My earlier post on this issue has elicited some expected comments and unexpected feedback from a source very close to the Penang state government.
Readers who are not happy with my suggestion that the chief minister should place a higher priority on the interest of Penang and not PKR's internal issues have asked why I did not blog about Malacca CM's Ali Rustam who was found guilty of money politics.
The fact is I did write about Ali Rustam but not many readers care to remember. I wrote:
"However, there is an inconsistency between the two cases. In the case of Ali Rustam, he was only disqualified to contest the deputy president position but get to keep his ministerial position. He was not even referred to the MACC. Both Ali and Azalina might have committed the same offence but the treatment was different. This is going to set the tongue wagging.
If UMNO is serious in weeding out corruption, it must be willing to act without fear or favour against all offenders.
Since Ali Rustam has been found guilty the right thing for the party to do is to ask him to step down as the Chief Minister of Malacca. Malaysians deserved good and clean leaders and not just UMNO members."
Evidently, I had asked Ali Rustam to quit or be removed. A critic said I was trying to look fair by criticizing the Penang state government but my comment was not fairly scripted. He said I have failed to understand the predicament of the chief minister. Granted, I do not understand the CM's political constraint. But like many other Penangites, how many of us do have an access to the CM's office or get to hear his thoughts?
Apparently, the critic said none of the two PKR assemblymen dared to accept the CM's appointment if it was made without the endorsement of Anwar Ibrahim. In sum, Anwar is the biggest stumbling block to the new appointment. I was told that any appointment made without the approval of Anwar will put a pressure on the relationship of both DAP and PKR.
I was told that Anwar would prefer to call for a fresh by-election and appoint a new person to become the next deputy chief minister if he wins the contest. Yes, Anwar wants another by-election.
The first thing the PKR supremo should consider is what the people of Penang wanted. We want a government which can act responsibly, swift and transparently. It is time for the government to focus on serious issues of governance, addressing economic crisis and implement necessary reforms in the state.
Granted, there are many systemic and cultural obstacles faced by the new government but the PR coalition won the election by promising change. Regardless of the obstacles, not all voters can stretch their patience waiting for the political knots to be untangled.
Now, I have a serious advice for Anwar Ibrahim. Stop getting big headed with the last two by-election victories. He should decide quickly who should be appointed to fill up the DCM position. This position is not a reward for his crony. It is a duty and a responsibility to be fulfilled. Just get on with the work.