There are many theories abound as to why Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim intend to run at the Kajang state by-election or should "bi-election" be more appropriate and assume the position of Menteri Besar.
Some claimed Anwar is anxious to return to his old bad habit at the Ministry of Finance in putting his hands in the cookie jars. He already mentioned of spending the state budget of RM2 billion wisely. On top of that, no pun intended, Anwar will inherit a sizable reserve of RM4 billion accumulated by the miserly Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim. [Read also Helen Ang here]
After state reserve was depleted by the free water election campaign of 2008, Khalid re-accumulated reserve by slashing social programs and selling state lands for development at market rate, including to state owned PKNS.
There is also the suspicion that Anwar and Khalid has a sinister intention to wet their beaks on the massive federal funded development of RRI land at Sungai Buloh and suddenly agreeable Langat 2 Water Treatment Plant [read MyMassa here]
At this juncture, it is still heresay.
PKR leaders and supporters expect Anwar to put in place a better system to distribute political funds or rewards to supporters and party workers. Khalid withheld any such requests from PKR members and leaders like Azmin lost face.
PKR members privately confide that there is some truth to the claim by UMNO supporters that Khalid had been firm with their own but lenient with DAP and PAS.
They could notice their DAP comrades getting financial rewards from underworld related activities like massage parlours, illegal gambling, entertainment, etc under the purview of local council.
Menteri Besar or not?
Since the annoncement that Anwar is running in the Kajang "bi-election" to fill the seat vacated by the resignation of Lee Chin Cheh, Anwar and PKR have came under a barrage of criticisms from political opponents, PAS and their friendly activists.
They were accused of abusing the democratic process to address their internal personality clash. After doing a "kangkung" on the Prime Minister for being insensitive to the problem of price hike, Anwar is now being "taugay"-ed for wasteful spending of public funds.
The only answer given was to blame BN for wasting more money. Obviously it is a weak argument that could not be easily bought by urban crowd or sub-urban Kajang voters.
In an attempt to divert the blame from Anwar, Rafizi front lined by claiming responsibility for the idea.
He explained himself in MI here with a ridiculous conspiracy theory that BN will seize Selangor upon the removal of Najib and control shift to pro-Mahathir faction. Even some pro-UMNO bloggers are gullible to such theory.
The best reply to Rafizi must be from blogger Hantu Laut here. He described Pakatan's Minister of Propaganda's explanation as "A pathetic lie even a child can see through".
A PKR source acknowledged that the plan is for Anwar to assume the position of Menteri Besar on the interim. The reason is to address the animosity between Khalid and Azmin that have been on-going for too long and disrupting
Khalid have not been giving Azmin the slack and relationship between them have soured since the last PKR party election. Wan Azizah-Khalid-Nurul faction had pitted Dato Zaid Ibrahim against Azmin for Deputy President.
Expect an interesting party election soon.
The Kajang move is viewed by certain quarter as Anwar's attempt to divert attention against the barrage of personal and administrative issues that he and Selangor Pakatan Rakyat government is facing.
He has his sodomy case at the Court of Appeal. There is the divorce of his daughter, Nurul. Lim Guan Eng's Mercedes debacle is not off the hook yet. Today's Utusan Malaysia in the frontpage and pages 4 and 5 is filled with such theories.
Anwar and Azmin opposed to Khalid's actions to raise the pay for Selangor speaker, MB and exco members. AMK member openly opposed to increases in water rate, business licenses, assessment, retailers business plot, etc.
Racial and religious animosity is on the rise as a result of the name of Allah issue, rising racial animosity between Malay and Chinese, and many others attributable to Anwar's provocative moves. Thus the sudden Act II of the national reconciliation drama.
Unlike the PKR source, another source argued that Anwar will not take up the Menteri Besar post. He will merely play role to "check and balance" Khalid and at the same time, "protect"Khalid from Azmin.
Political analysts, or more accurately academic political analysts, see Anwar's latest ploy as unthinkable.
However among the various comments in Utusan Malaysia today, Anwar's former Private Secretary, Anuar Shaari hit an interesting note.
He believed the path ahead to MB for Anwar is difficult and there is even the possibility that Anwar will not get HRH Sultan of Selangor's consent.
Khalid's vocal private secretary Faekah Hussein gave a similar warning to "orang luar" (outsiders) aspiring to be Menteri Besar of Selangor.
Former Deputy Public Prosecutor and now currently in private practise, Dato Salehuddin Saidin wrote an article in Utusan Malaysia today.
