removing Azmin from PKNS was not a strong enough reason for PKR to remove Khalid as the Mentri Besar.
“Anyway, they don’t have enough seats to make such an arbitrary move as they hold only 14 seats as opposed to the 15 seats each held by PAS and DAP, respectively,” said the leader.
A Klang-based DAP leader said DAP and PAS would probably intervene if PKR ejected Khalid.
“As far as DAP is concerned, the grassroots community, especially the Chinese, prefer and trust Khalid over Azmin.
“For them, its refreshing to have a state leader who is so unassuming and business-minded as opposed to a hardcore politician like Azmin,” he said.
A source close to the state government said: “Can they do that? Selangor is not a republic. There are state laws, processes and procedures to be adhered to,” he said.
According to the state official, the power to appoint the Mentri Besar was vested in hands of the Selangor Ruler, in this case, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah.
Another PKR member who is a Khalid supporter said it would be a big embarrassment for the party if it removed the Mentri Besar over Azmin’s termination in PKNS.
“If they want to sack Khalid because he had swindled money or the state companies’ assets, no one will question the political bureau’s move.
“Khalid is successfully managing Selangor and keeping the state at its best, and they want to sack him because Azmin is out of PKNS?” he asked.
Khalid had said at a press conference on Wednesday that it was PKNS general manager Othman Omar who had removed Azmin from the board of directors.
However, PKNS issued a statement the following day saying Othman did not have the locus standi to hire and fire board members.
Anwar also said that Azmin’s removal was not valid, and that only Khalid and the executive council could appoint or remove PKNS board members.