Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim said Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) deputy president Azmin Ali did not need to apologise for his statement over the former’s position as it was only a misunderstanding.

Khalid, who is also Bandar Tun Razak member of parliament, said he regarded Azmin’s statement as a personal opinion and did not represent the opposition pact’s stand.

“To me, there’s no need for Azmin to apologise. I cannot blame him as there’s a good thing about the statement, because it means people can accept me at the state and federal levels.

“It’s also not a problem for me if I don’t get both (state and federal),” he told reporters at the parliament lobby, here, Thursday.

Azmin, who is also Gombak member of parliament, was reported to have said that Selangor would be getting a new Menteri Besar to replace Khalid if the opposition wins the upcoming 13th general electionThere’s a lovely quote, “You may forget what people said, you may forget what people did, but you will never forget how they made you feel”.  It’s never the words, but the intention behind your words and actions that make all the difference. I know people that use abusive language in such a warm, loving manner that it’s more a declaration of affection. For that matter, the three most wonderful words, “I love you” can either be said with deep emotion while looking someone in the eyes and evoke incredible love, or can be said in an offhand manner “yeah! I love you” and disappoint you, or perhaps in a nonchalant way with a shrug of the shoulder and anger you, even in an exasperated manner with eyes rolling  which may offend you, and can even be said in an aggressive, “Yes! Love you! Now leave me alone” kind of way which can hurt you deeply! The same holds true for a small but an incredibly important word, “sorry!” What matters is always intention and attitude. Many people claim to say a lot, whereas their words actually have little or no meaning, depth or effect, because the intent behind the words may have been far different. Do yourself and your interpersonal relationships a favour. Mean what you say, and make whatever you say have integrity because the people that surround you matter, and if not, they should.

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin today called on the people in Selangor to develop a new sense of awareness that the state’s administration will be better off under Barisan National (BN).

Muhyiddin, who is also BN deputy chairman, said after ruling the state for four years, the Parti Keadilan Rakyat-led government had proved that there were too many visible weaknesses and problems that they could never solved.

“The prime minister and other BN leaders have repeatedly gone to the ground to meet with the people in Selangor. It is crystal clear that the people are disappointed with all the fuss. There is no moment of peace in Selangor.

“There are more politics than works. Even water woes are being politicised. The people are fed up and they think that it is high time to give the opportunity back to BN,” he told reporters after attending the ‘Mesra Rakyat’ programme at Lembah Subang PPR flats here today.

Present were Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Noh Omar, who is also Selangor BN deputy chairman, and Selangor BN coordinator Datuk Seri Ir Mohd Zin Mohamed

INFIGHTING- Began since Azmin took over as state PKR liaison head, says ex-Anwar aide

THE ongoing ‘spat’ between Parti Keadilan Rakyat deputy president Azmin Ali and Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim proves that the former wants “total control” over the administration of the state.

Former private secretary to PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Anuar Shaari said this became evident when Azmin took over Khalid’s position as the state’s PKR liaison chairman two years ago.

“Therefore, I am not surprised with this infighting that has been going on in the Selangor PKR. This is no longer a secret,” he said in a statement.

“How could they govern the country when even at the state level they are already fighting over positions? The ‘people’s supremacy’ they claim to champion is a slogan of hypocrisy.”

The controversy first started when a Malay daily reported Azmin as saying that the Selangor menteri besar could be replaced and Khalid would be appointed as federal minister if opposition coalition won the next general election.

The war of words then escalated when Khalid’s political secretary, Faekah Husin made a statement in an online portal, saying that Azmin did not have the authority to decide on Khalid’s post.

“Who is Azmin to make such a deduction? I don’t know what drove him to come up with that statement,” she was reported as saying.

Azmin, who is said to be vying for the position of Selangor menteri besar, however accused the Malay daily of “misreporting”, but this was later denied by the newspaper.

However, the focus was shifted to Faekah, when Selangor National Leadership Council deputy president Zuraida Kamaruddin criticised Faekah for her “disparaging” comments against Azmin.

Zuraidah, who is a known Azmin ally was reported last Saturday to have said that she was “very disappointed” over the “unnecessary comments” and suggested that Faekah break the communication wall between her and Azmin over the matter.

“As an effective political secretary to the MB, Faekah should concentrate on improving the political relationship between the MB and party leaders and not cause instability by unnecessarily jumping the gun,” said Zuraidah.

However, former PKR leader Zamil Ibrahim was of the opinion that Faekah was made a “scapegoat” and that she should not be blamed for making such a statement.

He claimed that the clash had always been between Azmin and PKR president Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, instead of Khalid.

He explained that it was Wan Azizah who positioned Faekah as the political secretary to “spy” on Azmin as the Gombak member of parliament “never received the blessings from the party president”.

