First of all, on behalf of his many friends and associates and my own self, I congratulate PKR Secretary-General Tan Sri Dato’ Abdul Khalid Ibrahim on winning the Ijok, Selangor State seat, and for being the new Parliamentarian representing Bandar Tun Razak.
As one of his PKR colleagues, I know how he successfully handled the delicate and strenuous negotiations with DAP and PAS on the allocations of seats which prevented three corners fights in many constituencies in the last General Elections, and how much energy and time he expended on campaigning in his constituencies and helping his colleagues in their ceramahs around the country.
We were together, for example, on one rainy evening in Sungai Lallang, Kedah where he clearly articulated our Party’s Economic Agenda to his audience. I was impressed with the way he handled and bonded with the crowd, and witnessed his people touch. It was a complete tranformation of a leader known for his tough and no-nonsense approach to business.
We can be proud that today (March 10, 2008) at 2 p.m., after his audience with DYMM Sultan Sharifuddin Idris Shah Al Haj Ibin Al Marhum Sultan Sallahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah Al Haj, Sultan Selangor Darul Ehsan, Tan Sri Khalid will be the new Menteri Besar. He is also expected to seek an audience with DYMM Sultan Selangor again, and then announce his team to lead the most prosperous state in Malaysia into a new era of transparent, open and accountable government.
At the press conference yesterday in Petaling Jaya, Tan Sri Khalid pledged to “embark on an open bidding system for projects…” and would “ask the Legal Adviser to enact a law that will enable the state to give the public the right to information.”(The New Straits Times, March 10, 2008). He is not a man who will mince his words, having been trained by his mentor, the legendary Governor,Bank Negara Malaysia, Sime Darby Group Chairman, and Permodalan Nasional Berhad Chairman, the late Tun Ismail bin Mohamed Ali.
Tan Sri Khalid is Chairman, Amanah Millenia Fund Berhad and Board Member of SIRIM Berhad, Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS) Malaysia, Malaysian Institute of Economic Research (MIER) and National Productivity Centre (NPC). He is also Executive Committee Member of Unit Investment Fund and Member of the Financial Engineering Forum, Jeddah-based Islamic Development and an Alternate Member, APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC).
University of Malaya trained Economist, Tan Sri Khalid also holds a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from The Univresity of Queensland, Australia. He served as teacher, credit officer and financial analyst, Chief Executive, Permodalan Nasional Berhad and Group Chief Executive, Kumpulan Guthrie Berhad (until 2003). He is an Eisenhower Fellow and the recipient of The Business Times-American Express Malaysia CEO of the Year Award (1998) and the University of Queenland International Alumnus of the Year Award (2001).
Selangor is fortunate to have such an outstanding man with a proven track record of public service and hands-on business experience as its new Menteri Besar. There can be no doubt that Tan Sri Khalid will be bring constructive changes to the state, and ensure that there will equal opportunity for all.—Din Merican