The numbers game has begun and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) and DAP are very determined to have sitting Mentri besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim out even before PAS meet on Sunday to decide whether to support or dump him.
Taking the lead role in the fight to unseat Khalid, PKR has its president itself Datin Seri Wan Azizah Ismail to speak to the media about the support the party has instead of the usual Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
Probably having ‘war fatigue’, Wan Azizah impressed upon having 30 assemblymen behind her and she already wrote a letter seeking an audience with the Sultan to present her case.
The 30 included two PAS assemblymen – Hulu Klang assemblyman Shaari Sungib and Morib assemblyman Hasnul Baharuddin - whose party has yet to make a decision and prepared to be expelled for their stand.
Khalid, on the other hand, is unperturbed and does not seem to worry about the numbers when he replied in his twitter: “Prove it in the Dewan.”
The political game has taken to numbers from the chessboard and PKR and DAP are now waiting for the Sultan’s reply, who is currently overseas and would be back only on Aug 23.
For Khalid, he seems to know the real situation on the ground which explained his confidence, as what he had done that had PKR and DAP checkmated thus far.
The onus is now on the shoulder of PKR and DAP to convince the Sultan that they have the numbers to replace Khalid but the Sultan had already mentioned earlier he did not wish to be dragged in party matters.
In the meantime, the key to unseating Khalid lies in the hands of PAS, the Islamist party that is currently weighing all angles.
Pressures have been mounted on PAS leaders to call their central committee meeting earlier than the set date but these were ignored as the party leaders continue to monitor the situation and trying to get a full attendance for the meeting.
PKR and DAP leaders are worried PAS decision may not favour them as reflected in the Islamist party spiritual leader Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat and president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang statemnets.
Selangor aside, PKR and DAP are wary about PAS working together with Umno to implement the Hudud laws in Kelantan, the very law that DAP has been against until today.
They fear the issue would tilt the party leadership decision on Sunday against them and this would see the end of Pakatan Rakyat (PR) in national political landscape.
But they also know that PAS itself is having problems from within where the party members are split between the moderates who support Anwar’s move and the veteran fundamentalists who do not want Anwar to lead the pact or take the Prime Minister post if the pact wins the general election.
Already two PAS assemblymen are willing to be expelled for supporting Wan Azizah to be Mentri besar and more are expected to sing the same tune – the moderates who are aligned to Anwar.
Anwar’s Kajang Move has not only brought matters to near disaster within the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) but also created ‘some sort of rebellion’ within PAS.
The fundamentalists particularly the Kelantan PAS which has been holding on to the party’s original struggle of setting up an Islamic state and implementation of Hudud Laws are very much against the thinking of moderates who go for political objectives more than the Islamic goal.
Sunday PAS meeting is not expected to just discuss on Khalid’s support but if information received were true, the party leadership would also discuss its position in the pact.