“Faekah used to work with Wan Azizah, and she was put there for a purpose as the president didn’t want Azmin to have control over the state.”

Zamil added that it was known within the party that Khalid would not be in the PKR’s election candidates list as he held no top position in PKR Selangor, except as a Kuala Selangor division chief.

He also said Zuraida should not question Faekah over her statement as it was akin to questioning the president’s choices.

PAS has cautioned its allies against making public personal opinions which could be wrongly interpreted as representing those of Pakatan Rakyat.

Responding to remarks by Selangor PKR’s information chief Shuhaimi Shafiei and PKR deputy president Azmin Ali, PAS secretary general Mustafa Ali said such statements did not result from discussions with component parties and should be avoided in order not to confuse the public.

Shuhaimi recently claimed that 20 PKR leaders would be in a Pakatan Rakyat cabinet if the coalition took over power in the next general election.

While Azmin reportedly said that Selangor’s Menteri Besar Abdul Khalid Ibrahim could be replaced in such an event, hinting of a promotion to Federal position. The statement is however seen against a backdrop of the much speculated ‘rift’ between Azmin and Khalid.

“This has never been discussed and gives negative implication,” Mustafa told Harakahdaily.


Perak Crisis Revisted: Till now, the people do not accept Zambry & BN 

As the next general election approaches, almost every day the newspapers publish news about Prime Minister Najib Razak and other BN leaders giving away goodies to win votes. Unfortunately Pakatan Rakyat leaders cannot afford to give away any goodies. Since the next general election is near, we must not forget how PR lost control of Perak to BN.

You will remember that when the High Court on May 11 2009 recognised Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin as the rightful Menteri Besar of Perak, the Court of Appeal lost no time in granting Zambry a stay of execution on the High Court decision. It did so within a few hours, in fact.

On May 22, the appellate court overturned the High Court judgment favouring Nizar, and instead ruled that Zambry is the legitimate Menteri Besar.

Malaysian courts have created a record with their supersonic speed in disposing off these cases.

The BN is so unfair and unjust to depend on 3 defectors to govern the state, especially when two of the 3 defectors were under investigation for corruption.

During the Perak Constitutional Crisis, I wrote a few articles with the hope of winning back control of the Government but in vain. As a reminder, I think it is worthwhile to reproduce this excerpt.

There are many contentious points in the federal court’s ruling which have already been debated by other observers better versed in Malaysian constitutional law than me. However, to me, perhaps the most contentious argument was that the Sultan of Perak does not need to act on the advice of the executive council in the matter of dissolving the state legislative assembly and it was at his absolute discretion. This argument which smacks of a system of absolute monarchy will take Perak and the country backwards rather than forward.

But let’s assume that the federal court ruling on this is correct. Is this the end of the matter? In my humble opinion, no – and I would like reiterate that the only way out of the present legal quagmire is to return the vote to the people.

Duty of Perak royalty

To safeguard the interest of the country and the institution of the monarchy, the voice and will of the rakyat must be respected. It has to be called on to be heard – in one way or another – because though the wheels of justice grind slowly, they grind exactingly.

To the letter of the law a government must be answerable, and the one standing above politics must be accountable as well. In my humble opinion, Perak will regain its shine and the people’s trust when the sultan accedes to the dissolution of the state assembly.’

As you all know Sultan Azlan Shah did not dissolve the state assembly.

My view is not an isolated one. A poll of registered voters in Perak conducted by the Merdeka Centre for Public Opinion on 8 February 2009 shows that:

> 76 per cent of respondents felt that “the people through elections” should decide who forms the government in Perak. The breakdown by race was 60 per cent Malays, 88 per cent Chinese and 98 per cent Indians.

> 74 per cent of the respondents felt that the state assembly should have been dissolved after the defection of the three Pakatan Rakyat lawmakers.  The breakdown by race was 59 per cent Malays, 85 per cent Chinese and 88 per cent Indians.

> 68 per cent of respondents said that the preferred option of settling the political crisis is either to hold three by-elections or state wide polls. The Governance Issues breakdown by race was 46 per cent Malays, 88 per cent Chinese and 80 per cent Indians.

> 66 per cent of the respondents did not accept state governments formed through defections of state assemblymen. The breakdown by race was 46 per cent Malays, 87 per cent Chinese and 73 per cent Indians.

> 62 per cent of the respondents felt that the “role of the palace in this decision” means that it does not recognise the will of the people.

> 59 per cent of the respondents felt that the political crisis in Perak would decrease support for Barisan Nasional.

Zambry & BN not accepted

Taken together, the poll by the Merdeka Centre suggests that Zambry and BN may occupy the seat of government but a significant number of the citizens of the state do not accept their legitimacy to hold power.

Clearly, from the survey findings we can infer that while our politicians may have difficulties clinging onto principles and the democratic system, the rakyat know right from wrong.

