KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 17 – PAS ulama chief Datuk Ahmad Yakob has clarified that the party’s influential wing of Muslim scholars backs its president’s decision to nominate more than one Selangor assemblyperson for the post of menteri besar. He refuted media reports that PAS’s Dewan Ulama still wanted ousted Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim to remain as menteri besar after the latter was expelled from PKR. Ahmad claimed the text of his speech was misunderstood by the media and that he was merely explaining the debate among senior leaders over PKR’s decision to replace Khalid.
“There is no question about us wanting Khalid. He has already lost majority support in the assembly,” said Ahmad, who is Dewan Ulama acting chief. “What we wanted to do was give the Islamic viewpoint to the whole issue. Such as the fact that we felt Khalid should not be removed if he has not been proven guilty of the allegations against him. “But now Khalid has been sacked so there is no issue about us supporting him,” Ahmad told reporters at the end of the Dewan Ulama assembly in Kulai today.
Media reports earlier quoted Ahmad’s policy speech where he said PAS did not agree to Khalid’s sacking and that the latter should remain as menteri besar until proven guilty of any wrongdoing. Ahmad also gave two other reasons why PAS should not go along with its allies in Pakatan Rakyat (PR), who want Khalid replaced with PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail. He also argued that Dr Wan Azizah was unsuitable for the post, while the “Kajang move” to install her as a state legislator was a waste of public funds.
Ahmad stated these reasons in the text of his speech which had been distributed at the Dewan Ulama assembly today. “We praise and stand firm behind Hadi and his steadfastness in upholding Islamic principles despite being pressured by Pakatan Rakyat and our own party’s leaders,” said Ahmad in his speech text. He did not read this section during his opening speech but PAS officials have verified that it is authentic.