– Koon Yew Yin
The Malaysian Insider
16 August 2014
When I first wrote on the Selangor Menteri Besar saga a week ago, I said that Khalid Ibrahim was singlehandledly doing what Umno, MCA, MIC and Gerakan have not been able to do: to bring down Pakatan Rakyat’s position in the state and even nationally.
I had also written that “Khalid is now being seen as the trojan horse introduced to destroy the unity and solidarity of PAS, and indirectly that of Pakatan, by his attempt to get the support of PAS leaders to ensure he remains in power”
Since then, Khalid has been upping the stakes by claiming that he has the support of the majority of the states’s assemblymen in his attempt to remain as MB. As a result he has been able to get the support of the Selangor Sultan in remaining as MB and also get His Royal Highness’ agreement to his sacking of the PKR and DAP members of the Selangor executive council.
These early successes enjoyed by Khalid have no doubt emboldened Umno and Barisan Nasional to predict the quick break-up of Pakatan and even to entertain hopes of a snap elections in Selangor, so as to take advantage of the disarray within Pakatan.
But slowly and surely, the tables are being turned against Khalid. Firstly, he is accused of deliberately misleading the Sultan on the extent of the support from the state assemblymen. Instead of the majority support that he claimed he got, at most count, he had the minority support of the 11 Umno assemblymen only. Even the limited PAS support that he has been alluding to in a sneaky and indirect way is suspect.
To me, quite apart from the legal opinions that now have emerged which have overwhelmingly concluded that Khalid no longer has the legal, political or moral right to continue holding on to his MB position, the final nail in his MB coffin appears to now be put by PAS vice-president, Datuk Husam Musa, in his open letter to the MB.
It is a letter which apparently has the endorsement of all the party’s top leaders including Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat and Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang and it also appears to set the tone for the party’s final decision on the MB issue when its central committee meets tomorrow.
The arguments in the letter and the principles it draws upon to support its arguments are significant. They are also important to emphasise especially to those who have doubted PAS ability to remain true to the Pakatan coalition in this crisis.
This, I should add, includes me, although I have also noted that “PAS’s image as a moderate Muslim party and its appeal to voters across racial and religious lines is largely because of leaders such as Nizar, Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad, Khalid Samad and a few other liberal individuals in the party. Without them, PAS is doomed as a force in the coming elections as it is regarded as a conservative and even backward party by urban, non-Malays and younger voters”.
According to the PAS vice-president:
1. Khalid is clinging on to a post he had only earned from campaigning as a leader with a Pakatan Rakyat (PR) party.
2. Khalid has dragged PAS through the mud in the crisis when he retained the party’s four state executive councillors and sacked PKR’s and DAP’s six, purportedly because the former party’s lawmakers had declared they would support him.
3. Khalid has used PAS for his own survival as MB by tarnishing PAS’s good name in the eyes of Selangor voters.
4. Selangor government “is not Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim’s government” but a PR one, as the coalition’s three parties had collectively won the majority seats in the state’s 56-seat assembly.
5. Now that he has been sacked from PKR, Khalid should remove himself from the MB’s seat and accept that he no longer commands the confidence of the assembly.
6. If Khalid were to use PAS’s Selangor lawmakers as pawns in his quest for power, it would be similar to what Umno did during the 2009 Perak crisis, when the party used three defectors from PKR and DAP to wrest majority control of the state assembly.
It is also significant that the PAS vice-president noted that “Umno is PAS’s political foe and there is no element within PAS that would permit any effort towards sharing power with Umno without the approval of the party muktamar”.
Finally, Husam advised Khalid to do the respectful thing and to resign. The great majority of Malaysians will second that.
Khalid still enjoys some respect from those who think that he is simply a maverick in party politics and that he has not sold out in any way to Umno and Barisan. The longer he continues to cling on to power, the more his good name will suffer, and the fewer the people who believe that his intentions are basically decent and honorable.
It is hoped that Khalid’s supporters and lawyers will see the light on this, even if Khalid himself is not able to do so in the heat of battle. – August 16, 2014.