Selangor Exco conundrum

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PETALING JAYA: THE forming of the Selangor government has stalled with a dispute over the number of seats each party will get.

On top of that, matters have become more complicated for Pakatan Rakyat as the Selangor Palace has also made its request for exco appointments to be made in proportion with the population – not the number of seats each party has.

On Thursday, it was agreed that DAP would get four exco positions while PAS and PKR would get three each. The speaker's position was also slotted for PAS.

This allocation is in line with the 15 seats won each by PAS and DAP and the 14 seats acquired by PKR in the recent elections.

However, the DAP was in for a rude shock when Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim told reporters on Saturday night that the DAP and PKR will only get three positions each while PAS gets four.

Selangor DAP deputy chief Tony Pua reacted angrily yesterday, saying the sudden change was done without consulting the party.

"Last night, we found out a different set of names. We want to know why! There was no problem on Thursday. It was a quick half-anhour meet," he said.

Thursday's meeting was attended by Khalid, Selangor DAP chairman Teresa Kok and Selangor PAS Commissioner Dr Rani Osman.

Following Pua's morning statement, top DAP leaders, including Kok, Datuk Teng Chang Khim and Pua, met Khalid to clear the air yesterday afternoon.

"We understand there are no major issues and it has been agreed that the matter will be resolved within the next two days via consensus of all parties in PR.

"There will be no further comments until the state exco seat allocation has been finalised," said Pua.

However, The Malay Mail learned that the reasons behind the turn of events was due to a request from the Sultan for the exco lineup to have a better representation of the assemblymen's racial composition.

A senior PR party leader said the decision on the composition of the exco lineup was something that was up to the sultan.

According to him, the sultan wanted the exco lineup to reflect the race composition of the 56 state assemblymen, which comprises 37 Malays and 19 non-Malays.

He said due to the much bigger number of Malays, the Sultan had proposed a lineup of six Malays and four non-Malays.

Another source close to the state government said with this in mind, another meeting was held among all three parties on Friday where two scenarios were discussed.

The first is a six-Malay and four non-Malay lineup; and the second was in keeping with the status quo of five Malays and five non-Malays.

Ruler in favour of fair representation for all

It was decided that the first will be followed with the speaker position going to the DAP.

However, it was not final as Khalid will try to convince the Sultan to keep the current ratio. If successful, the DAP will get four exco positions while PAS and PKR will get three each. The speaker position will also go to PAS.

When contacted, PAS state deputy commissioner Khalid Samad said the sultan's proposal was fair, given that the ruler wanted to see a balanced lineup so that no community felt left out or dominated by another.

He also confirmed that the second meeting took place with representatives from all parties and that was when the new ratios was discussed.

"Since there are no Malay assemblymen in Selangor DAP, the party will have four non-Malays as exco.

In that case, PKR will have to appoint three Malays as exco and it will not be fair to them. I am sure they will want to appoint non-Malays too. As for us, all our 15 assemblymen are Malays," he said, referring to the scenario with six Malay excos.

Several senior members from all three parties said the matter must be resolved fast.

"The state must not antagonise the Sultan. So they have no choice but to follow his advice," said one leader, noting that the current ratio of five Malays and five non-Malays had worked without any major problems.

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