KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 12, 2014:
While Pakatan Rakyat has made its decision on Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim’s position in the party, the Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, has also given his consent for the MB to retain his position.
What is left to be decided now is PAS’ stand on the matter, which will be known by Aug 17, and the decision of the state Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) and DAP executive councillors (exco).
Abdul Khalid said today that he would be meeting with these exco members to ask if they were still keen to work with him.
But, how did it come to this?
From “Kajang Move” in January to what has now been dubbed as the “Khalid Move”, Selangor is seeing one controversy after another as PKR attempts to elect its president, Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, as the next Selangor MB.
What is clear is that Abdul Khalid will not be going down without a fight.
Reiterating his stand at a press conference yesterday that he would continue to hold the MB post until there were further developments, Abdul Khalid also called on the state excos who were not prepared to be in “Team MB” to step down.
Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who initially was supposed to have been part of the Kajang Move, has yet to say anything on the matter, with the exception of two question marks on his Twitter account.
While Abdul Khalid was initially supportive of the “Kajang Move”, which at that time was already said to be a step in unseating him as the state’s MB, he has now insisted on holding on to the post.
The following is a recap of how Selangor is in the position it is today:
January: The Kajang Move is announced
This move began when Kajang assemblyman Lee Chin Cheh of PKR resigned on Jan 27, which made way for party candidate Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to take over the position.
After announcing his candidacy, criticism mounted about the PKR leader also wanting to take over the role of Selangor MB, citing the “Kajang Move” to be engineered just for that.
But Anwar was later slapped with a five-year jail term for sodomising his former aide, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, when the Court of Appeal overturned a High Court acquittal.
This led to his wife, Wan Azizah, being announced as the next Kajang seat candidate, She later won the seat in a by-election on March 23, defeating Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun.
Wan Azizah faced similar criticism about eyeing the Selangor MB position then, but denied it and said she had no intention of taking up the position.
January-July: Bible seizures
In January, 321 Bahasa Malaysia and Iban-language Bibles were seized from the Bible Society of Malaysia’s (BSM) premises in Damansara by the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais).
Six months after the seizure, Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Ghani Patail decided to close the case against BSM and ordered that the Bibles be returned, saying they were no threat to national security.
Despite the order, the religious department refused to do so and left Abdul Khalid to handle the matter, which has yet to be resolved.
Leaders from both sides of the political divide lamented that Abdul Khalid should have intervened sooner and decided on an immediate return of all Bibles.
This failure was cited as a failure on the part of the MB and was one of the criticisms thrown at him when PKR decided that Selangor needed a new MB.
April: Selangor water woes
Another factor that led to Abdul Khalid being sacked from his party was his handling of Selangor’s water issue.
This included Abdul Khalid’s postponement of the process and discussion on the Langat 2 water treatment plant project and the new water deal signed between the state government and the federal government last Friday, allegedly done without the knowledge of the Selangor executive council.
Further to that, Abdul Khalid’s handling of the water crisis was repeatedly criticised by Klang Member of Parliament Charles Santiago, who said the MB was deflecting the issue out of fear of losing his job.
Abdul Khalid was said to have not realised the need for water rationing when it was needed, leading to severe shortage of supply during the dry months in the country.
June: Kidex Highway
Abdul Khalid drew much anger over his decision to carry on with the 26km-long Kinrara-Damansara Expressway project despite it creating a massive uproar among residents affected by its development and Opposition leaders who were also against the project.
Despite the highway noted to be one that was not of public interest, and one that went against Pakatan’s state manifesto, Abdul Khalid repeatedly showed his support for the federal government project.
After all that was said and done over the project, Abdul Khalid passed responsibility of the project back to the Malaysian Highway Authority (LLM) to deal with the public over the criticisms surrounding its development.
But his decision on the project eventually also became grounds for the Central Leadership Council of PKR to sack him from the party.
July: PKR proposes new MB
During a midnight press conference on July 22, it was announced that Wan Azizah’s name had officially been put forth as the preferred PKR candidate to replace Abdul Khalid as MB.
In making the announcement, Anwar said the move was an extension of the “Kajang Move”, which was to give room for development in Selangor as well as to increase the state’s performance.
Abdul Khalid, in a statement later the same day, said while he respected the political decision by PKR to nominate Wan Azizah, the parties involved must go through the due process to achieve the goals they had set.
“Until the due process has occurred and gone through, I will continue to perform the duties as the Menteri Besar with responsibility, diligence and trust as entrusted by the people of Selangor, who have elected me through the proper channels,” Abdul Khalid had said.
August: Bank Islam loan
Most recently, a claim was made on Abdul Khalid’s alleged multi-million ringgit debt with Bank Islam, which became somewhat of a deal breaker to oust the MB from his party.
He was alleged to have been involved in an out-of-court settlement during his tenure as Guthrie’s chief executive officer with Bank Islam over RM66.7 million Kumpulan Guthrie Berhad shares.
It was also said that the person behind the settlement and negotiations with the bank is former Umno lawyer Tan Sri Rashid Manaf.
Another issue raised was a supposed multi-million ringgit transaction involving the sale of a 125ha of state-owned land to EcoWorld Bhd and its main shareholder, Rashid.
August: Sacked from party
On Aug 9, 2014, Abdul Khalid was sacked from PKR, as announced by the party’s disciplinary board during a press conference at the party’s headquarters.
The Selangor MB then said despite the sacking being “flawed and illegal”, he accepted it, saying he would seek an audience with the Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, to inform him on the matter.