On the way out: Khalid speaking to the press in Shah Alam after meeting the Sultan over the nomination of a new mentri besar. On his left is State Secretary Datuk Mohd Khusrin Munawi.
SHAH ALAM: Selangor Ruler Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah wants more names of potential replacements for Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim but PKR and DAP are adamant they will submit only one name – that of PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.
With PAS deciding to toe the line and submit two names, the stage is now set for another major wrangle in Pakatan Rakyat and more intrigue in the bid to replace Khalid.
PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, whose name was the only one submitted by the grouping to the Selangor palace for consideration weeks ago, now appears to be in a precarious position.
However, Selangor DAP chairman Tony Pua announced last night that Wan Azizah’s name would still be the only one that the party and PKR would submit to the Sultan.
This, despite the fact that the Sultan had decreed that PKR, PAS and DAP — the political parties that make up the Opposition — should suggest more than two names each. He did not set a deadline for them to do so.
He also deferred Khalid’s resignation from the post yesterday and instructed him to stay on until a new mentri besar was ready to be sworn in.
The turn of events sent the three parties scrambling, with emergency discussions happening just hours after the Sultan’s wishes were made known by Khalid during a press conference at the state secretariat building yesterday evening.
On Aug 17, the PAS central committee decided to include PKR deputy president Azmin Ali as a second candidate, apart from Dr Wan Azizah for the mentri besar post.
It’s a royal choice
AFTER the 12th general election in 2008, DAP won 18 seats in the 59-seat Perak state assembly, while PKR had seven and PAS six. Although DAP had the largest number of seats, the state constitution stipulated that the Mentri Besar must be of Malay descent so all three parties sent in their nominees.
DAP named state leader Ngeh Koo Ham, PKR named Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi and PAS named Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin.
The choice was between Jamaluddin and Nizar and the then Regent of Perak (now Sultan Nazrin Shah) chose Nizar, although PAS had the least number of seats.
At the Pakatan Leadership Council later that day, the pact announced that only Dr Wan Azizah’s name would be submitted.
Shortly after the Sultan’s decree yesterday, PAS hinted that it would go ahead and resubmit the names of Dr Wan Azizah and Azmin.
The Islamist party said it did not have a problem with the Sultan’s decree and would use its “original list” that was already known to its Pakatan partners.
“The question now is to get a clearer picture as to whether the Sultan wants more names or if two will suffice,” PAS secretary-general Datuk Mustafa Ali told The Star.
“If Tuanku is okay with two names, then we have them ready.”
He said the issue over the names was “more or less settled” as far as the party was concerned.
Mustafa said the PAS leadership would convene a meeting soon to discuss the matter and its decision will be conveyed to the DAP and PKR.
“We will not be calling for another Pakatan meeting. It is not really necessary because the names are already there.
“If there is a need to consult, we will use modern technology,” he added.
It is learnt that the top leaders at PKR and DAP held emergency talks over the Sultan’s decree yesterday evening.
Pakatan has 43 state assemblymen to choose from, out of the 56-member Selangor legislative assembly.
Barisan Nasional commands 12 with Khalid now an Independent following his sacking from PKR on Aug 9.