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Wan Azizah looks set for Selangor MB as plot thickens

After mounting pressure from its Pakatan Rakyat allies and party members, PKR has purportedly decided to replace Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim after the Aidilfitri celebrations.

It is learnt that PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim met with party leaders in Selangor last night, and proposed his wife and party president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail as the new menteri besar.

Anwar was quoted by Chinese language daily China Press as saying that the party has decided to remove Khalid.

According to a party source, Anwar had reportedly managed to obtain the support of his party leaders after having convinced the political bureau of his choice.

The source claimed he had decided on Azizah to "stabilise" the party, plagued by a series of controversies since holding its second direct internal elections early this year.

"Who would dare go against Anwar? Perhaps, they would grumble behind his back but in front of him, they are all yes men," said the source, who requested anonymity.

If Kajang assemblywoman Azizah makes it to the post, she will be among two other PKR women leaders holding state executive councillors posts in the state government.

Wan Azizah did not attend the meeting last night, while also absent was incumbent PKR deputy president Azmin Ali, who has gone to Mecca.

Bad blood dims political star

Azmin's ( right ) stars have been shining brightly since he is leading in the race to retain himself as the party's deputy president.

However, Anwar has held back his decision to propose him as the new menteri besar because of the bad blood between him and Khalid, and lack of support for Azmin from some DAP and PAS factions.

Azmin failed to obtain the support of some factions in DAP and PAS due to his unrelenting attitude during seats negotiations during the general elections, which often placed him on a war path against his party's allies.

Some are said to be wary of his "Umno DNA", but Azmin shot back saying he only served Anwar as his political secretary, and never held any position in the Malay dominant party.

He and his allies would most likely be disappointed at Anwar's decision to propose his wife as the new MB, but may not openly challenge the move publicly.

It is said that Anwar's decision was also part of the strategy to challenge Umno and the conservative faction in PAS which have expressed their disagreement with Azizah leading the state due to her gender.


Umno lawyer Hafarizam Harun, who found himself in hot water after New Straits Times quoted him as saying that menses made Azizah wa unfit to fill the office paved the way for PKR allies, especially DAP, to throw their weight behind Azizah.

Attack then back track politician

Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and state executive councillor Chong Eng had shot verbal barbs at Hafarizam for his uncouth remark, while Selangor former state exco Teresa Kok had indicated her approval for Azizah to hold the MB's post.

Hafarizam (l eft ) has since clarified that his remark was directed to all women and not Azizah alone as the Islamic term he used "syarie uzur" could also refer to child birth.

It is learnt that Anwar will seek endorsement for Azizah from the Pakatan Rakyat central leadership when the council meets next week.

PAS would most likely back Anwar if the party could negotiate for a deputy MB's post, which is one of the proposals put forward to the PAS leadership to try and help resolve this PKR imbroglio.

Asked about the matter, PAS deputy president Mohamed Sabu did not deny that there were such views and opinions being proposed by party members.

"We are looking into all kinds of possibilities, views and opinions. But we have not discussed or decided on the issue of the Selangor menteri besar yet," he had said last Tuesday.

The move against Khalid was imminent following a volley of attacks over his management of the state, especially in handling inter-religious issues such as the seizure of Malay bibles from Bible Society Malaysia by the Selangor Islamic Affairs Department, the state's water resource management and the MB's failure to appease residents over the state's approval of Kidex highway in Petaling Jaya.

Khalid's removal, dubbed the "Kajang move" initiated by PKR's strategists to make Anwar the menteri besar, begun since the seat's by-election in March.

But the move fell through when Anwar was sentenced to five years jail for sodomy, pending his appeal at the Federal Court.

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