Monday, July 7, 2014

PAS deadlocked on Khalid’s fate

 | July 7, 2014 
The party is split into three camps over the issue.


The PAS leadership met on Sunday to discuss the fate of Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim, but no consensus was reached.

It seems PAS is now split into three camps. One camp wants Khalid out. Another camp wants to maintain the status quo. And the third camp will agree to Khalid’s removal only if he is replaced with a PAS Menteri Besar.

This has caused a problem that is more serious than the one Sunday’s meeting was supposed to resolve. Now, instead of trying to get a consensus from two camps, PAS has to mend a three-way split.
The meeting on Sunday was between the PAS central leadership and PAS Selangor. The MP for Shah Alam, Khalid Samad, would not give details about the discussion. He said a statement to the press would only be likely after the different opinions had been digested.

In politics, “no comment” is a strong comment. In this case, it means an agreement could not be reached and any decision made will have serious repercussions on Pakatan Rakyat.

Khalid said further discussions were required and the decision would be announced after a consensus had been reached.

Those who want the Menteri Besar out are, like Khalid, not members of the Selangor State Assembly and will not be able to vote if a motion of no confidence is tabled. Those who support the Menteri Besar are members of the assembly.

PAS, in the first place, never agreed with Rafizi Ramli’s Kajang Move, the plan to get Anwar Ibrahim elected as a state assemblyman so that he can take over as the Selangor Menteri Besar. PAS President Hadi Awang’s reference to the move as a “conspiracy to oust” Menteri Besar Khalid is very telling.
Rafizi is now no longer viewed as the brilliant strategist that he was once touted to be. It seems Anwar is blaming him for what is now called the Kajang Disaster, and because of that Rafizi is sulking. Sources have quoted him as saying that he is prepared to leave the party since it no longer appreciates him.
Finally the ball may be in Hadi’s court, but before the PAS President makes his decision, he would need to take into serious consideration what the Palace has to say. It seems the Palace is not averse to Plan C-replace Khalid Ibrahim with a Menteri Besar from PAS.

Whether it is Plan A, B or C it really does not matter. What matters is that PKR is seriously divided on this issue. PAS is seriously divided on this issue. And Pakatan Rakyat is also seriously divided on this issue. So one group is going to be happy while the other is going to be unhappy whatever the outcome will be.
In a situation like this, you cannot satisfy both sides or, as in this case, all three sides.

This matter will have to simmer for a few more days before some resolution will be in sight. In the end, however, it is not what PAS or PKR or Pakatan Rakyat agrees to. It is what the Palace will agree to. And this is the biggest dilemma facing Anwar Ibrahim.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak is sitting on his throne in Putrajaya watching the developments in Selangor with great amusement. He has been told it would be very difficult for Umno to win back Selangor. The only way for Selangor to fall will have to be if Pakatan Rakyat disintegrates or commits hara kiri. Perhaps that’s what we’re looking at.

Roslan Bistamam is a FMT columnist.

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