The Selangor Power Mess

The Johor born MB of Selangor, Amiruddin Shari

To say it stinks, it would be kind.

In the same day, Selangor swears in its new mentri besar, a challenge is already underway.

Before that an advisory.

I wants to say two things, firstly, I have no mentri besar preference. So I can’t be arsed about the camps, but really, seriously, do it openly without drama.

Because all of the parties associated with the “contest”, winners and losers, are not fans of transparency, unless if it benefits them. It’s been like that long before the 2014 Kajang Move fiasco.

Second, it’s my home state. The seed for federal change today, started when Pakatan grabbed the richest state in 2008. Selangor’s progress is what much of the nationwide voter confidence of the past election was built on. It does not belong any one person — Khalid Ibrahim, Azmin Ali or any politician — but to the Selangor people, their seeming invincible will. They turned on BN in 2008, blew critics away with a super-majority in 2013 and just upped the score by annihilating opponents including PAS by securing over 90 percent of the seats.

So how about respecting the legacy of Selangor voters? They could not stomach Umno since 2008, and when PAS belatedly did its U-turn Selangor folks could not stomach them too. It is not an unquestioned love for Pakatan of any edition, but a determination that the most informed, independent and loudest people are not going to be cowered by bullies, any bullies.

This Selangor song and dance

Amiruddin Shari is alright. I’ve not had any run-ins with him.

PKR has led the state for ten years, and with half the state legislative it would be unconscionable to not let the party continue. But it is a qualified position, since there is a lack of party discipline and coalition members are vital, and hold opinions.

Therefore, of the 28 PKR state legislators, minus departing Azmin, they had to pick one.

Shaharuddin Badaruddin (Seri Setia), Hilman Idham (Gombak Setia) and Najwan Halimi (Anggerik) are first-timers, while Haniza Talha (Lembah Jaya), Juwariya Zulkifli (Bukit Melawati), Rodziah Ismail (Batu Tiga) and Daroyah Alwi (Sementa) as females face a glass ceiling (unfairly, of course) — even party president Wan Azizah Wan Ismail was rejected by the palace back in 2014 for being, well, a woman — so it was slim pickings to begin with. That’s after the non-Malays like Cuha Wei Kiat (Rawang), Hee Loy Sian (Kajang) and Elizabeth Wong (Bukit Lanjan) were already excluded from the word go.

Surely, we must compare apples with apples. Of the options left, it was not inconceivable to choose Amiruddin.

What insults are the elaborate efforts to deny there are open factions before and after.

Of course PKR is split over Selangor.

So, it would be nice to have that honesty about it.

Anwar is present in the Selangor powerplay.

In the last ten years, my party leaders are always drawn to invite their opponents in the old government to open debates over controversies and leadership. Name an Umno leader worth mentioning, they’ve been invited.

And yes, with the exception of a few, all of Umno avoids open debates. Because they’d suck at it. (It is so liberating to say it openly. Oh boy! #MalaysiaBaru.)

Obviously, since, PKR champions new politics for the longest time, so how about having these differences contested in open, rather than have proxy battles and all the leaders denying rifts.

Really?

Prove that you are better, or be willing to lose the moral highground.

Why is Amiruddin MB and not Idris Ahmad picked? The people may not agree and they may disagree till the end of the term, but what they do deserve is a bit of truth.

Still, there is every chance Amiruddin will be that better man. Time will tell.

Puppets

Which brings to the second issue.

The reason Selangor, and in that same measure Penang, grew from strength to strength was due to their leadership forced to improve things in the state.

For decades, all the states had been functionaries of the federal government. This abdication of power to prime minister meant state leaders did not want to initiate anything, well nothing of meaning. They were just mouthpieces with no real power, except the right to condemn the state oppositions.

Ex-Perak MB Zambry Kadir always struggled to manage Putrajaya.

The problems in Perak, Kedah, Pahang, Negeri Sembilan and Malacca took a long time to realise thanks to federal monopoly. And yes, a lot of it was the work of a Mahathir Mohamad. The man who stripped the states of imagination, and by doing so, ability.

Will Amiruddin continue the good traditions of the past ten years, which is about independence and responding to the people of Selangor, or will he revert to the old ways of being a federal government’s puppet, as in the old days?

It does not matter if the strings are held by the economy minister, Azmin, or the prime minister, because it is the wrong path for the state.

So let’s see, what kind of Selangor leadership we can look forward to?

One thing they — Selangor government, PKR and federal interferers in the state — are in our radar.

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