The Games Anwar Plays


October 14, 2014

The Games Anwar Plays

Azmin AliMy friend Netto has shed some light on recent developments in Parti KeADIlan Rakyat (PKR), especially Anwar’s destructive ways. The incumbent Ketua Umum is clearly not interested in bringing all factions together after years of internal feuding. In stead with the prospect of his return to Sungei Buloh getting brighter by the day, he is more concerned about ensuring that he remains dominant in its affairs.

By appointing his loyal supporters (Rafizi, Saifuddin Nasution, Sivarasa and his daughter Nurul Izzah) to key positions in PKR, he believes he can dictate by remote control what PKR can and cannot do. If he ends up in jail, Anwar wants to be able to revive the Free Anwar Campaign and rekindle the spirit of Reformasi which propelled Pakatan Rakyat into prominence in 2008 and in 2013, when the political opposition received some 50 odd percent of the popular vote.

I believe he is sadly mistaken. Times have changed. His credibility as leader of  Pakatan Rakyat has been called to question. His poor handling of the Selangor Menteri Besar crisis was actually his political Waterloo. It showed us that he can no longer command the support of PAS and keep the coalition intact. Even Lim Kit Siang doubts that Pakatan Rakyat can hold together for GE-14.

The Azmin Ali factor in PKR cannot be discounted. The new Menteri Besar of Selangor is a very astute politician who knows Anwar’s strengths and weaknesses well, but he has yet to show us what he can do to frustrate Anwar’s moves to control the party. At this point in time, Azmin is busy with the Budget 2015 for Selangor and rebuilding relations with PAS and DAP.

Obviously, Azmin has to consolidate his position in Selangor with a clear agenda for the benefit of Selangorians in terms of good governance and socio-conomic development. So far, he has been able to garner competent PKR advisers and strategists, some of whom are already working with him  as members of his State Ex-Co. He also has the resources at his disposal and the political stamina to wage a successful campaign against forces within his party who are bent on unseating him.

The fact that Azmin has maintained his silence while Anwar reorganises PKR is a sign that he is  neither helpless nor hopeless. I believe that he can count on PAS and DAP to back him when it came to a crunch. This is because he did not antagonize them during the Selangor Menteri Besar crisis where he showed himself be very loyal to his party and Pakatan Rakyat.

As a realist and a seasoned political infighter, Azmin is well aware that his strength in the final analysis is heavily dependent on his ability to  strengthen his party and bring the contending factions together.Only a strong, united and credible PKR can gain the respect of its coalition partners and voters. 

At some point, he must emerge from the shadow of Anwar Ibrahim, his former political mentor who, like Brutus, is now stabbing him in the back with his latest political plays.–Din Merican

Rise of a new “Ketua Umum” in PKR

by Terence Netto@www.malaysiakini.com

 COMMENT: PKR declined the opportunity to bridge the gulf between its factions ahead of a possible jailing of party supremo Anwar Ibrahim, whose Sodomy II appeal is set for hearing at the apex court on October 28.

anwar-ibrahim-recentInstead of choosing to unite the party after an embarrassingly disheveled and long drawn-out internal election process, PKR on Sunday opted to deepen the cleavages within by appointing partisan leaders to key positions. This myopia would be the more debilitating should Anwar lose his appeal in the Federal Court against his conviction for sodomy at the Court of Appeal last March.

PKR has to be a unified and solidified force in the event that Anwar winds up in jail, the better it can parlay his incarceration into support for the party and the cause of comprehensive political reform of the country. By appointing partisans rather than neutrals to key posts, the party chose navel gazing rather than scanning the horizon as preparation for challenges it must face en route to the next general election.

The myopia behind this choice is in stark contrast to the inclusive nature of the decisions made by the candidate it declined to propose but was ultimately appointed to the post of Selangor Menteri Besar.

Menteri Besar Azmin Ali , the party’s No 2 by an emphatic margin in the internal polls in which much was done to prevent his victory, had moved in the initial weeks of his appointment as MB to bring together not only contending forces within PKR but also within the Pakatan Rakyat coalition that dominates the state legislature.

That collaborative spirit is unrequited within PKR, judging from who the party chose to appoint to key positions after meetings of its political bureau and its central leadership council two days ago.

In naming Rafizi Ramli to the Secretary-General’s post, PKR has preferred a lighting rod to aRafizi neutral in a position that is possibly the most sensitive in an overall scheme, if that be the intention, to unite the party after a prolonged bout of internecine feuding that preceded the party polls, wore it down as it proceeded apace and dogged the simultaneous struggle to replace Khalid Ibrahim as Selangor MB.

