By Yiswaree P. and Sean Augustin
PAS today chided Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim over what it says was an “immature” announcement which can create a rift within the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) coalition.
PAS leaders said this after Abdul Khalid’s statement today that he would relinquish his position as the state’s Menteri Besar once his term ended.
PAS Shah Alam Member of Parliament Khalid Samad said that if Abdul Khalid had made up his mind to leave, it had to be soon and not in time for the 14th General Election.
“It is not wise for hiim to have announced it that way, as firstly it is not up to him to decide. He was not self-appointed, but by Pakatan.
“Secondly, if you had made such an announcement, come the next general election, the people will again start questioning as to who can be the next Menteri Besar, leading to an internal rift in PR,” he told The Rakyat Post today.
Khalid Samad said that PR intended to face the next general election with the electorate feeling confident that the coalition had resolved the “MB crisis”.
“In my opinion, if there needs to be a change, it better be done now, with Abdul Khalid vacating his seat immediately.”
Khalid Samad said that this would then give his successor enough time to showcase his credentials come the next general election.
“He (Abdul Khalid) better leave now if he has decided to retire.
“In fact, there is no issue finding his replacement as in PR there are many potential candidates.”
Klang Member of Parliament Charles Santiago felt that Abdul Khalid’s move had a connection with the state’s water woes.
“As the Menteri Besar, he was being pressured over the state’s water woes. This was one way for him to try to get the people to go easy on him as he is on his way out.”
The activist-turned-politician also hinted that Abdul Khalid was possibly trying to gain sympathy votes and using the issue now as he was contesting for the deputy president’s post in the on-going Parti Keadilan Rakyat party elections.
“If he loses, the clamour for him to get out would get more intense. I think he is just posturing,” the DAP lawmaker said when contacted.
Political analysts, meanwhile, said that Abdul Khalid’s announcement was a trivial matter.
Monash University’s political analyst Professor James Chin said it was in fact “no big deal”.
“It’s part of Pakatan Rakyat’s internal policy,” Chin said.
Chin also said that many were aware that Abdul Khalid intended to serve until the end.
Universiti Sains Malaysia’s (USM) political analyst Dr Sivamurugan Pandian also shared Chin’s sentiments.
However, he said Abdul Khalid still had unsettled business in the state, particularly where religious issues were concerned.
“Even if he (Abdul Khalid) loses in his party polls, but is retained as the Menteri Besar, the party’s internal politics, on the other hand, will hit him hard.”
Universiti Putra Malaysia’s (UPM) Politics and Government expert Professor Dr Jayum Jawan took a more cynical stand, saying that Abdul Khalid was “talking rubbish”.
“Next term means five years later… perhaps he (Abdul Khalid) foresees that PR will fall in the next general election by then? And, of course, he goes, too, if that happens.”
Abdul Khalid was appointed Menteri Besar on March 13, 2008 following the opposition coalition’s win in Selangor in the 12th general election.
He was reappointed for the second term after the 13th General Election in May last year.