The recent Selangor Menteri Besar (MB) crisis has been seen as not just a serious disagreement within Pakatan Rakyat (PR) but if not managed carefully on the part of PR, it may lead to possible break-up of PR at the national level. The current MB, Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim who is a member of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) has been asked to step down by his own party and it seems he is most likely to be replaced by PKR’s President, Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.
The demand for Khalid’s resignation was reportedly made in the recent PR Council meeting, comprising of PKR, DAP and PAS. The decision was however disputed with different interpretations. In the meantime, the present MB defies the order and is adamant to serve his full term as the MB. His staying on as the MB is reinforced by the support from PAS President, Datuk Seri Haji Hadi Awang who was not present in the PR Council meeting.
A leaked message from the PAS central committee WhatsApp group has heightened the controversies and showed some in the party is considering an alternative coalition government of PAS and UMNO to retain Khalid as the MB. This gives rise to the question if the prolonging crisis is a covert way to achieve the idea of an UMNO-PAS unity government raised in the past.
As a result, a number of issues surfaced and confronted Selangor Rakyat and PR and its component parties:
1 What has Khalid done to warrant PKR’s demand for him to step down? 2. Is it democratic for a party to change its government leader without consulting the people? 3. Is it ethical for Khalid not to step down voluntarily as MB if his Party has withdrawn the mandate to him? 4. What roles and options does the Sultan have? 5. Does this issue reflect the split between the PAS moderates and hardliners who have been said to be in favour to work with UMNO in defence of religion and along ethnic line? 6. Will there eventually lead to the break-up of PR? 7. Who stand to gain and who stand to lose from this crisis? 8. What do Malaysian public learn from this crisis? 9. How will this impact on the development of democracy in Malaysia and where does this leave us in terms of the people’s aspiration in rejecting politics of ethnicity and religion that has been so divisive?
You may have more questions that you wish to ask and clarify. Do come to this forum to contribute your viewpoints or ask those questions you have in mind.
The details of the forum are below:
Date : 4th August,2014 (Monday)
Time : 8.30 p.m.
Venue : 2nd Floor MCPA Theater, KL & Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall,
No. 1, Jln Maharajalela, KL.
Supported by : Gabungan Bertindak Malaysia (GBM)
Joint Organisers: Merdeka Centre for Opinion Research, KLSCAH CRC,
KLSCAH Women’s Section, SUARAM
Moderator : Masjaliza Hamzah, Treasurer, Bersih2.0
Panellist : Dr Wong Chin Huat, Fellow, Penang Institute
Dr Azmi Sharom, Legal Scholar, UM
Wan Saiful Wan Jan, CEO,The Institute for Democracy & Economic
For further inquiries, please contact GBM Secretariat: 03-2272 3594.