After an experience that tumultuous, one would think the last person to appoint, after the dust has begun to settle, to the position of party secretary-general would be Rafizi, who had been the stormiest petrel in the entire boondoggle.

The former Deputy Chief Minister of Penang and current MP for Nibong Tebal, Mansor Othman (right), was widely touted as the likeliest to replace the incumbent Sec-Gen Saifuddin Nasution, an out-and-out Anwar flunkey. Colourless and self-effacing, Mansor is the sort of operative more suited to the tasks of the backroom rather than the frontal positions that his past as Deputy Chief Minister and Penang PKR chief had thrust upon him. Mansor is also known to enjoy good ties to all the factions in the party.

Polarising figure

This is unlike Rafizi who has become a polarising figure in the party. He was previously not so, or chose not to be divisive until shortly after last year’s general election.

This was a smart choice because Rafizi, having had no past in UMNO from which several of the key PKR players had emerged and are thereby tainted, found it wise to stay above the partisan fray within the party, keeping his sights on the financial and economic issues that plague the country, a field of concern at which he is adept.

But after observing the seeming indifference of Azmin at a post-mortem of PKR’s performance in the 2013 general election held in Penang in August last year, Rafizi shed his customary cool and plunged into the partisan fray.

A few months later, when suspicion within the party mounted over Khalid Ibrahim’s deals withKhalid Ibrahim3 the federal government over ownership and management of Selangor’s water assets and related questions over new tolled highways and seized Bibles, Rafizi went full throttle in his assumed role as saviour of the party.

He saw Khalid and Azmin as leaders to be got rid off and proceeded to hurl himself into the task. A more nuanced survey of the situation – the personalities involved and their track records – would have yielded the view that Khalid was the more insidious threat to PKR’s vision and ideals.

Instead Rafizi opted to tar both with the same brush and strategised in the party polls to get Saifuddin elected in a three-cornered fight – the other contestants were incumbent Azmin and Khalid – for the Deputy President’s post. This caused the election exercise to degenerate into block voting, a recipe for mediocre selection.

Rafizi nearly became a casualty of the process; in the final rounds of the staggered vote, he homed in on one of the four elected vice-presidential slots. Had he stood alone, untethered to any camp, he may have nailed one of the four veep positions with ease and another of the ‘stand alone’ candidates, N Surendran, may have come thorough had there been no block voting.

Inherited aura

In the event, Azmin retained his No 2 post with ease, to the distress of his opponents in the party whose devotion to democratic ideals is limited by whether it conforms with their preferences.

Nurul IzzahBesides the post of Secretary-General, PKR has opted to appoint individuals opposed to Azmin to other critical positions: the new election directors are Dato’ Saifuddin Nasution Ismail and Nurul Izzah Anwar, who owes her lofty position in the party hierarchy to nothing more substantive than the aura she inherits from his father.

In the selection of co-directors of a position that will impact the selection of candidates for the next general election, the party did not see fit to appoint at least one person from among the Azmin faction. Latheefa Koya , the lawyer who virtually built up the party’s legal and human rights bureau and who topped the vote for the central leadership council, has been replaced by R Sivarasa.

Latheefa has had her run-ins with Rafizi who in the event that Anwar winds up in Sungai Buloh will be the new de facto ‘Ketua Umum’ of  the party.

A political party saddled with improvisatory titles will find ways to retool them for its rising parvenus. As for its stauncher adherents, like the new MB of Selangor, they will have to rely on the cunning of history, or if you may, the cunning of reason to see them through, as it has in Selangor where the Palace was constitutionally wrong but politically right in appointing Azmin as the MB.

PKR’s ‘Ketua Umum’, Anwar Ibrahim, is fond of quoting Mahatma Gandhi to the effect that what is morally right cannot be politically wrong and what is politically right must also be morally right. The problem is he’s rather better at preaching than he is at practice. The pity of it is that that’s being found out about him just when he is at the receiving end of a load of ghastly practices.

Anwar Ibrahim’s Response to Najib’s 2015 Budget Proposals


October 13, 2014

Anwar Ibrahim’s Response to Najib’s 2015 Budget Proposals

Anwar Ibrahim Ops Leader

When I said I had great difficulty in understanding our Finance Minister’s 2015 Budget Speech which he delivered to our august Parliament last Friday, I could not have been more serious. PM Najib’s slogans and acronyms left me puzzled, in particular his National Blue Ocean Strategy (NBOS).

