PETALING JAYA: Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has dropped the broadest hints yet that he will be appointed as Selangor Mentri Besar to replace Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim if he is elected to the Kajang state seat.
The Opposition Leader indicated this in interviews with several Malaysian and foreign media as both Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat are preparing for what is expected to be a closely watched by-election.
Anwar said: “The possibility (of being Mentri Besar) is there. We need to discuss this matter using Pakatan Rakyat’s process. This (also) involves Tuanku (Sultan of Selangor) as it is related to the Constitution and not just about going to court.”
In an interview with Sinar Harian, Anwar said discussions with other Pakatan members were needed to achieve consensus and co-operation, but reiterated that “the possibility is there”.
Anwar stressed that no one would hold a post, including that of Mentri Besar, permanently.
“Yes, (there is replacement), it is not a permanent post (belonging to Khalid). We do not give any guarantee (that a post is permanent). We will discuss this matter to find the best solution,” he said.
An online news portal which also had an interview with Anwar reported that he insisted on prefacing his plans to enter the state legislative assembly with the word “If”.
“If I become MB,” he said, raising his voice on “if”, “it will be until I become prime minister,” he told the portal.
“It is sad how … he has to leave. It is sad. The circumstances and the dictate of the time requires that Selangor be driven,” the news portal quoted Anwar as saying.
“I cannot accept Selangor being held to ransom every time. Every other week you have this problem, this attack. We seem to be quite helpless, either they (Barisan) use state apparatus or some NGO and not much can be done. We will not allow this to happen. This requires political leadership,” he added.
In an interview with Australian television current affairs programme Newsline, Anwar was quoted as saying that he was in talks to take over the post from Khalid and that talks about the possibility of a “change of guard” was under way.
Anwar said in the interview that his plan was to use Selangor as a model to prove his leadership and that it was also part of his strategy to make it to Malaysia’s “top office”.
“This is our launch pad,” he said.
Political analyst Prof Dr Jayum A. Jawan said that despite sidestepping the issue of the Mentri Besar’s post earlier, Anwar was now talking about the possibility of him helming Selangor to “come clean” with Kajang voters as election draws closer.
“I don’t think he is doing this because he feels Khalid might not want to give way because it is not for him (Khalid) to decide. Anwar may not want to make public of his takeover plan as he is probably concerned about not having support but he has to come clean sooner or later,” he added.
National Council of Professors’ head of politics, security and international affairs cluster professor Datuk Dr Mohamed Mustafa Ishak opined that Anwar is making such hints to “send a signal” to those against the idea of him becoming the Mentri Besar should he win in Kajang.
“He wants to show those in the state Pakatan who do not support the Kajang move that he is focused on becoming Mentri Besar,” said Dr Mustafa.
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