KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 9 — Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PRK) has appointed Saifudin Nasution as its new secretary-general, replacing Datuk Salehudin Hashim.
Salehuddin told The Malaysian Insider tonight that Saifudin’s appointment takes effect on Feb 1.
Saifudin (in picture) is currently PKR’s elections strategy director. He has been a close aide and confidante of Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim since they were together in Umno.
His appointment follows the resignation of Salehuddin, who says he is quitting politics but would remain a member of the party.
On Thursday, Salehuddin quit as PKR secretary-general, following months of speculation surrounding his rumoured rift with some party leaders, including Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim.
While Salehuddin said that he quit in order to return to the corporate world, his resignation has sparked fears of a fresh round of uncertainties in Pakatan Rakyat’s (PR) leadership structure.
He had told The Malaysian Insider that he decided to quit because the party had not properly utilised him.
Saifudin’s appointment is seen as a move by Anwar to shore up his position in and control over the party.
Speculation has been rife for months of a rift between the vocal Salehuddin and Khalid, the Selangor Mentri Besar.
According to the grapevine, the rift deepened after the MB went ahead with the controversial multi-million Ringgit buyout of debt-ridden developer Talam Corporation Berhad, which Salehuddin vehemently opposed.
Anwar, who plays advisor to both the party and the Selangor state government, Malaysia’s richest, today dismissed rumours of a rift.