Khalid dismisses need for Hulu Selangor by-election

By Neville Spykerman (Malaysian Insider)
HULU SELANGOR, Jan 3 — The Selangor Mentri Besar last night dismissed speculation of a by-election here because Hulu Selangor Parliamentarian Datuk Dr Zainal Abidin Ahmad, who has been ill, was on the road to recovery.
“Dr Zainal will soon be back to duty.” said Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, who added the intense speculation that the federal lawmaker was resigning was not true.
Khalid, who was speaking at a PKR dinner in Dr Zainal’s constituency, said Pakatan Rakyat was not afraid to take on Barisan Nasional (BN) in a by-election but there was no current need for the fight.
The dinner at Kampung Chuang Rasa Multi Purpose hall was well attended by almost a dozen PKR MPs and leaders but missing were Dr Zainal and de facto party leader Datuk Seri Dr Anwar Ibrahim.
Petaling Jaya Selatan MP Hee Loy Sian told the crows thar Dr Zainal was recovering from an operation and was resting at home “on doctor’s orders”.
“I spoke to him earlier and there is not going to be any announcement about his resignation,” he said in a speech at the dinner.
He added that his colleague had been suffering from a prolonged illness since 2002 but had only applied for leave.
Meanwhile local residents who spoke to The Malaysian Insider said they did not want fresh polls for Hulu Selangor.
“Elections would be a waste of money,” said Mohd Nawawi Ramli.
The 56-year-old factory worker also pointed out Dr Zainal had not even resigned.
Former rubber taper T. Subramaniam said he was generally happy with PKR and did not want a by-election.
“PKR is definitely better than MIC.” he noted.
However security guard. R. Shanmugam said he didn’t care if there was a by-election in Hulu Selangor.
“My life had not changed after Pakatan Rakyat took over Selangor and either way it will be the same,” said the 57-year-old father of six.
However Khalid and PKR colleagues did get a rousing welcome from the more than 1,500 who attended the dinner.
Uncharacteristically Khalid, who often fumbles while making public speeches, had the Chinese majority crowd eating out his hands as his listed down the programmes that PR had implemented for all, regardless of race.
“Unlike BN we perform first, like our programme for Chinese New Villagers, then talk,” said Khalid in reference to the federal government’s promises under Natinal Key Result Areas (NKRAs) to regain lost support from the 2008 general elections.
He added the public should not be afraid of talk that his administration was being shaken by BN.
“It’s BN that’s shaken.”
Khalid pointed out that PR members where now represented not only in Parliament and the state assembly but in the senate and will oppose any policies which burden the people.
“What’s the point of more taxes if it does not benefit the people.” he asked.