Azmin is Sultan's choice for Selangor MB

PETALING JAYA: Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) deputy president Mohamed Azmin Ali will be sworn in as the new Selangor mentri besar tomorrow.

Azmin, who is Bukit Antarabangsa assemblyman and Gombak MP, received a letter from the Selangor palace notifying him of Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah's decision to appoint him as MB.

The letter, signed by the Sultan's private secretary Datuk Mohamad Munir Bani, asked that he present himself at Istana Alam Shah in Klang at 10am tomorrow to receive the letter of appointment and for the swearing-in ceremony.

In an impromptu press conference outside the PKR headquarters here at about 8pm last night, Azmin confirmed that he received the letter at 3pm.

He also said that he had several meetings with the party's political bureau, the 12 PKR state assemblymen and central leadership council on the appointment.

"I thank party president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, the leaders and assemblymen for their unanimous support on this appointment," he told the media before leaving the party headquarters.

Asked why Wan Azizah, who was the party's choice, was rejected by the palace, Azmin said no reason was given by the palace.

The Sultan's choice for MB ends weeks of speculation as to who would succeed Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim, who had submitted his resignation to the Sultan on Aug 26 after ostensibly losing the support of the majority in the state assembly.

Sultan Sharafuddin had, however, deferred accepting his resignation and asked that he continue to be MB until a successor is appointed.

Khalid had in effect been sacked by his own party, which had sought to have him replaced as MB by Wan Azizah.

PKR and DAP had been adamant in nominating only Wan Azizah although the palace had asked each of the three Pakatan Rakyat parties to name more than two candidates for the post. Only PAS reportedly sent three.

Meanwhile, Selangor PAS secretary Mohd Khairuddin Othman, in a statement, said the state party supports the palace's pick for Azmin as the new Selangor mentri besar.

"PAS Selangor and all its members are prepared to help the new MB develop Selangor and improve the welfare of the people," he said.

DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said the party also endorses Wan Azizah's withdrawal as a candidate for the post.

Singapore-born Azmin, 50, had obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics and Economics from the University of Minnesota in the United States at the age of 22, before completing his Masters of Education by age 23.

Azmin began his career in politics as a special officer to Anwar who was then education minister, and was later promoted to private secretary when the latter became deputy prime minister.

When Anwar was convicted for sodomy and corruption in 1998, Azmin became one of the founding members of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR).

In the 1999 general election, Azmin won the Hulu Kelang state seat. He was elected a PKR vice president two years later.

His political career faltered when he was barred from taking part in the 2004 general election after he was convicted for lying in Anwar's trial but he was later acquitted upon appeal.

Azmin made a triumphant return to national politics in 2008 by simultaneously winning the Gombak parliamentary and the Bukit Antarabangsa state seat in Selangor, both of which he retained in the 2013 general election.