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HARESH SAYS: Big fat Selangor mess

As published in Malay Mail today




HARESH SAYS
By Haresh Deol

SO what’s brewing in Selangor?

Plenty.

There’s the widely speculated rift between Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Azmin Ali and PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail ahead of the Sungai Besar by-election.

Residents in Petaling Jaya are up in arms over the proposed construction of an elevated highway which has been dubbed Kidex 2.0.

Football fans are disappointed the state team, the Red Giants, have turned into dwarfs in the M-League.

It is understood the Selangor Ruler, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah has been keeping close tabs on the situation.

PKR is experiencing yet another internal turmoil. It heightened after party secretary-general, Rafizi Ramli, lodged a report with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and submitted evidence pertaining to allegation of graft and “requests for women” in dealings involving the state government.

He was accompanied by several party members including Pakatan secretary-general Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah. The allegations against the state government surfaced after a leaked screen shot of Rafizi’s conversation in a WhatsApp chat group made its rounds. Dr Wan Azizah then instructed a report be lodged with the anti-graft commission.

This got many saying Dr Wan Azizah, wife of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, has got an axe to grind with Azmin. There are those who claim Azmin, who was once Anwar’s right-hand man, is now playing a bigger role — bigger than Dr Wan Azizah’s. True or otherwise, some could be easily threatened by such words.

Saifuddin, had later clarified, the rift is strictly between Azmin and Rafizi.

Will this disrupt PKR’s plans in Sungai Besar? Not really, as Umno too is facing internal squabbles. And since it is a by-election, locals will be mostly concerned about matters in Sungai Besar, and not beyond.

But the party will loose credibility — just like how the opposition pact has disappointed its supporters as Malaysians brace for the next general election in the next two years.
If this “bickering” continues, PKR will surely loose its grip on the nation’s wealthiest state — Selangor.

Petaling Jaya residents, for one, will think twice when they next go out and vote. After a long battle against the construction of the Kinrara-Damansara Expressway (Kidex), those living in and around the city were shocked to receive pamphlets of a proposed highway — Petaling Jaya-Damansara Link (PJD Link) — cutting through their neighbourhoods.

The PJD Link has been dubbed Kidex 2.0 because the proposed route is similar to that of the earlier project shelved over a year ago.

Folks in other parts of Selangor are also fighting against similar highway projects — the Sungai Besi-Ulu Kelang Elevated Expressway (Suke) and Damansara-Shah Alam Highway (Dash). They remain disgruntled with the state government that had earlier promised better connectivity through a network of public transportation instead of encouraging more vehicles on the roads.

Even the Selangor football team has been a major disappointment as far as loyal Merah Kuning fans are concerned.

Supporters are tired of Selangor harping on past history. I bet even Sultan Sharafuddin, a big fan of the team for decades, is equally disappointed.

The team won the Malaysia Cup last year but judging by its performance this season, many remain sceptical of their chances of retaining the title.

A fan, who watched the team lose 1-0 to Tampines Rovers in Singapore on May 10 en route to being booted out of the AFC Cup, said Zainal Abidin’s lads “lacked the drive and passion unlike before”.

“I doubt the team will win the Malaysia Cup or the M-League,” he said.

Raja Muda Selangor Tengku Amir Shah, when met by Malay Mail during an event recently, said: “I speak as a fan, everyone is a bit upset that we did not win any Cups this year so it’s understandable the fans are reacting in such a manner.

“It’s not always about money. Look at Leicester City ... they didn’t have much money but they had passion and the drive to win (the English Premier League).

“I think that is what we need,” he added.

Selangor is placed third in the M-League with 22 points from 12 matches — behind Johor Darul Ta’zim (30 points) and Felda United (28 points).

So what else is wrong with Selangor?

Potholes, dirty eateries, garbage-filled alleys, among others. It is time Selangor gets its priorities right.

Stop the infighting, ease the concerns of residents and pay more attention to its football team.

HARESH is executive editor of Malay Mail. He can be reached at haresh@mmail.com.my or 
on Twitter @HareshDeol

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