PETALING JAYA – The political crisis in Selangor has worsened with PAS threatening to pull out of the state government if Datuk Seri Azmin Ali forces the party’s three state executive councillors to resign.
The Selangor PAS leadership decided that all its 13 assemblymen would quit the state government if the Mentri Besar caves in to pressure from his Pakatan Harapan partners to isolate PAS.
The threat, if carried out, will rock the Selangor government because it will leave the Pakatan side on the edge with only 29 assemblymen in the 56-seat state assembly.
Pakatan will be only one seat away from crumbling with 14 assemblymen from DAP, 13 from PKR and two from Amanah.
The PAS decision was made at a late night meeting on Tuesday chaired by the newly appointed Selangor party chief and Sabak assemblyman Sallehen Mukhyi.
Sallehen has been tasked with conveying the decision to the party’s central committee that is scheduled to meet today.
The Tuesday meeting was attended by all Selangor PAS division leaders who were updated by Sallehen about the political crisis that has engulfed the state government following the Syura Council’s decision to terminate ties with PKR.
Sallehen also briefed them about his meeting with Azmin during which the Mentri Besar asked the three PAS state exco members to resign. The three are Datuk Iskandar Samad, Datuk Ahmad Yunus Hairi and Zaidy Abdul Talib.
A PAS insider said the meeting did not discuss what the party would do if it exits the state government.
“There are many options but it is up to the people to interpret,” said the insider.
If the PAS threat materialises, the new state Opposition will comprise 13 from PAS, 11 from Umno and two Independents.
There is speculation that former Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim is positioning himself to make a return and he is said to be eyeing some crossovers from the other side to make up the numbers.
Ironically, the PKR political bureau was also meeting on the other side of town at the same time on Tuesday. That meeting, chaired by its president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, decided to order all its political appointees in Kelantan to step down with immediate effect.
On calls for PAS to be axed from the Selangor government, she said it would be decided together with Azmin who is on a working trip to Brussels.
The pressure on Azmin, who is also PKR deputy president, to act against PAS is growing with several DAP leaders urging him to drop PAS from his administration.
There is also pressure from within PKR which is convening its national congress this weekend. The PAS Syura Council statement criticising PKR for not supporting the PAS Islamic agenda has also riled PKR members.
According to Kelantan deputy Mentri Besar Datuk Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah, PKR has about 100 political appointees holding posts as municipal councillors, constituency coordinators, penghulu and GLC board members. Guchil assemblyman Mohd Roslan Puteh is the lone PKR elected representative in Kelantan.
Mohd Amar said the Kelantan government would not force the PKR appointees to resign and that it was up to them to decide.
The PKR move is seen as forcing the hand of PAS in Selangor. However, PAS has refused to budge from the Selangor government on the grounds that it is there based on the mandate won in the 2013 general election.
This the second time that Selangor is battling a political crisis from within. The state government was shaken to the core two years ago when DAP and PKR ganged up to oust Khalid as Mentri Besar.
His exit almost resulted in a constitutional crisis as the DAP-led camp in Pakatan and the palace engaged in a tug-of-war over who should be the next mentri besar.