KLANG: The Selangor palace has rapped PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim for stating that it was convention to submit only one name for the Selangor Mentri Besar position.
Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, through his private secretary Datuk Munir Bani, said when Barisan Nasional administered the state, the norm was for the Prime Minister in his capacity as head of Barisan to submit several names before a candidate deemed suitable for the role was appointed.
“In 2008, when the state government fell to the Opposition, the palace wrote to leaders of all the parties to nominate two names for the Selangor Mentri Besar post.
“When all three parties unanimously nominated Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, who also fit the criteria as stated under the Selangor constitution, the Sultan agreed to appoint him,” Munir said in a statement issued Thursday
After the 2013 general election, which again saw Pakatan ruling the state, Munir said he was instructed by Sultan Sharafuddin to write to the three parties to nominate four names for the position of the Mentri Besar.
He said this was because PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail had, during an election campaign, said Khalid might not be reappointed as Mentri Besar.
“Although the palace did receive other nominees for the position, the three party leaders also nominated Khalid to administrate the government for a second time and given that he had good ties with palace officials, the Sultan decided to appoint him again,” the statement said.
According to Munir, even though it was not the policy of the palace to release such information, the situation was such that a clarification was needed to ease the confusion that had surfaced.
He also urged Anwar to get his facts right before issuing any statement on the matter.
“He (Anwar) is advised not to issue statements that could confuse the people or make the Selangor Sultan look bad,” he said.
Anwar had said that the practice of submitting only one name as the Mentri Besar candidate had been followed since the country achieved independence in 1957.
The media statement from the palace in full:
I was commanded by His Royal Highness The Sultan of Selangor to offer an explanation in denial of the statement made by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in local newspapers, where he said the practice of submitting one name for the Mentri Besar post was a convention practiced since the country achieved its independence in 1957.
Anwar's statement is inaccurate and is confusing to the public. When Barisan Nasional administered the State, the selection of Mentri Besar was presented to the His Royal Highness by the Prime Minister through an audience with the Sultan. In this ceremony, the Prime Minister would present the names of several candidates who are deemed suitable to receive the consent of the Sultan. From this list of names, His Royal Highness would pick only one candidate as the new Mentri Besar.
However, in 2008, the election results did not favour Barisan Nasional. The Opposition parties, namely PAS, PKR, and DAP, had combined to form Pakatan Rakyat in order to obtain the majority to rule the state. At that time, His Royal Highness had decreed the leaders of all three parties to discuss the list of candidates for the post of Mentri Besar. A few candidates were recommended from those discussions.
His Royal Highness, through his Private Secretary, then issued a letter to the leader of each component party within Pakatan to nominate two names for the post. From that, the party leaders unanimously decided to nominate Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim as the new Mentri Besar.
As Khalid had fulfilled all the criteria to become MB and met the conditions under the Selangor constitution, the Sultan consented to appointing him as the Mentri Besar.
In 2013, Pakatan won the majority of state seats in Selangor. Therefore, the Mentri Besar shall be appointed from among the state assemblyman in Pakatan. PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail had made a statement during the 13th general election campaign, saying that Khalid would not necessarily be reappointed as Mentri Besar if Pakatan emerged victorious.
As a result, His Royal Highness commanded his private secretary to write to the heads of parties in Pakatan, asking them to nominate four candidates for the MB post. However, all three parties wrote back to the Sultan recommending that Khalid be retained as the Mentri Besar.
Apart from that, His Royal Highness also received the name of another candidate for the post. Since Khalid was already the existing MB and had a good relationship with the Palace and the people of Selangor, the Sultan consented to reappointing him as Mentri Besar.
It is the policy of the Palace not to reveal the names and information of the nominated candidates, and also the Mentri Besar selection process. However, since present circumstances have forced the Palace to issue a statement, this matter needs to be explained. Therefore, if Anwar does not possess accurate facts, he is advised not to issue statements which can confuse the public and tarnish the image of His Royal Highness The Sultan of Selangor.
Datuk Mohamad Munir Bani
Private Secretary to His Royal Highness the Sultan of Selangor