This concept was borrowed from Blue Ocean Strategy, a book published in 2005 and written by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne, Professors at INSEAD and Co-Directors of the INSEAD Blue Ocean Strategy Institute. Based on a study of 150 strategic moves spanning more than a hundred years and thirty industries, Kim & Mauborgne argue that companies can succeed not by battling competitors, but rather by creating ″blue oceans″ of uncontested market space. They assert that these strategic moves create a leap in value for the company, its buyers, and its employees, while unlocking new demand and making the competition irrelevant. The book presents analytical frameworks and tools to foster organization’s ability to systematically create and capture blue oceans. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Ocean_Strategy)

That was why I sought the help of my friends, associates and readers of this blog to explain Najib’s 2015 Budget proposals in simple layman’s terms. But judging from the number of responses I received by way of comment, the 2015 Budget was not taken seriously.

Here is a speech (below) in Parliament by Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Opposition Leader and former Minister of Finance. His response to Najib’s 2015 Budget  proposals makes a lot of sense to me. Despite my occasional disagreements with the politics and antics of the Opposition leader, I acknowledge that in debating the 2015 Budget, the Opposition leader presented an excellent critique in Parliament. Please judge it for yourself and then make your comments.–Din Merican

Is Pakatan Rakyat still relevant, asks DAP’s Lim Kit Siang


October 6, 2014

Is Pakatan Rakyat still relevant, asks DAP’s Lim Kit Siang

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com

Anwar-UbahThe 2008 Coalition of Convenience

DAP strongman Lim Kit Siang has called for an “urgent meeting” of the Pakatan Rakyat Leadership Council to find out whether the alliance “is still relevant to the hopes and expectations of Malaysians”.

In his latest blog posting, he suggested that the members of the council take the opportunity to meet during breaks in the Parliament session that begins tomorrow.

He said there was no denying that the Selangor Menteri Besar controversy had caused the alliance to suffer its worst crisis and most serious loss of public confidence since its formation six years ago.

“The jury is still out whether PR can recover” before the 14th General Election, he added. He said PR was lucky that Selangor Barisan Nasional was too weak to exploit the situation. “But the next time,” he warned, “PR is not going to be so lucky.”

He said DAP, PKR and PAS must address the “critical” question of whether PR “is capable of closing ranks or is at the stage of its end game.” He said the PR leadership council was “virtually crippled” during the MB crisis by the breakdown of its consensus principle.

He said the proposed meeting should reaffirm the component parties’ “commitment and adherence to the PR’s two founding principles – upholding the PR common policy framework and abiding by the PR operational principle of consensus.”

“A working committee with three or four representatives from each PR component party should be entrusted with the urgent responsibility to formulate recommendations as to how PR could learn from the recent crisis,” he said. Kit Siang added, “A repeat of such a crisis would spell the end and demise of the PR coalition.”

 

Selangor in Crisis, nation in extremis


August 27, 2014

Selangor in Crisis, nation in extremis

“But when the leaders choose to make themselves bidders at an auction of popularity, their talents, in the construction of the state, will be of no service. They will become flatterers instead of legislators; the instruments, not the guides, of the people. If any of them should happen to propose a scheme of liberty, soberly limited, and defined with proper qualifications, he will be immediately outbid by his competitors, who will produce something more splendidly popular. Suspicions will be raised of his fidelity to his cause. Moderation will be stigmatized as the virtue of cowards; and compromise as the prudence of traitors; until, in hopes of preserving the credit which may enable him to temper, and moderate, on some occasions, the popular leader is obliged to become active in propagating doctrines, and establishing powers, that will afterwards defeat any sober purpose at which he ultimately might have aimed.”

Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France

by Terence Netto@www.malaysiakini.com

For Pakatan Rakyat the Khalid Ibrahim saga has become a rent garment – the more they fuss with it the worse the tear becomes. The issue begs closure; regnant confusion in the Attorney-General’s Chambers over the distinction between legitimate criticism and seditious speech has now become the most ominous threat to fundamental liberties.

Pakatan Rakyat ought to be concerned with the latter menace. Unchecked, it will wipe out the gains theGani Patail federal opposition has made since the seminal general election of March 2008. The country is drifting without a rudder because it has a leader at the helm who mistakes decidedly inelegant silence for moderation, in tandem with an Attorney-General who misconstrues the irreverent for the inflammatory.

