PETALING JAYA - The game changer resulting from the Sultan of Selangor's no-nonsense stand on the mentri besar issue has opened the door to dark horse candidates Azmin Ali from PKR and Iskandar Samad of PAS to be considered for the top job.
The Sultan, deeply disappointed and upset over PKR and DAP's non-compliance with his request for more than two names, has indicated that he may select a qualified name from either the list of proposed names or anyone outside the list.
Iskandar, a state executive council member and state PAS commissioner, was one of three names proposed by PAS while PKR deputy president Azmin is the alternative candidate from his party.
In a strongly worded statement expressing Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah's disappointment over the two parties for only submitting Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail's name, the palace said the Ruler would now screen the names of other eligible assemblymen from Pakatan.
It also described the defiance of PKR and DAP as an "act of disloyalty".
"The Sultan of Selangor is confident that there are many other candidates in Pakatan Rakyat parties who possess strong leadership qualities to lead the state government," read the statement issued by the Sultan's private secretary Datuk Mohamad Munir Bani.
In the 56-seat state assembly, PAS and DAP each have 15 members, PKR has 13, Barisan Nasional has 12 while Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim is an Independent after being sacked from PKR.
There are 25 state assemblymen who are eligible, according to the state constitution.
Article 51 of the constitution states that the mentri besar must be a Malay and a Muslim.
Article 53(2) states that the Sultan shall appoint a mentri besar who is a member of the legislative assembly and who, in his judgment, is likely to command the confidence of the majority of the members of the House.
Article 53(4) states that in appointing a mentri besar, the Sultan may at his discretion dispense with any provision in the state constitution restricting his choice of candidate if in his opinion it was necessary to comply with the provisions of the Article.
Apart from Khalid who resigned his position, there are 15 Malay-Muslim assemblyman from PAS and 10 from PKR.
Among the possible candidates from PAS are executive council members Iskandar Abdul Samad, Sallehin Mukhyi and Dr Ahmad Yunus Hairi.
In PKR, the potential aspirants include Bukit Antarabangsa assemblyman Azmin Ali and Ijok representative Dr Idris Ahmad.
While DAP and PKR have been insistent on Dr Wan Azizah as their sole candidate, in a front-page report on Aug 29 The Star quoted a palace source saying that the Sultan wants the new mentri besar to be able to manage the state without being manipulated by anyone.