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Friday, June 25, 2010

Khalid courts doom with surprise appointment

Embattled Selangor Menteri Besar Abdul Khalid Ibrahim has shot himself in the foot by appointing Faekah Hussin as his new political secretary, said his critics.

According to them, the move was akin to the proverbial straw which broke the camel's back, and thus giving birth to a plot to oust the menteri besar.

Reports have claimed that the conspiracy involves 15 PKR MPs closely aligned to vice-president Azmin Ali, who has denied any knowledge of such a campaign.

It is said that Faekah's appointment was made without prior consultation with party leaders who earlier agreed on Bandar Tun Razak division chief Azman Abidin, a well-known and respected grassroots leader, filling the post.

The post fell vacant following plans to promote incumbent Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad as PKR's communications director.

Sources told FMT that Azman was the main reason why Khalid, who is known to lack grassroots support, managed to clinch the Bandar Tun Razak parliamentary seat in the last polls.

It is understood that Azman was also informed by PKR supremo Anwar Ibrahim of his appointment, which the former confirmed when contacted.

"Yes it is true. I was informed by Anwar that I would be appointed. In the beginning I was a bit hesitant but I accepted it in the name of the party," he told FMT.

Khalid wants PKR's No 2 post

Sources said the move to appoint Azman was due to fears that Selangor, the only state led by PKR, would fall in the next general election.

"Azman was the link needed to connect Khalid to the grassroots. Khalid is very detached to what is happening on the ground and to a certain extent, with the party itself," a party official told FMT.

At a Selangor media event last Tuesday, Khalid stunned many, including Azman who was present, when he announced that Fakeah would be his new political secretary.

Commenting on this, Azman said: "Yes I was shocked. I was not informed of it but I know it's the prerogative of the MB to appoint who he sees fit.”

It is understood that the appointment was aimed at courting Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail's support in light of the party polls in December since Fakeah has served as secretary to the party president.

Furthermore, Azman is rumoured to be close to Azmin.

Sources said Khalid is attempting to "purge" his administration of leaders not aligned to him in a bid to consolidate his faction and vie for deputy presidency.

Incumbent number two Syed Husin Ali had stated that he would not be defending his post in the party polls.

"There is a general agreement that the post be reserved for the influential vice-president and Anwar's right hand man, Azmin, but Khalid's move suggests that he wants the post," said a source.

On the flip side, sources said the move to drop Azman would trigger a revolt in the Bandar Tun Razak division and lead to Khalid's defeat there in the next general election.

"Without Azman, he is nothing there. He thinks he can do it on his own. Let's see," said a vexed PKR leader, who declined to be named.

A day after Faekah's appointment, Azmin tendered his resignation as director of the Selangor Development Corporation (PKNS) in what is regarded as a protest move.

courtesy of FMT

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