KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 20 – PKR’s choice for the Selangor menteri besar has not changed and the party denied reports today that opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had given the nod for deputy president Mohamed Azmin Ali to assume the state’s top post. Referring to The Malaysian Insider report titled “Anwar nod for Azmin to be Selangor MB”, party secretary-general Datuk Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said PKR’s official stand was still to back its president, Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, as menteri besar.
“It is the same as what I have said in my media statement yesterday. Any other reports, especially from unofficial sources, are baseless,” he said in a terse statement today. Last night, Saifuddin issued a statement that PKR was seeking an audience with the Selangor ruler to show that Dr Wan Azizah had the majority support for the post. She has the backing of 30 assemblymen who signed statutory declarations supporting her. “PKR seeks an audience with his royal highness requesting his advice and consideration that the status of majority support is clear and has not changed,” Saifuddin had said yesterday.
The Malaysian Insider report today said Azmin is expected to be appointed the Selangor menteri besar after striking an agreement with Anwar. Quoting PKR sources, the report stated that Anwar had contacted Saifuddin to include the Bukit Antarabangsa assemblyman’s name into the list of candidates that will be submitted by the multiracial party to the palace. “Datuk Seri (Anwar) telephoned the secretary-general from Turkey to inform him of the decision,” a source had told The Malaysian Insider. The Selangor palace has confirmed that the swearing-in ceremony of the new menteri besar would be held this Tuesday. This news was followed by rumours that Azmin would replace incumbent Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim. There were also rumours that an assemblyman from PAS would be appointed, as PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang had nominated three names to the palace. However, the sultan’s private secretary Datuk Mohamad Munir Bani when contacted by The Malaysian Insider, declined to say who would be appointed.