Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Poser over position of Penang DCM
Update: March 19, 12.30pm - CM: Fairus not quitting
The hottest talk in Penang tonight is that Deputy Chief Minister I Fairus Khairuddin (picture) has been asked to quit his Penang state government post. Penang PKR chief Zahrain Hashim has denied the rumours, reportedly widely spread via SMS, while CM Lim Guan Eng has refused to comment. Both The Star Online and Malaysian Insider have reported the stories.
A Penang DAP MP, when contacted, said he checked with Fairus a little while ago and was told he had no plans to quit. Guan Eng is expected to call a press conference tomorrow with all Penang Pakatan Rakyat MPs present.
Zahrain has blamed political opponents for the rumours but it looks like an internal job. Penang PKR has openly squabbled over the top positions in the state government. The feud has led to a PKR Youth exco member openly accusing two senior PKR leaders - one of whom is a state official - of allegedly covering up illegal activities run by quarry operators. The case has brought in the MACC.
Fairus' opponents in PKR has long targetted him with accusations that he was incompetent and once claiming he was absent from constituency work, resulting in Anwar Ibrahim having to step in to intervene But there has been no end to the pressure to get rid of Fairus, a thorn for Guan Eng and the DAP.
The same sabotage seemed to have also taken place in Selangor with Bukit Lanjan state assemblyman Elizabeth Wong, reportedly a victim of in-fighting. Selangor MB Khalid Ibrahim is said to be fending off such internal pressure, too.