Group marches in support of Selangor MB
About 400 supporters of the Menteri Besar Selangor Club (MBSC) marched from Dataran Shah Alam to the Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah building here to defend Khalid’s rejection of Datuk Mohd Khusrin Munawi’s appointment as the new state secretary.
“We support the Selangor government in returning powers to appoint the state secretary to the Sultan and the mentri besar, which were robbed by Umno in 1993,” MBSC president Anuar Othman told the crowd today.
Khalid accused Umno on Sunday of committing treason in 1993 when then-prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad limited the powers of the monarchy.
The Pakatan Rakyat (PR) state government’s proposed amendments to Section 52 of the state constitution, which covers the appointments of the state secretary, state legal advisor, and state financial officer, are expected to mirror the version that existed prior to the 1993 amendments.
But PR, which holds 35 seats in the 56-seat assembly, is three seats shy of the two-thirds majority necessary to amend the constitution.
The Malaysian Insider reported yesterday that Selangor did not expect to secure the two-thirds majority needed to amend the constitution, but planned to proceed with an emergency sitting of the state assembly on January 24 to “expose” Umno.
Khalid also told a press conference separately today that the state assembly sitting was Selangor’s “statement” to reclaim its powers to run the state.
Anuar said MBSC had gathered today to protect the Selangor Sultan against Umno’s alleged attempts to manipulate the ruler.
“We challenge Selangor Umno to support the amendments to the constitution,” said the MBSC chief as Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) officers looked on.
“We, Selangor residents, pledge our loyalty to the Sultan and the Selangor Pakatan Rakyat government that is led by Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim,” he added, before sending a memorandum to the mentri besar’s office expressing MBSC’s support.
Khalid has also challenged Selangor Umno to back his proposed amendments to prove its sincerity in upholding the monarchy.
But Selangor Umno deputy chairman Datuk Noh Omar hit back yesterday and told Khalid to show that the state opposition party had committed treason in the appointments of previous Selangor state secretaries.
Noh claimed that the federal Public Service Commission (PSC) had always sought royal consent before appointing the state’s top civil servant.
As the crowd chanted “Reformasi” and “Hidup PR”, a student told The Malaysian Insider that the state secretary dispute was being politicised by the federal government.
“Khalid’s administration seems to be good,” said Siti Nur Amirah, 21, at the gathering.
“The state secretary issue is not a big problem for Khalid, but it can disrupt the Selangor administration,” she added.
Another protestor, Ibrahim Deraman, said he supported Khalid’s proposed amendments to the constitution.
“Procedure was not followed. The Chief Secretary named the state secretary without consulting the mentri besar,” Ibrahim told The Malaysian Insider.
“The Chief Secretary and the mentri besar must work together,” added the 62-year-old retired civil servant.
Putrajaya insists that the federal Public Service Commission (PSC) has the right to appoint the state’s top civil servant.
Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan also said the Selangor constitution did not require him to consult the state government when making such an appointment.
Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad, who was at the gathering today, accused BN of using the Sultan in the impasse over Mohd Khusrin’s appointment.
“BN doesn’t dare to fight PR. They put the Sultan in front,” he said.