Thursday, January 30, 2014


Is it a coincidence that just when Anwar Ibrahim was facing a personal crisis regarding his Sodomy 2 trial he told his wife to vacate the Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat to trigger a by-election and now that he is, again, facing trial on the Sodomy 2 appeal he, again, got the Kajang DUN to vacate the Kajang state seat so that, yet again, a by-election can be triggered?
(In fact, some people are even calling the Kajang by-election Permatang Pauh 2. But then I think they are just being cheeky).
Surely Anwar is not wasting RM250 million of the rakyat’s money just to play the game of WMD or weapon of mass distraction. I don’t think so. I think it is just a coincidence that every time Anwar has to go to court to face trial on the Sodomy 2 charge a by-election is held and people focus on the by-election instead of the Sodomy 2 trial.

The Kajang by-election is certainly a high-stakes by-election. It is high stakes not just because Anwar is contesting this seat and that Umno will spend any amount of money to defeat him. It is high stakes because it raises the question of what is going to happen to Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim if Anwar were to win.
“What about Khalid Ibrahim?” you may ask. “What does it matter whether Khalid remains the Menteri Besar or Anwar takes over?”
Well, if you consider that Selangor has RM3 billion in the kitty and Khalid refuses to spend this money, especially on the party, as Anwar wants him to, then it does matter whether Khalid remains the Menteri Besar or Anwar takes over.
Khalid is one stingy fellow. That, no one can deny. Anwar, Azmin Ali, in fact the entire PKR Supreme Council, complains about this. And they are very upset with Khalid for being over-protective of this RM3 billion.
But then Khalid has no choice. When he first took over as the Selangor Menteri Besar in 2008, he had an audience with His Highness the Sultan where His Highness grumbled about the last few Menteri Besar who all ripped off the state.
His Highness told Khalid that this is the first time since Merdeka that Selangor is having a non-Umno Menteri Besar and His Highness hopes that Khalid will do a better job than his predecessors. And the Palace is extremely happy that finally, under Khalid’s stewardship, the state can boast about having surplus funds in the kitty instead of running at a deficit.
Khalid’s critics say that a good CEO is not someone who can save money but someone who spends the money to develop the state. After all, the job of a government is to develop the country and how do you do that unless you spend money?
That would be true, of course, but the question should be not about spending money as opposed to saving money but about what you spend it on. And this is where Khalid demonstrates his stringy streak, which irks the party but pleases the Palace.
The Palace is fully aware that the reason they want to oust Khalid is so that they can remove the man who is guarding the RM3 billion with his life. But then this is what Khalid promised His Highness when he first took the job almost six years ago. So how does Khalid now go back on his word and spend all the money and then tell His Highness that the state is now broke?
Khalid can easily resolve this matter if he wants to. Tomorrow, His Highness is going away for Chinese New Year and will be back on 8th February. After 8th February, Khalid can request an audience with His Highness to inform His Highness about the political turmoil in Selangor (which the Palace already knows anyway).
Khalid then informs His Highness that to resolve the political turmoil he is prepared to tender his resignation. According to the Selangor State Constitution, His Highness can accept Khalid’s resignation or His Highness can refuse to accept Khalid’s resignation and ask Khalid to complete his term as Menteri Besar.
This is entirely at the discretion of His Highness.
If His Highness accepts Khalid’s resignation His Highness can then ask Khalid who he proposes as his successor and Khalid can give His Highness three names (although it is not a constitutional requirement but a practice that His Highness is given three names).
Barisan Nasional, which is a legal entity, has 12 seats in the Selangor State Assembly. Pakatan Rakyat is not a legal entity. Hence it would be DAP 15 seats, PAS 15 seats, and PKR 13 seats (since Kajang is now vacant).
DAP would be disqualified unless they have a Malay candidate. So next in line would be PAS, which has a few candidates to offer. Khalid can then give His Highness three names of suitable candidates who areanak jati Selangor, all who happen to be from PAS.
His Highness would choose one of these three names and appoint him as the successor to Khalid. So Khalid’s successor would be from PAS and it does not matter any longer who is going to win the Kajang by-election.
That is what I would do if I happen to be a master-strategist like Rafizi Ramli. But then I am not, am I?

No comments: