been appointed Selangor Parti Keadilan Rakyat chief, replacing Menteri Besar
Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim, with immediate effect.
PKR chiefs strenuously maintained that it was not out of the ordinary for the party to appoint Mohamed Azmin Ali, the Bukit Antarabangsa assemblyman, to a post that now makes him as powerful if not more influential than Khalid.
Khalid told the press he had in fact asked to be relieved of the post and that in addition to Selangor, the party had also entrusted him with handling the affairs of Kuala Lumpur, citingKampung Baru as an example.
The Selangor menteri besar said that he was handed the “Kampung Baru role” due to his experience in real estate development.
“Selangor is an important state not just for PKR and Pakatan Rakyat but also for Barisan Nasional and the country as the biggest contributor to the economy, so I feel that I must focus on my duties to strengthen the administration and planning for the development of Selangor.”
Party president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail named Datuk Zaid Ibrahim, the former cabinet minister fielded in the Hulu Selangor by-election, as Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur leadership council chairman. She said Azmin’s main duties included penetrating Malay communities in the rural areas.
The changes were announced after the party’s supreme council meeting at Quality Hotel Shah Alam yesterday.
On top of the recent announcement by Khalid of changes in his office, the party announced yesterday that Badrulamin Bahron would now be information chief in the Selangor MB’s office, and Azman Zainal Abidin and Dr Razali Bolhi were made special officers, also in the Selangor MB’s office.
Badrulamin is the PKR Sabak Bernam branch chief while Azman and Dr Razali are branch chief and deputy chief for Bandar Tun Razak and Kuala Selangor respectively.
Party de facto leader Anwar said similar restructuring would also take place in two other states but didn’t name them.
When queried on the move by 12 or 15 MPs calling for the ouster of Khalid, Anwar said the matter was never raised during the meeting and that everyone was united in their support for Khalid.
Earlier in Seremban, Azmin, too, denied rumours of a showdown with Khalid.
“It is the media that has created this so-called group of 15. In fact, we enjoy a very cordial working relationship in PKR.” Azmin told reporters PKR had always
encouraged its members to offer constructive criticisms.
“No leader is spared from this. All of us in PKR are open and receptive to criticisms.”
Azmin was asked to comment on reports of dissatisfaction with the way Khalid was running the state and that the menteri besar had allegedly made certain major decisions without consulting other party leaders.
Azmin also said that his resignation as the Selangor Economic Development
Corporation director had nothing to do with Khalid.
“It is true that some of us want to see more improvements in the state, including the performance of local councils. This was in fact discussed at our recent party congress in Kota Baru and has nothing to do with personal differences with anyone.”
PKR election director and Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh also said that the allegations were baseless.