A relevent extract below:
"Pelantikan MB terletak di bawah bidang kuasa Sultan Selangor yang mana baginda mempunyai kuasa budi bicara dalam perkara itu selaras dengan Perkara 53 dan Perkara 55(2)(a) Undang-undang Tubuh Kerajaan Negeri Selangor 1959.Read in full here.
"Bidang kuasa Sultan Selangor dalam melantik MB telah dinyatakan dengan jelas dalam peruntukan undang-undang yang telah termaktub dalam perlembagaan negeri," kata beliau.
Pada masa sama, kata Salehuddin lagi, terdapat prasyarat yang telah diperuntukkan di bawah undang-undang berkenaan pertamanya, seseorang menteri besar yang dilantik hendaklah dalam kalangan Ahli Dewan Undangan Negeri (ADUN) selain mendapat kepercayaan majoriti ahli dewan.
Tambahnya, seseorang menteri besar juga haruslah berketurunan Melayu dan beragama Islam seperti mana termaktub dalam undang-undang berkenaan.
"Pemilihan seseorang individu untuk menjadi menteri besar adalah dibuat oleh sesebuah parti yang mendapat sokongan majoriti daripada rakyat dalam pilihan raya.
"Parti yang memenangi pilihan raya itu boleh mengemukakan calon-calon untuk pertimbangan Sultan Selangor. Sultan Selangor akan memilih seorang menteri besar yang difikirkan layak oleh baginda.
"Bagaimanapun, calon-calon tersebut haruslah memenuhi prasyarat seperti yang telah diperuntukkan di bawah Undang-undang Tubuh Kerajaan Negeri Selangor," katanya.
Berdasarkan Perkara 63 Undang-Undang Tubuh Kerajaan Negeri Selangor 1959, tiap-tiap warganegara yang berumur 21 tahun atau lebih yang bermastautin di negeri ini adalah layak menjadi ahli Dewan Negeri. Ini melainkan jika dia hilang kelayakan untuk menjadi ahli menurut Perlembagaan Persekutuan atau Undang-Undang Tubuh Kerajaan negeri ini atau menurut mana-mana undang-undang sebagaimana yang tersebut dalam Perkara 64.
Will Sultan Selangor agree to have an MB with criminal record and prospect of returning back to Sungai Buluh?
Missing from Salehuddin Saidin's article is a widely believed condition set by successions of Selangor Sultans that the Menteri Besar has to be Selangor born.
That was the very reason Selangor's Election Coordinator, Dato Zin "Badak" was not considered for a state seat in the last general election and automatically BN's choice for Menteri Besar. Zin was born in Muar Johor and raised in Melaka.
Anwar was born in Nibung Tebal. While, Azmin was born in Singapore bearing a 07 code on his NRIC. What are their prospects?
All these points to a showdown between Anwar and Sultan Selangor. It will be Pakatan Rakyat's second constitutional crisis with the state sovereign after Perak in 2009. There are few reasons to such such political theory.
Firstly, there is strain relationship and already open defiance to the Sultan of Selangor.
In a recent comment from pro-Pakatan activist lawyer Edmond Bon, he questioned the Sultan's decree to forbid non Muslims use the name of Allah.
Edmond's view was supported by a former UIA law lecturer, Professor Aziz Bari who questioned the Malay rulers' authority as "Ketua Ugama" (head for Islamic matters).
Aziz is a pro-Anwar Ibrahim and run on PKR ticket in Selangor.
Pure Shiite rebutted it here and made the so-called constitutional expert into a fake for missing something fairly basic.
Through out the Pakatan Rakyat government, there have been many open spats between the state government and the Sultan.
Sultan had issued decrees against use of Masjid and Surau for politics, controversy surrounding DUMC raid and openly questioning the state government on several occasions.
In response to Sultan's decrees and interventions, similar defying statements from Khalid and exco members had surfaced.
Although some of their actions and decisions are inconsistent with law and practices of governance, few Pakatan leaders insist that the Sultan had intervened on state administrative matters.
Secondly, the intention of Pakatan Rakyat to do away with monarchy and turn the country into a republic is known.
Azmin had gloated in the past to his family of Anwar's plan and his acceptance to do away with the monarchy system and turn Malaysia republic.
It is an open secret that DAP's intention to rid off any Malay heritage and institutions.
Former Penang Municipal Council from DAP and within Lim Guan Eng's close circle, Mohd Razali Abbdullah had went around the country exposing DAP's such plans upon acquiring power. Glimpses of things to come is presently in Penang.
