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PAS may take disciplinary action on 2 PAS assemblymen after warning

Hours after two Selangor PAS assemblymen broke ranks with their top leadership and backed PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail for Mentri Besar, saying they are prepared to face any action, the party hit back.PAS wants the two to retract their stand in 24 hours – or face disciplinary action and “serious consequences”.

At a hastily convened press conference yesterday, Dr Wan Azizah announced she had obtained the majority support from the 56-seat state assembly to become Mentri Besar after PAS’ Hulu Kelang assemblyman Saari Sungib and Morib assemblyman Hasnul Baha­ruddin swore support for her in a statutory declaration that was signed by 28 other Pakatan assemblymen.

Both PAS assemblymen offered measured responses to reporters later. They repeatedly defended their decision, saying it was done in the interest of “saving” the Pakatan Rakyat government in Selangor.

Asked if he was prepared to be hauled up by the PAS leadership for pre-empting its stand on the controversy this Sunday, Saari said:

“I stand by my position on what I had signed. I will continue to support Dr Wan Azizah even if it means becoming an independent.”

Hasnul claimed he had the support of the party’s grassroots.

“I cannot say 100% but I believe that a large section of the grassroots will agree with my decision.”

The two assemblymen’s support means that Dr Wan Azizah has sufficient backing to topple Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, who was sacked by PKR last Saturday.

All 15 DAP and 13 PKR assemblymen support the move to replace Khalid, while the remaining 13 PAS assemblymen have yet to state their stand on the matter.

Khalid said later he was aware of the backing received by Dr Wan Azizah, but that it would need to be legitimised by a vote of no confidence during the state assembly meeting.

“Until there is a vote of no confidence in the Selangor state assembly, the administration of the state will operate as usual,” he tweeted.

Later yesterday, PAS exco Sallehen Mukhyi said the names of both the assemblymen had been sent to the party’s disciplinary committee.

Asked if the two assemblymen should be sacked for not waiting for the party directive, Sallehen said the decision was up to the PAS leadership.

Selangor PAS secretary Mohd Khairuddin Othman said the party viewed the act of its assemblymen as a serious breach of party discipline.

“The two acted independently and did not heed the party’s directive. Saari and Hasnul have gone against party’s stand on the issue.

“This is something that is very serious and we will act,” said Khairuddin.
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He said failure to retract the stand which they made earlier would result in “serious consequences”.

Khairuddin questioned why Saari and Hasnul were too eager to support Dr Wan Azizah and defied party’s stand.

“I advise the two assemblymen to withdraw their support or the state PAS will initiate disciplinary action, including to re-look at the contents of the baiah (oath) which they had taken when they became candidates,” he added.

Meanwhile, PAS syura council member Nasrudin Hassan took to Facebook to vent his anger against Saari and Hasnul.

Nasrudin posted a screenshot of a news story featuring Saari who was quoted as saying that he was prepared to leave PAS if the party continued supporting Khalid.

“The culture of political blackmail has seeped into PAS,” wrote Nasrudin in an apparent reference to Saari’s statement.

The PAS leadership had earlier instructed its four state exco members to continue supporting Khalid as Mentri Besar until the party decides on the matter this Sunday.

It president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, as well as the party’s syura and ulama councils, have voiced their support for Khalid.

PAS secretary-general Datuk Mustafa Ali said the party had repeatedly asked PKR for more than one name for the Selangor Mentri Besar post but its ally continued to insist on Dr Wan Azizah alone.