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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Pakatan to table state assembly motion rejecting Khusrin


Pakatan Rakyat lawmakers in Selangor are expected to call for an emergency sitting of the state assembly to table a motion rejecting the appointment of 54-year old career civil servant, Khusrin Munawi, as the new state secretary.

“Khusrin has stepped on too many toes in his haste to please the Umno federal government. He has disrespected the Pakatan state administration, and worse still, other senior officers in the civil service are demanding to know why he was promoted ahead of them especially when his performance has been lacklustre,” a Pakatan insider told Malaysia Chronicle.

No date has been finalised yet but it is likely to be early next month before Khusrin formally takes his pledge of office.

Violates not just the spirit but also letter of the constitution

Indeed, Umno’s controversial decision to unilaterally pump in Khusrin without the consent of or consultation with Mentri Besar Khalid Ibrahim has sparked a fierce row over Khusrin’s suitability.

Yet apart from a glaring lack of qualifications compared to his peers, DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang has also pointed out that such a 'biased' appointment also went against the letter of Selangor’s constitution.

“Article 55 of the Selangor State Constitution on “Sultan to act on advice” provides that the Sultan shall act in accordance with the advice of the State Executive Council except for specific instances – and the appointment of the state secretary is not one of the exceptional cases where the Sultan may act in his discretion,” said Kit Siang in a statement.

“Both the spirit and letter of the Selangor Constitution are violated when the Mentri Besar is shut out from any meaningful consultation on the appointment of the state secretary.”

A bigger plan involving the Palace

Despite the public uproar against the appointment, few expect Umno – which controls the federal government – to back off.

Prime Minister Najib Razak is expected to hide behind written rules that vest the power of appointment with the federal government, but ignore the equally important convention that such a major decision has the agreement of the Mentri Besar.

Warnings bells have already begun ringing across the nation that Najib was preparing to launch a second coup d’etat against Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim’s Pakatan – this time in Selangor.

In February 2009, Najib succeeded in ousting PAS mentri besar Nizar Jamaluddin with the help of the Perak Sultan and the Perak state secretary. He is now believed to be plotting along similar lines in Selangor after he was forced to freeze a previous assault using the Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission to ‘nail’ Pakatan state leaders on alleged graft charges.

The plan had led to the killing of DAP political aide Teoh Beng Hock and an inquest is due to be concluded soon. Few Malaysians expect Beng Hock to get much justice from the inquiry.

Najib has also moved to get the Selangor Sultan on his side. Just as in the Perak debacle, the Selangor Ruler has been “blocked” from seeing Khalid.

“There has been one excuse after another from the Palace. This is very frustrating for Khalid who has a full workload running the state.," the Pakatan official said.

"He will have no choice but to look to the state assembly for a solution since he is being given the runaround by both Palace and federal government. It is good for Selangorians to know what is happening in their state and brace themselves for an upheaval."

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