Because Pakatan views itself as a government-in-waiting, it cannot allow continued neurosis over who is to be Selangor MB to be as disabling as Najib Abdul Razak’s catatonia and Gani Patail’s confusion are for the country.

Fatal to Pakatan would be the impression, now fast gaining ground, that it is a coalition where problems within one component incapacitate the whole, or worse, exposes its unity as a thing of expedience more than principle. Hence the question of who is to replace Khalid Ibrahim as Menteri Besar of Selangor must now be resolved with all deliberate speed. The matter has preoccupied Pakatan for eight exasperating months during which public confidence in the ability of presumptive occupants to Putrajaya has been gravely undermined.

wan azizah 1The crisis is headed for further protraction, judging from the initial reaction of PKR and DAP to soundings yesterday from the Selangor Palace that each component of Pakatan should recommend three candidates for the position of MB. It appears that PKR and DAP are insistent on wanting only Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail for the post. Their insistence on nominating one candidate will keep the matter of Khalid’s replacement simmering.

After withering on the vine for eight months, the issue demands resolution, if only because it has been overtaken by other – weightier – concerns, of national rather than merely provincial import. Further delay in resolving it will redound to Pakatan’s disadvantage more than it would to any other entity, now that Khalid has tendered his resignation and has been requested by the Sultan to hold it in abeyance until his replacement is appointed.

PKR and DAP, in insisting on one candidate for the MB position, will appear to be unduly captious just when they should be – especially now when greater dangers impend – more concerned to get things over and done with.

Horizon-scanners, not navel-gazers  

Their insistence will open them to the charge of being navel-gazers, to the point of myopia and hallucination, just when they must be horizon-scanners – for the good of the overall polity, given the clear and present danger posed it by a rudderless national leadership and confused law enforcement.

The DAP, in particular, should put itself within sight of a Deputy MB-ship in Selangor, something that can be contemplated within the dynamics of political developments in the state. Should a PKR candidate other than Wan Azizah be appointed, the DAP’s support for that candidate would be critical and, therefore, a quid pro quo is within the ambit of the possible. (Isn’t politics the art of the possible?)

This is not to say that the DAP should put position before principle. There is the matter of the room that democratic politics allows its players wherein they can test the parameters of the allowable. They should look at what is happening in a neighboring country which has elected as President someone who is from well outside the usual strata of Indonesian political society from which candidates for that position usually emerge.

The DAP ought to be encouraged that, by the elevation of Joko Widodo to the Indonesian Presidency and Jokowithe avenue this has opened for Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, an ethnic Chinese and – what is more – a Christian, to become governor of Jakarta, the proof is clear that democratic politics rotates on an axis that is ultimately subversive of unjust barriers posed by race and religion.

Therefore the DAP should not feel itself unduly tied to the logic of what is essentially internecine feuding within PKR, especially if that wrangling has more to do with of individuals who have the destructive serum in the veins from their party of origin (UMNO).

khalid-ibrahimThe Khalid Ibrahim of the last several months is not an aberrant incarnation but a continuum with his party of origin. Nothing much can be done about this phenomenon unless, of course, the pestilence of UMNO rule is finally removed from the body politic.

More delay in resolving the Selangor crisis means more deferrals to the day of our release from our primary ailment. With the spate of sedition charges filed against an assortment of Pakatan stalwarts, that ailment is at its most febrile. Pakatan must not be seen to fiddle in Selangor while the country seethes in an UMNO-induced stupor.

 

Curtains for Khalid must mean Fadeout for Anwar Ibrahim


August 27, 2014

Curtains for Khalid must mean Fadeout for Anwar Ibrahim

by Terence Netto (received via e-mail from the writer)

“It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters.”

Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France

khalid-anwarCurtains for Both Anwar and Khalid

“…the destruction of the myth of UMNO-BN invincibility was an achievement of unparalleled significance to the body politic. Anwar was the chief architect of that destruction. His charisma, rhetoric and ability to make DAP and PAS stick together was a political tour de force.

Perhaps this achievement was too good to be true. For almost immediately after, Anwar began to take his eyes off the ball, which was the growth of the two-party system. While there is nothing wrong in being fixated on being Prime Minister, there is something called dissimulation which a shrewd politician deploys with skill to camouflage obsession and turn it to irony.”–Terence Netto

The eight-month old crisis revolving around the move by PKR to replace Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim is set to continue. A meeting between Khalid and the Selangor Sultan that was expected for yesterday (Monday, August 25) was deferred and the 10th Congress of PKR that concluded over the weekend added convolution more than clarity to the issue.

