KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 22 – PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said tonight that she accepts the decision of the Sultan of Selangor, who has opted for deputy president Mohamed Azmin Ali to take over as the next Selangor menteri besar. Dr Wan Azizah, who was PKR’s initial choice to replace Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim, congratulated and thanked the 29 assemblymen who had supported her and enabled Pakatan Rakyat to remain as the state government. “I appreciate their cooperation in putting the interests of the people’s mandate over their personal interests,” she said in a statement today. “In that spirit, I have made the decision to withdraw as a Selangor MB candidate.”
She added that the party’s central committee, which had convened this evening, had unanimously agreed to Azmin’s appointment as MB. “I have taken this decision for the interests of the people that the crisis has to be resolved as soon as possible. I am confident that PKR has defended the principle of democratic constitutional monarchy. “Although the appointment process, in my opinion, was not in line with the provisions of the Selangor constitution, I believe the focus should go back to defending the people of Selangor.” Over the last few weeks, PKR had repeatedly said it was sticking to its stand of nominating only Dr Wan Azizah for the MB post, despite reprimands from the Selangor palace over its decision to submit only one name. DAP and PKR had submitted only Dr Wan Azizah’s name for the post, although DAP was open to the idea of Azmin replacing Khalid.
PAS, however, broke ranks with its partners when its president, Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, submitted three names to the palace. The three are said to be Dr Idris Ahmad (PKR-Ijok), Dr Yakub Sapari (PKR-Kota Anggerik) and Iskandar Samad, the Selangor PAS commissioner, who is also a state exco member and Cempaka assemblyman. It is not known if PKR and DAP submitted more names following the sultan’s reprimand, who had asked each Pakatan Rakyat (PR) party to submit more than two names. Last week, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah reportedly interviewed and shortlisted three candidates for the job. Apart from Azmin, he had also interviewed Iskandar and Dr Ahmad Yunus Hairi, despite the Islamist party stating it would not stake a claim for the position.