Guessing game over Selangor's new Mentri Besar

In good company : Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim sharing a light moment with Sultan Sharafuddin idris Shah at the Selangor Masters in what will probably be one of the Selangor Mentri Besar’s last official duties before he steps down.

PETALING JAYA - The next mentri besar of Selangor will receive the surat watikah or letter of appointment today but the guessing game over whose name is on it is still going on.

The palace has been guarded about the identity of the choice from among the three assemblymen granted audiences by Selangor Ruler Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah last week.

PKR deputy president and Bukit Antarabangsa assemblyman Azmin Ali is regarded as the frontliner given that the top PAS leadership has acknowledged that the mentri besar post belongs to PKR.

It is learnt that the Sultan has made his decision after separately "interviewing" Azmin, Chempaka assemblyman Iskandar Samad and Sijangkang assemblyman Dr Ahmad Yunus Hairi.

Iskandar and Dr Ahmad Yunus are from PAS and are also state executive councillors.

Contrary to some reports, the Ruler does not need to convene a meeting of the Selangor Royal Council to arrive at a decision and everything was said to be already in place.

There will be no official announcement of who has been picked among the three candidates in spite of reports that the palace would make an announcement today.

The swearing-in ceremony of the new mentri besar is set for tomorrow morning, hopefully bringing to a close the messy power struggle in Pakatan Rakyat for the coveted seat.

Developments over the past week have clearly indicated that PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail is not being considered by the palace.

It is learnt that Azmin briefed the PKR political bureau meeting on Friday night about his audience with the Sultan after meeting Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim a day earlier.

Party strategy director Rafizi Ramli, however, claimed he had information that Iskandar would get the job instead.

The meeting eventually decided that an emergency gathering be convened for further discussions if Azmin is named because he would need to be endorsed by the party.

The political bureau also agreed that Dr Wan Azizah should make another attempt to seek an audience with the Sultan to explain that she enjoys majority support.

Yesterday, Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim appeared alongside the Sultan for the finale of the Selangor Golf Masters in what could be one of his last official duties and appearance as mentri besar with the sovereign before his final day on the job.

The Sultan was there to present the trophy for the state-sponsored tournament at the Seri Selangor Golf Club.