They cannot stomach politicians who get voted into office on one party’s ticket and then decide to jump ship, causing that party’s popular state government to topple.

They do not believe that the status of a government should be decided behind closed doors. And they want the sultan to use his ‘absolute discretion’ to invoke the will of the people.

Nathaniel Tan (10-11-12)@

COMMENT: Is there an internal plot to replace Khalid Ibrahim as Menteri Besar?

There is no doubt that he is under attack. After all, piercingly outspoken though she may be, nobody believes that Faekah Husin (right) wields enough power to be anything more than a buffer for Khalid – certainly not true target material.

Internal politics makes the best of us cynical. No one wants to be fighting petty wars amongst ourselves just when we stand the best chance ever of removing unchallenged, unchecked UMNO-BN hegemony.

Yet, we are not always permitted the luxury of choosing our battles, or when and where principles must be defended. Some battles we find on our doorstep whether we like it or not.

Who really chooses the Menteri Besar?

In the early aftermath of that Sinar Harian front page which suggested that Khalid Ibrahim might be replaced as Menteri Besar, at least three fairly prominent PKR leaders were quick to say that this matter could ultimately only be decided by the rakyat.

Unfortunately, within our Westminster-based political system, that is far from entirely true. In this system, the people can only elect a party into majority, after which the members of said party will then elect its leader as head of government.

As the party with the most seats in Parliament, the leader of UMNO becomes the leader of the country, and the leader of UMNO is selected only by UMNO members – no one else. Period.

This is a fact often overlooked by those allergic to political participation – when people of principle do not join political parties, then who is left within parties to elect leaders of principle?

One crucial caveat of course is that to be Prime Minister, one has to be an elected Member of Parliament. Once again, it is the party that holds absolute power to decide who can run as a candidate for public office under the party flag.

The scenario is the same at the state level in Selangor. To become Menteri Besar, an individual has to win a seat in the state legislative assembly and then be elected by a majority of that assembly to the post.

With the recent show of support by PAS and DAP, Khalid probably would not have trouble on that front – especially given the recent discomfort understandably expressed by both parties regarding the aforementioned open display of ambition and lack of consensus-seeking within Pakatan.

One of the only reasons the hullabaloo over Pakatan’s next candidate for Selangor’s Menteri Besar is of concern however, is that there exists one very simple option for those in PKR who might want to be rid of Khalid: simply refuse to field him as a PKR candidate for a state seat (under the pretense, say, of ‘saving’ him for a ministerial post at the federal level).

Should the party exercise its absolute discretion to do so in this manner, then any hope of Khalid returning for a second term as Menteri Besar will be decisively eliminated.

Politics of Feudalism vs Politics of Principles

Is this scenario likely to come to pass? People sometimes talk about an “UMNO culture” within PKR – a fact that used to irritate me, back in the day. What “culture” do they mean?

Feudalism is probably the best word to describe this unfortunately common feature of relatively immature democracies. In essence, feudalism describes a relationship between a lord and his underlings – the chain of underlings fight for the lord, and the lord ensures his chain of underlings are well fed.

Central to this relationship is the concept of unflinching, unquestioning personal loyalty to the lord; conversely, only lords who know how to reward loyalty well survive long in a feudal game.

We see this pattern clearly within UMNO, with each major leader having a specific support base of his own – without which he would never have risen to any high office of his own.

In medieval days, the underling performs military service for the lord in exchange for land to live off. Today, the currency is basically votes for money and power.

Just as a king then would distribute lands and their incomes to certain lords, so does the prime minister today distribute ministries and positions – providing lords whose loyalty he needs with the gravy trains and means to feed the base of their pyramid of underlings.

Wanting a bigger piece of the pie

It has been said that politics is the question of who gets what where, when and how. Feudalism is largely about how a lord and his underlings can get a bigger piece of the pie to the exclusion of anyone who does not pledge loyalty to the same lord – a game of thrones, as it were, where if you are not with us, then you are against us.

In a system and culture such as this, we come to find that blind loyalty trumps principle almost every time – the latter used and abused only to serve the former as and when it is expedient.

This explains why so very little about Malaysian politics is about ideology or policies. Instead, it is dominated by the politics of personalities.

After all, Muhyiddin Yassin is not against Najib Abdul Razak because Muhyiddin is an ultra-Malay; Muhyiddin is an ultra-Malay because he is against Najib (let’s not get started on the even more galling ideological and intellectual emptiness of the bumbling Home Minister).

Adherents to this culture do not seek power to further a cause, they seek causes to further their pursuit of power.

(Luckily, it would seem that a good proportion of Malaysiakini readers, at the very least, seem cognisant of the dangers of feudalism and desire to see such culture kept out of PKR, alongside an appreciation for the strict professionalism of Khalid and team.)


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