To complete the anti-monarchy triumvirate, YB Khalid Samad made known of the intention to go head on with the Sultans to his supporters in his twitter:
For the past few years, one should be familiar with a certain flag repeatedly waved at Dataran Merdeka on New Year eves. The flag is falsely claim to be that of a past Malay kingdom but is meant to be the flag for the Republic of Malaysia.
In the picture above, the person holding the flag is Hishamuddin Rais. The socialist inclined activist and former "deserter" openly express his distaste for institutional monarchy.
During Bersih 3.0 and related rallies, a poster could be seen displaying respect for the HRH Seri Paduka Baginda Yang DiPertuan yet had symbol openly showing support for a Republic.
Such comments in the social media is not purely personal but coordinated and planned.
Thirdly, the Malay rulers will not consent to any form of government formed through unconstitutional means.
In the present system of government and under the current constitution, there is a procedure that seemed as mere ritual but is symbolic to show royal consent is compulsory in the appointment of Menteri Besar or Prime Minister.
Anwar is already late in his age to wait for GE15 to democratically bring down BN government.
He knows that he has too many controversies thus will not win the Malay majority hearts. His Sabah plan is not making any progress against the Aman brothers. The aggressive attempt into Sarawak will only gain traction for DAP in urban areas.
BN have time to recover and could scrape through GE14.
He desperately need to deliver to his western minders. His only option left is for a coup d'etat. Since the monarchy is in the way, it will be made collateral damage and the second bird killed by one stone.
Don't believe his National Consensus drama. His plan is to aggressively agitate the public.
He is stirring things fast. Pakatan Rakyat and their proxy NGOs are currently churning issues and seemed to be organising demonstrations on monthly basis. The demonstrations will be more frequent than 2007.
Conveniently, there is a mass demonstration scheduled for May 1st at Putrajaya.
That will be after the Kajang "bi-election" expected in February and in time for their close encounter with the palace to heat up.
Decision on Anwar's attempt to delay his sodomy case appeal by applying to remove Dato Shafee Abbdullah is due in February. His trial will resume and decision will be around the corner.
By March 5th, there is the Federal Court date for the name of Allah issue. If it turns out negatively for the Catholic Church, that is 10% support from the Christian population and Malay liberals.
Anwar knows that today's public do not relate to the monarchy as before.
There are underlying resentments against palaces for abusing their influence to secure timber, sand, and mineral extractions concessions at the cost of Malay businessmen. The JV partners to the palace are usually Chinamen businessmen.
Palaces have been securing state land for development by Chinese businessman. The grunbling on the ground is the properties are sold to foreigners and out of state buyers at sky high prices and beyond the affordability of voting rakyat negeri.
In one western coast port, one shipper claimed that 5 acres of the sea was sold at the request of the palace to a Chinese frontman to squeeze rental from "parking" ships and port operator.
Public amenities and facilities demolished for the construction of their new fun and joy.
The behaviour of some Sultans and Crown Princes in public leaves much to be desired.
Private spat in the royal household like the one in Johor are now out in the open syariah court and reported by mainstream newspapers and alternative media.
The recent return of Datokship by publicly respectable corporate man, Tan Sri Ali Hashim for quoting his late son's poem in it's entirety in Sinar Harian does not auger well to the image of not only the royal household of Johor but the institutional monarchy at large.
The son had the quote "Raja adil raja disembah, raja zalim raja disanggah" in the poem. That quote was believed to had been uttered by defiance Hang Jebat during the fight-to-the death duel against blind loyalist Hang Tuah.
That duel is symbolic of the dilemma in the Malay cultural psyche.
Institutional monarchy has it's role and purpose. It is the legal legitimacy and basis that disapprove any questions on our sovereignty as a nation. However, the royal household have to behave appropriately to "help us help you".
With social media, such stories, news and gossips on royalty that was never known in the past could go viral in a matter of minutes. The palace or government authority will not be able to contain it from spreading to the public. Worse still, they may not be fast and able enough to gauge the real public sentiment in the midst of silence.
Acceptance to the institutional monarchy system is wavering among the later generation. Matters are made worse by the reluctance of palace officials to be close and allow royal audience to NGOs defending institutional monarchy like Perkasa.
If a showdown occur, the monarchy may end up fending for themselves.
Government is too afraid and weak to maintain law and order. Applying the sedition law will only agitate the opposition and their well oiled propaganda and political machinery. There is no more ISA and Emergency Ordinance for them to fear.
Who would have thought Sabah be attacked by ragtag guerilla fighters from southern Phillipines?
It only makes this theory of a royal encounter possible. Maybe soon, maybe later but their fate is in their hands. The royalties have to live up to the rakyat's expectation or see their demise sooner than expected.
* edited 7:30 AM 31/1/14