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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Nizar predicts new state secretary could cause Selangor coup


Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin warned the Selangor government today of a possible repeat of Barisan Nasional (BN)’s takeover of Perak in the country’s wealthiest state with the appointment of Datuk Mohd Khusrin Munawi as the state secretary.

The ousted Perak mentri besar urged the Selangor Pakatan Rakyat (PR) government to do all that was ‘humanly possible’ to prevent the state Islamic Religious Department (Jais) director from carrying out his new duties come January 1.

“S,gor MB and Xcos, prevent Khusrin from entering SS office. Written instruction 4 him 2 stay at home. Get the SFO to assume/tanggong jawatn (Selangor MB, and state excos should prevent Khusrin from entering the state secretary office. Written instruction for him to stay at home. Get the State Financial Officer to assume his duties)” said Nizar in a message posted on popular micro-blogging site Twitter today.

When contacted by The Malaysian Insider, the PAS leader reiterated PR’s stand that Mohd Khusrin’s appointment was not official, as it had not been agreed to by Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim.

“The appointment must be sanctioned by the MB. The state secretary is effectively the number two man in the state government? How can the MB work with someone that he cannot get along with? It’s well known that the Jais director has not been cooperative with the Selangor PR government.

“I stress what I said earlier – the Selangor government should prevent Khusrin from going to the state secretary office, lock up the office if possible. Bar him from gaining any access to state government affairs. If he is allowed to enter the office, and attend most of the exco meetings, I fear that BN is on its way to sabotaging Selangor from within, just like what happened in Perak,” he told The Malaysian Insider.

“During the Perak episode, I did humbly request for help from the Perak Sultan/ Regent to replace the current state secretary true, but to no avail ... The coup there was staged by Datuk Seri Najib Razak as well as the state secretary,” said the former Perak MB.

Nizar was ousted from his post when three PR lawmakers turned independent and threw their support behind a BN government in February 2009, just 11 months after PR captured the state in Election 2008.

According to Nizar, Mohd Khusrin’s appointment contained “telling signs” that Najib was preparing for a possible takeover in the near future.

The recent appointment of former Negri Sembilan Mentri Besar Tan Sri Isa Samad as Felda chairman was also another sign, said the PAS man.

“They have already elected a corrupt official to head Felda. Now in Selangor especially Hulu Selangor, there are many Felda areas. Can you put it past a corrupt official to do anything to get voter support? It also seems convenient that the Jais director is appointed to the state government more or less at the same time. There is danger lurking, forced coup is imminent in Selangor.

“What I am saying is, the Selangor MB has the full power to prevent Khusrin from coming to office ... until they get another replacement,” added Nizar.

The Selangor palace has, however, confirmed Mohd Khusrin as Selangor state secretary, even though a debate rages on over his appointment.

Datuk Mohamad Munir Bani, who is private secretary to the Sultan of Selangor said Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah has blessed the decision by the Public Services Department, to appoint Khusrin.

“In my view, the decision has been confirmed as His Highness has given his blessings to the appointment,” Sinar Harian quoted Mohamad Munir as saying today.

He added that according to the state constitution, the appointment of the state secretary was under the purview of the Public Services Commission.

Mohd Khusrin’s appointment is seen as a direct contradiction to the stand of the Selangor Pakatan Rakyat (PR) government, where it claimed yesterday the appointment of a new state secretary had not yet been finalised despite Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan’s announcement. The Chief Secretary to the Government had announced yesterday the appointment of Mohd Khusrin to the post, effective January 1.

The state government insisted, however, that Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim has to be officially informed of this development.

It is understood that the Selangor MB has sent an official letter to the Sultan of Selangor informing him of the state’s stand on the matter. The state government had gone through a “selection process” for the post by assigning a panel of judges to interview potential candidates. The panel has already shortlisted three names most suitable for the post.

“The mentri besar has sent the three names to the Sultan of Selangor for his approval. In light of this, the mentri besar will also be having an audience with the Sultan on December 29,” the statement said yesterday.

Kampung Tunku state assemblyman Lau Weng San claimed today that the Selangor palace’s confirmation had no “constitutional basis” as the Selangor state secretary was answerable to the Selangor MB and not the Sultan of Selangor.

“The state secretary along with the state financial officer and state legal advisor has to sign and abide by a secret oath in front of the MB, not the Sultan of Selangor, according to the 1959 Selangor constitution. This means that the state secretary reports directly to the MB,” said Lau in a statement today.

He also said that the appointment of the Selangor state secretary need not be done by the Public Services Commission, as it could also be done by Selangor’s own Public Services Commission, according to Section 52(1) of the 1959 Selangor constitution.

“I would like to stress that this appointment should be referred to the Selangor government as it is an important position ... Whoever is appointed must not be a controversial character,” said Lau.

The announcement by the federal government yesterday also stated that Mohd Khusrin would be taking over state secretary duties from Datuk Ramli Mahmud, who leaves on December 31.

The post of Jais director, vacated by Khusrin, will be filled by Sabak Bernam District Officer Marzuki Hussin, 56, also on January 1, according to the Chief Secretary.

Mohd Sidek had also said the appointments of Mohd Khusrin and Marzuki had received the consent of the Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah. - Malaysian Insider

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