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Friday, August 8, 2014

PKR IS DIGGING A DEEPER HOLE


By SSK

PAS, which was initially supposed to meet this Sunday, 10th August 2014, has postponed the meeting, first to the 13th, and now to the 17th, a delay of one week. The meeting was to get a consensus on whether to support PKR’s bid to remove Khalid Ibrahim as the Menteri Besar of Selangor.

PAS appears to be facing a dilemma because the party President, Abdul Hadi Awang, plus its spiritual leader, Nik Aziz Nik Mat, have both expressed open support for Khalid. Furthermore, the PAS Youth Wing, PAS Selangor, and the PAS Syura Council have endorsed Khalid as well.

This means PAS is seriously divided between the ulama’ group and the Erdo─čan group, or the liberals in PAS who are mostly Anwarists. To proceed with the meeting would have serious repercussions on PAS if they cannot get a consensus.

Meanwhile, PKR’s Disciplinary Board -- headed by Dr Tan Kee Kwong, one-time Deputy Minister when he was in Gerakan and son of the famous Merdeka-era politician Tan Sri Dr Tan Chee Khoon -- has sent Khalid a show cause letter plus summoned him for a hearing that was supposed to be held at 3.00pm today.

Khalid responded by saying he will not attend that hearing today and instead sent them a letter saying that the Disciplinary Board only has jurisdiction in party matters and not in state government matters such as how Khalid runs Selangor and the administrative decisions he makes.

That, of course, makes sense because the body that has authority over state matters would be Selcat (the Selangor State Committee on Competency, Accountability and Transparency) headed by DAP’s Hannah Yeoh who is also the Speaker of the Selangor State Assembly.

Hence it should be Selcat and not PKR’s Disciplinary Board that should investigate Khalid’s alleged wrongdoings in Selangor.

In the meantime, PKR is organising ceramah every night all over Selangor to explain to the people why Khalid has to go. Basically, PKR is washing its dirty linen in public by revealing what they allege are the weaknesses of the Selangor government.

This would tantamount to cutting one’s nose to spite the face or, as the Malays would say, meludah ke langit. Invariably this hurts the Pakatan Rakyat state government because all decisions are endorsed by the State EXCO and, as DAP’s Teng Chang Khim, the ex-Selcat Chairman and Selangor EXCO member said, Khalid does not run a one-man show but gets the EXCO to endorse his decisions.

This gives the impression that DAP, too, does not have a consensus on the matter and there are some in the party who do not agree with PKR’s allegations against Khalid.

Lim Kit Siang is correct when he says that the meeting of the 10th (now postponed to the 17th) is going to decide the fate of Pakatan Rakyat rather that the fate of Khalid. If they fail to reach a consensus, which it looks like they will not, this may spell the doom of Pakatan Rakyat.

Yesterday, PKR’s political strategist, Rafizi Ramli, said they do not care if Selangor has to face a new state election even at the risk of losing the state back to Barisan Nasional.

Today, in reference to getting the consent of His Royal Highness the Sultan of Selangor regarding Khalid’s removal and the appointment of a new Menteri Besar, Rafizi said they would cross the bridge when they come to it. This means they will sack Khalid first and worry about what happens later.

These two statements do not give an impression that they really have a strategy as to what to do after they make their move to sack Khalid. Will that result in the Selangor State Assembly being dissolved? Will the Sultan give his consent? They will address that if and when it happens.

This is certainly not wise political planning. In politics, just like in chess, you need to plan two or three steps ahead and must always have a ‘Plan B’ in the event ‘Plan A’ fails. You cannot do this on the basis of crossing bridges if you happen to find a bridge to cross, not knowing even if there are going to be bridges to cross.

It has come to a stage that it no longer matters who wins this contest to remove Khalid. Whether Khalid stays or goes is not really important any more. Whatever happens the damage has already been done. Pakatan Rakyat has a serious self-inflicted wound. Whether Khalid stays of goes it is going to be very difficult to repair the damage done to Pakatan Rakyat.

PKR is just digging an even bigger hole in the effort to get itself out of the mess it has created regarding the Selangor Menteri Besar crisis.

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