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Selangor's chief minister expelled from PKR

One of Malaysia's main opposition parties - Parti Keadilan Rakyat (People's Justice Party, PKR) - on Saturday (Aug 9) expelled Selangor's Chief Minister Abdul Khalid Ibrahim from the party.

PETALING JAYA: Parti Keadilan Rakyat's (PKR) Central Leadership Council (MPP) on Saturday (Aug 9) took the decision to sack Selangor's Chief Minister Abdul Khalid Ibrahim from the party with immediate effect. PKR's disciplinary board chairman Datuk Dr Tan Kee Kwong said it was a unanimous decision by the MPP based on Mr Abdul Khalid's refusal to make way for PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail to be the new chief minister of the state.

Dr Tan said besides this, Mr Abdul Khalid had also ignored several decisions made by the Pakatan Rakyat Presidential Council. "As such, it is announced that Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim has been sacked from PKR with immediate effect," he told a press conference at PKR's headquarters here.

Commenting further, Dr Tan said Mr Abdul Khalid was found to have ignored a decision made by the MPP on July 21 which had unanimously picked Dr Wan Azizah as the new candidate for the post of the Chief Minister of Selangor. "He (Abdul Khalid) had made a media statement on July 22, 2014 that he would not step down (chief minister) and till today has refused to so. "Solely on this ground, the Disciplinary Board was of the opinion that he should be sacked," said Dr Tan.

Dr Tan, who is also Wangsa Maju member of Parliament, said among the decisions of the MPP that were disregarded by Mr Abdul Khalid were postponing discussions on the Langat 2 water treatment project and also postponing an increase in the allowances for the Speaker, chief minister, state executive councillors and assemblymen.

"He also failed to adhere to the decision of the PR (Pakatan Rakyat) Presidential Council as agreed by him on involving the Selangor Water Restructuring Committee in the restructuring of Selangor water assets. "He also went ahead with the Kidex highway project even though the party had ordered him to review the project as it was against PR's objectives and manifesto presented during the last general election," said Dr Tan.

In Selangor, Pakatan Rakyat which is made up of PKR, DAP and PAS is in power whereas the Barisan Nasional (BN) is in the opposition. The BN is in power at the federal level and in all the states except for Kelantan, Penang and Selangor. Selangor is led by the PKR, hence the MB coming from the party while Penang and Kelantan are led by the DAP and PAS respectively.

Dr Tan said Mr Abdul Khalid had 14 days from today to file his appeal if he felt the sacking was not reasonable or he was denied justice. "If Abdul Khalid appeals, the MPP will set up a separate committee to hear the case," he said.

At the same press conference, PKR secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said the sacking was based on the conduct of Mr Abdul Khalid, which he described as open defiance. Nonetheless, Mr Saifuddin said based on the Selangor constitution, Mr Abdul Khalid still remained as the lawful chief minister but was deemed to have lost majority support because the DAP and PKR had decided to no longer support him.

"You must understand, as per the state constitution, it is very clear he no longer commands majority support in the state assembly. Why? Because he has been sacked from the party, and PKR and DAP have withdrawn their support to him. Abdul Khalid no longer commands majority support from Selangor assemblyman and because of this, does not fulfill the conditions to continue holding the MB (Menteri Besar) post," Mr Saifuddin explained.

Following this, he said PKR would move a motion of no confidence against Mr Abdul Khalid in the state assembly to remove him from the post in a lawful manner. 

This is the worst crisis in the six-year history of the tripartite Pakatan Rakyat (People's Pact) opposition coalition, which has made historic electoral gains by offering itself as an alternative to the country's decades-old ruling regime. Mr Abdul Khalid's refusal to budge has been supported by key figures in the Pan-Malaysia Islamic Party (PAS) - a conservative Muslim party and Pakatan member - laying bare deep inter-party rivalries in the coalition.

The move is likely to anger Mr Abdul Khalid's supporters within PAS. PAS' senior leadership is due to meet on Aug 17 to decide on a final stand by the party on his position. PAS leaders could not immediately be reached for comment.

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