PETALING JAYA: The three state executive councillors from PAS have been asked by Datuk Seri Azmin Ali to resign from the state executive council.
The Selangor Mentri Besar made the stunning request during an hour-long meeting with state exco members Datuk Iskandar Samad, Datuk Dr Ahmad Yunus Hairi and Zaidy Abdul Talib.
New state PAS commissioner Sallehen Mukhyi also sat in on the meeting.
However, Azmin has assured them that PAS could still remain as part of the state government in line with the mandate won in the 2013 general election.
The mentri besar called the meeting in the wake of the PAS syura council’s decision on Thursday to end the political cooperation or tahaluf siyasi with PKR.
Azmin is under pressure from his Pakatan Harapan partners to make a clean break with PAS because it does not make sense to announce a “divorce” and still live in the same house. His priority is to avoid a snap state election.
It is learnt that the PAS repre-sentatives were taken aback by the mentri besar’s request and said they would have to go back to their party for a decision.
It is also learnt that the PAS leaders have been informed and a top party leadership meeting will be called soon to discuss the matter.
Azmin’s unexpected move has caught the PAS leadership by surprise because the party had no plans to quit any of the state government posts despite the Syura Council ruling which has been compared to the final divorce proceedings or talak tiga between the two parties.
During the meeting, Sallehen, who recently took over from Iskandar as state PAS chief, explained that the tahaluf siyasi policy would be replaced by the taawun concept of cooperation for the benefit of the people and nation.
Sallehen said the taawun concept would enable PAS to carry on in the state government.
However, it is learnt that Azmin was not impressed with the explanation which he thought would not go down well with the Selangor public.
PAS sources said the meeting between Azmin and the PAS representatives was civil although the mentri besar expressed dismay over the syura council’s basis for ending ties.
The reasons cited included PKR’s failure to support PAS’ Islamic agenda, including the RUU355 issue and attacks by PKR leaders on the PAS leadership. Other reasons were that PKR is planning to work with parties which are out to topple the Kelantan government and for going against PAS in the Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar by-elections.
Azmin met the media after the meeting but was tight-lipped on details of the discussion except to express disappointment with the Syura Council decision and to say that he would be briefing his party president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail who is on her way back from New York.
Azmin later told The Star that the stability of his state government is paramount, and he had to study the situation before coming to a final decision.
“I have done all that is humanly possible through discussions and consultations but they have closed the door. Patience has its limits,” he said.
Despite the looming crisis, Azmin and the PAS state exco members could be seen chatting amicably at a mosque function in Rawang later in the day where the Sultan of Selangor officiated.
Azmin told reporters after the mosque function that PKR was prepared to contest against PAS in the general election.