Monday, December 27, 2010

Deja-vu Perak crisis: Khusrin named new S'gor state secretary

The federal government’s appointment of Khusrin Munawi as the new Selangor state secretary has sparked grave concern that Umno will soon launch phase two of its move to regain control of the country’s richest state.

"Khusrin is not the state's choice. His appointment is proof that BN is unable to respect the people's choice of state leaders. Sadly, it looks like Umno will go all out to make trouble for Pakatan and Selangorians. It is a fact Khusrin is a die-hard Umno loyalist," PAS MP for Shah Alam Khalid Samad told Malaysia Chronicle.

Indeed a statement out of Mentri Besar Khalid Ibrahim's office indicates that his administration plans to fight the appointment. According to his office, Khalid had already shortlisted three candidates for the post and was due to meet the Sultan on December 29.

"The appointment of the Selangor state secretary has not been finalised. This is because Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim was never informed of Datuk Khusrin Munawi’s appointment by the Chief Secretary. The mentri besar has therefore sent a letter to the Sultan of Selangor informing him that he was not aware of the said decision," Khalid's office said in a statement.

Umno starts poking fire again

Prime Minister Najib Razak, who is also Selangor Umno liason chief, has vowed to topple Mentri Besar Khalid Ibrahim. His earlier attempts to get the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission to rubber-stamp corruption charges against key executive councilors had resulted in the tragic death of political aide Teoh Beng Hock in 2009.

The negative publicity plus revelations of former chief minister Khir Toyo's RM24r million palatial home had forced Najib to put his plan on hold. But now, Najib is expected to revert to similar steps he took to wrest Perak from deposed PAS mentri besar Nizar Jamaluddin in February 2009.

“There is a sense of deja-vu. The Perak state secretary Abdul Rahman Hashim had played an instrumental role in blocking justice during the Perak coup d’etat. Now with Khusrin, we can expect similar destabilization programs to begin in Selangor,” PKR vice president Tian Chua told Malaysia Chronicle.

Sultan's approval

Khusrin will vacate his current post as head of the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (JAIS). He will take over from Ramli Mahmud, 56, who will complete his service on Dec 31. The announcement was made by Chief Secretary to the Government Mohd Sidek Hassan.

The 54-year old Khusrin does not cut a popular figure in Selangor. During the recent row over Najib’s attempt to legalize football betting, Khusrin had refused to take a stand on the issue although gambling is clearly prohibited under Islam.

Nonetheless, according to Mohd Sidek, Khusrin’s appointment was approved by the Selangor Sultan.

In the Perak power grab, state secretary Abdul Rahman along with the Perak Sultan were accused of siding Najib and closing an eye to the letter and spirit of the law thereby helping Umno regain control of the state assembly through brute force.

Written by Wong Choon Mei, Malaysia Chronicle



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