In short, a vexed issue is set for further protraction, serving up more cannon fodder for adversaries to claim that PKR is a messy party that aspires pretentiously to clean up the mess in the country spawned by UMNO-BN.

The dishevelment in PKR does not just lie in the party’s effort to replace Khalid as Selangor MB, it also resided in its election system that took four months to carry out and conclude in a result. For a party that has long being caustic about the way the Election Commission conducts polls in Malaysia, this was conduct that undermined the party’s credibility.

The embarrassment that was the party’s electoral process continued to haunt it even after the long drawn out exercise ended on August 10. At its congress last weekend, the election of the youth wing’s chief was disputed by members of the section’s executive committee. Though the matter was settled by the end of the three-day conclave, the settlement had a tenuous look about it.

PKR’s fragility is inherent. Fifteen years ago the party was born out of a coalition of disparate interests. This conglomeration included members of reform seeking religious groups like Abim and Jemaah Islah Malaysia (JIM), NGO activists, dissidents from component parties of BN — primarily from UMNO after Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was sacked and jailed in 1998-99– and, generally, citizens who felt that the time had come for comprehensive reform of the political system in the country.

PKR are a motley bunch whose differing interests and ideologies had to be straddled and coaxed to move in a particular direction. It was the genius of Anwar whose travails had given birth to the party that fixed on the goal of justice for all Malaysians, as the glue to hold a disparate party together.

After his return to Malaysia in 2006 following a sabbatical he took in the United States upon his release in August 2004 from a six-year incarceration on trumped up charges of sodomy and corruption, Anwar provided the inspiration and rhetoric to lead PKR and a coalition of opposition parties that included the DAP and PAS to an historic milestone at the March 2008 general elections. This was the denial to Umno-BN of its customary two- third majority in Parliament. Four states – Penang, Kedah, Perak and Selangor – fell to the opposition while PAS retained Kelantan.

It was a stupendous achievement, with Anwar leveraging brilliantly on a march in Kuala Lumpur in late November 2007 organized by the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) that was a bellwether for all the discontent coursing through Malaysian society. Fed by many aggrieved streams, the river of discontent surged to a massive culmination: the destruction of UMNO-BN’s myth of invincibility at the 12th general election in March 2008.

Much good arose from that incineration. A sclerotic political landscape was shaken up. UMNO-BN realized that they could no longer do business in the same old ways. They had to undertake reform though that effort was halting and spasmodic. On the opposition’s side, the secular DAP knew that they needed to work together with the Islamist PAS in spite of their conflicting ideologies.

Aziz and Hadi ShowNik Aziz and Hadi Awang wield a big influence on PAS

When the tripartite coalition of PKR, DAP and PAS, called Pakatan Rakyat, began to hold together in the face of broad skepticism of its durability, a two-party system began to take shape in Malaysia. With that, voters realized that it would be a boon to democracy to foster the growth of a two-party system, in preference to what had hitherto been the case — the dominance of UMNO-BN, within which UMNO was monarch of all it surveyed.

In sum, the destruction of the myth of UMNO-BN invincibility was an achievement of unparalleled significance to the body politic. Anwar was the chief architect of that destruction. His charisma, rhetoric and ability to make DAP and PAS stick together was a political tour de force.

Perhaps this achievement was too good to be true. For almost immediately after, Anwar began to take his eyes off the ball, which was the growth of the two-party system. While there is nothing wrong in being fixated on being Prime Minister, there is something called dissimulation which a shrewd politician deploys with skill to camouflage obsession and turn it to irony.

Anwar is decidedly short on this score. In his single-minded focus on the acquisition of prime ministerial office, he neglects the nuances. He believes that after the acquisition of power, he can attend to the troubling bits that rear up now and then, neglect of which can result in an accumulation that can blow a hole in a party just when it’s ready to come into port.

This is what is happening in the Khalid Ibrahim saga. Khalid gave from the morning after Pakatan gained Selangor in the general election of March 2008 every indication that he was unsuitable – at least from the standpoint of PKR’s interests – as the party’s point man in the richest state in Malaysia. A successful corporate captain, Khalid was allowed to indulge his conceit that he could also be a successful political leader.

The two callings are vastly different. One is results oriented and requires only business acumen and managerial skill. The other depends on intangibles such as the skill to use means to ends, to set causes in motion, to wield the machine of society, to subject the wills of others to your own, to manage abler persons than yourself by means of that that is stronger in them than their wisdom, to wit, their weakness and their folly, to unwind the web of others’ policy and weave your own out of it, to understand character thoroughly, to see latent talent and lurking treachery, to know persons for what they are and to use them as they deserve, to have a purpose steadily in view and to effect it after removing every obstacle — these are the skills of a successful political leader and are alien to a successful corporate personality.

