Selangor MB Mystery Continues

There are 56 legislative seats in my home state Selangor.

Half of those seats were won by PKR in the last election. But if we need to be pedantic about, PKR won 51 as Amanah (5), Bersatu (5) and DAP (13) candidates stood under the Keadilan emblem.

They received their Surat Watikah (Candidature Letter) from PKR President Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.

In all 56 contests, the Keadilan choice was present.

The frontrunner, Shaharuddin Baharuddin?

With the exception of five seats, Umno (4) and PAS (1), the people were in the majority with the Keadilan. That’s a lot of people to favour one coalition in a state. It’s the strongest win in any state this past election.

I say all this because, the state will have a new mentri besar next month, with the departure of Azmin Ali, but there is no control over the matter for PKR. As in the name the new MB.

The over-centralised nature of Msian government renders the position of mentri besar as the biggest gain of any election inside the states. Yet PKR cannot determine on its own who should assume this position.

This is, in a very roundabout way of saying it, waiting for the sultan’s pick.

Hijack?

Despite the voters choice of who to support, the Selangor royal family decides.

Which is fairly diabolical. It countermands democratic mandate, which should never happen.

Selangor is not new to pickles after elections.

Youth exco Amiruddin Shaari, about to make history?

When BN lost Selangor the first time in 2008, the sultan requested for the opposition parties to meet him first, to establish the majority. Which is fair, since PAS, DAP and PKR contested as separate parties even if they campaigned together.

Luckily, when the solidarity among the parties was established, PKR’s pick Khalid Ibrahim was sworn in. So far all democratic.

In 2013, after GE13, Khalid’s reappointment with a super-majority was straightforward.

The 2014 Kajang move, to initially move Anwar Ibrahim to an assembly seat as a means to accelerate his ascent to the MB office to replace Khalid, was reframed with Anwar’s late disqualification by the courts, therefore named was party president and wife Wan Azizah.

This is when it went south, as the successful removal of Khalid did not naturally lead to Wan Azizah’s appointment.

There were objections.

This had two issues, palace support and also clarity of an assembly majority for Wan Azizah as PAS assemblymen were cold to the idea.

Azmin was made MB, instead.

And now he is leaving.

The present

The big difference though, other than the parties contesting under one emblem, Bersatu, Amanah and DAP, the coalition members have limited objections to whoever PKR prefers.

Which then turns this current impasse as one purely constructed by the palace.

Which is egregious to our democracy.

The palace does not need to weigh the worth of PKR’s pick, it should merely process it.

With more time presently, will Anwar set out to “influence” the palace?

PKR, and its allies, have to deal with the political and economical ramifications of the pick, and therefore not having them have their say after being overwhelmingly chosen by the people of Selangor, is undemocratic.

I’m used to the state constitution arguments, but it is without doubt that state laws are only constitutional when they are consistent with the Federal Constitution. In fact laws which negate the Federal Constitution are supposed to be corrected to be harmonious with that document.

In the years to come, Selangor people will judge Pakatan Harapan for this term, and it would be a huge disservice to not let them execute their mandate on their terms, since at the end of the day its this government being evaluated, not the palace.

I’m not championing any one of the candidates, but it is folly to let any of them lobby the palace rather than their party president, or the 22 divisions of PKR and even the coalition partners. Because the latter are political participants, and the former is not.

It’s a straightforward issue made complicated unnecessarily.

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