Sunday, 27 July 2014

The Selangor Menteri Besar Poser

The Selangor Menteri Besar Poser

THE APPOINTMENT of the PKR President and Anwar Ibrahim’s wife, Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, as the first woman Menteri Besar in Malaysia may not yet be a done deal.

The incumbent, Abdul Khalid Ibrahim is still fighting to keep his post. In the latest development, he issued a challenge to state assembly members to table a no confidence vote against him.

That is not very likely to happen. So Dr Wan Azizah’s appointment as the Menteri Besar of Selangor has to wait a while longer if at all.

The Kajang state assemblywoman was supposed to take over from Abdul Khalid after the Hari Raya. It may not happen that soon.

If Dr Wan Azizah is eventually made MB, she will create history and will put the PKR ahead of other political parties in giving a higher level of recognition to the growing importance of women in the Malaysian politics.

Dr Wan Azizah - In For A Fight
 It will even put the PKR ahead of its Pakatan Rakyat partners in recognising the role of women. The DAP did its part earlier by nominating Hannah Yeoh Tseow Suan as Speaker of the Selangor State Assembly and PAS by nominating Dr Halimah Ali as a member of the Exco.

This will have the effect of further endearing the younger female voters to the party and the PR coalition. The down side is she has no administrative experience beyond holding the PKR together on behalf of her husband when he was away in prison. Anwar could once again be heading in the same direction, also on sodomy charge.

Abdul Khalid's Choices

Abdul Khalid’s day as MB may be numbered but he does not appear to want to walk into the sunset quietly. He may continue fighting within the party or outside.

There already are speculations that he may exit the PKR and join Umno – his old party. But that is a good as cutting the nose to spite the face. His other option is to join PAS, where he can make a greater difference than rejoining Umno.

Abdul Khalid - Not an Amicable Goodbye
He wasn’t particularly successful in Umno. But if he joins PAS, he will make the party stronger in the state assembly and hence strengthening his own position.

Should he choose that route, he will help PAS to become the largest PR party in the state assembly – raising its ranks from 15 to 16 and reducing PKR’s tally to 13. The DAP has 15 seats. The Barisan Nasional is the smallest with 12 seats.

But the big question mark is will PAS dare take advantage of the turmoil in the PKR?

On the other hand Abdul Khalid may choose to stay on in the PKR and become the thorn in the rear for Dr Wan Azizah and her supporters.

Umno can benefit from the turmoil in PKR. Unfortunately it is too weak and rudderless to take advantage of the PKR squabbles.

The PKR can capitalise on Dr Wan Azizah’s appointment as the first woman MB in history to enlist the support of female voters and young electors.

But Azizah’s lack of administrative experience and managerial could prove to be a handicap compared to Abdul Khalid’s vast experience in both areas.


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