Brake on Anwar's plan

KUALA LUMPUR - Pakatan Rakyat leadership has thrown a spanner into PKR's bid to make party president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail the next Selangor mentri besar.

In what appears to be a delay tactic, PAS and DAP leaders said they would have to discuss the matter with their respective party leaderships before making a final decision.

This was the position taken by the parties at the Pakatan leadership council meeting that was held to discuss the matter yesterday.

Opposition leader and PKR adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said after the meeting that both PAS and DAP had agreed to decide on the matter soon.

He said the meeting, however, reaffirmed the principle that the mentri besar seat be­­longed to PKR.

PKR at its supreme council meeting on Monday had nominated Dr Wan Azizah as Selangor's next mentri besar.

Anwar had on Friday night informed the Selangor PKR division chiefs and elected re­­presentative of his intention to replace incumbent Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim with Dr Wan Azizah.

When asked what action would be taken if Khalid refused to step down, Anwar said yesterday that PKR was still in the process of discussing the matter.

"Don't be presumptuous. We are discussing it amicably and it is still in the process of discussion," he said.

Asked what his role in Selangor state go­vernment will be if his wife assumed the mentri besar post, Anwar said he would hold no position and would even quit as the state economic adviser.

Khalid did not attend the meeting as he is not a Pakatan council member.

PAS deputy president Mat Sabu, who was present at the press conference, said his party would discuss the proposal immediately and would make an announcement after Hari Raya.

However, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said it was only appropriate for Pakatan leaders to make a joint announcement on the matter.

Asked why PKR deputy president Azmin Ali was overlooked as mentri besar candidate, Anwar replied that although the Bukit Antara­bangsa assemblyman was qualified, there were also others who were similarly qualified for the post and the party's consensus was for Dr Wan Azizah to replace Khalid.

Khalid on Tuesday had said that he would continue as mentri besar until official procedures to unseat him as outlined in the state constitution were carried out.

Khalid has been at the receiving end of strong condemnation over his management of Selangor and is facing extreme pressure from his party to step down.

His replacement has been a long-orchestrated affair, starting from the Kajang move in March where Dr Wan Azizah became state assemblyman after Anwar, who was the first choice to contest, was convicted of sodomy.