Anwar knew this about Khalid practically from day one of the latter’s MB-ship. But he was overly focused on his ambition to be unduly troubled by the conceits of a seeming compatriot. Now those defects have boomeranged to blow a hole as big as that crater in the Titanic’s hull after it hit the iceberg.

The fallout has been an unmitigated disaster for PKR. If it’s curtains for Khalid Ibrahim, it’s hard to see why it would not be so for Anwar Ibrahim.

The Sultan of Selangor ‘s Discretion is not “ABSOLUTE DISCRETION”, says Dr. Aziz Bari


August 24, 2014

The Sultan of Selangor ‘s Discretion is not “ABSOLUTE DISCRETION”, says Dr. Aziz Bari

by Ishmael Lim@www.freemalaysiatoday.com

khalid-anwar

The Fight is still on

Last Friday night at the Chinese Assembly Hall in Kuala Lumpur, constitutional law expert Dr. Aziz Bari laid out expressly that PAS’s action in nominating a second name for the Menteri Besar’s post has created an avenue for the Selangor Palace to wade into the state’s messy politics.

Dr Bari  is of the view that the idea of “discretion” being bandied about by PAS and the public is not an “absolute discretion”. He says that the discretion exercisable by the sovereign ruler should be viewed in the context of democracy and a responsible government, and thus the provisions of the State Constitution still hold true.

On August 17, PAS in a special session of it’s Central Working Committee, ended public speculation about it’s continued support for Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim by nominating Wan Azizah Ismail and Azmin Ali for the job. But then it is purported that both Wan Azizah and Azmin are not Selangoreans by birth. And this has not missed the scrutiny of Malay rights NGO Perkasa, which has been pressing for a true-born Selangorean to get the job.

According to Section 53.3 of the Selangor State Constitution, “Notwithstanding anything in this Article, a person who is a citizen by naturalisation or by registration under Article 17 of the Federal Constitution shall not be appointed a Menteri Besar.”

Aziz and Hadi Show

The Influential PAS Duo

PAS has wittingly or unwittingly put the Sultan in the delicate position of having to accept either candidate against the provisions of the State Constitution, or go against the majority of the legislative assembly and, by extension, the rakyat. To circumvent the Hobson’s choice above by a dissolution of the legislature would be most unpopular as the house is still overwhelmingly dominated by Pakatan Rakyat, unlike the hung Perak State Assembly in 2009. Even then the house was not dissolved.

To complicate matters even more, Section 53.4 of the State Constitution states that, “In appointing a Menteri Besar, His Highness may in his discretion dispense with any provision in this Constitution restricting his choice of a Menteri Besar, if in his opinion it is necessary to do so in order to comply with the provisions of this Article.”

The Hobson’s choice becomes a Gordian knot when Section 53.3 is read in conjunction with Section 53.4, because discretionary powers are granted the Sovereign Ruler to reject any provisions of the constitution in order to fulfil the spirit of the article.

Azmin-Ali-Khalid-Ibrahim

Azmin Ali also not Selangor Born, who is next?

If the Sultan of Selangor were to reject Wan Azizah on the ground that she is not Selangor born, then technically the same should apply to Azmin. This is taking into consideration the foregone conclusion that a motion of no confidence against Khalid has been passed and support for him is found wanting.

So what further options are open to the Sultan if the body of Pakatan Rakyat is to be kept alive? It would appear that to fulfil the provisions of the article, the Sultan would need to exercise his discretionary power in either accepting Azizah and dispensing with Section 53.3 of the Constitution, or by following the onstitution to the letter and looking elsewhere within the house for a member of Pakatan who best fits the glass slipper.

Will PKR risk injuring further its already shaky standing with the Selangor electorate by by-passing it’s two top leaders for a third nominee, or does it have any Selangor born Malays to nominate? DAP does not yet have any amongst its members of the House who fulfils substantively the conditions for eligibility to the Menteri Besar’s post as laid down in the constitution—until it transforms its party membership profile post-haste to better reflect the ethnic composition in Selangor.

Now that the Sultan is home, the rakyat will be wondering which of the shadow players will be waltzing at the ball, but what if the Menteri Besar’s glass slippers won’t fit Wan Azizah or Azmin and there are no Cinderellas in DAP. Will PAS come to the ball?