Saifuddin Nasution to handle Selangor political affairs

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PETALING JAYA: The Selangor government will undergo a reshuffle to pave the way for PKR secretary-general Datuk Saifuddin Nasution Ismail to assume responsibility for Pakatan Rakyat’s political affairs in the state.

According to Malay daily Sinar Harian, a source close to Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim disclosed that the reshuffle will take place in the near future.

The reshuffle and Saifuddin’s appointment received the go ahead from Khalid and PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim at a meeting last week.

The issue was also one of the reasons for the delay in finalising the state executive council line-up, the source said.

“The reshuffle may be discussed [today], Saifuddin will take care of political affairs in Selangor [with a view to] the 14th general election,” the source was quoted as saying.

“He will be tasked with mobilising the machinery in the rural areas to counter Barisan Nasional (BN) which is determined to win Selangor back.”

Saifuddin’s appointment will also help create more efficient infrastructure development and see through the various welfare programmes which have been on hold since Pakatan’s previous state administration.

“This term, Khalid has promised to spend Selangor’s reserves to activate more welfare programmes,” the source said.

Saifuddin will also work to create a new image for the Selangor government to instil the perception that Selangor is now a Pakatan state and no longer a BN fortress.

“The rebranding is not only for civil servants, but it will also see government buildings and other infrastructure painted in another colour, not BN’s blue.”

The source also said Khalid will be working on the ground to build a rapport with the people and to increase his political abilities following criticism during his previous term in office.

Fz.com reported earlier that the state government had decided to  establish a political liaison office at PKR’s ninth national congress last weekend  to solidify PKR and Pakatan’s role in Selangor.

Khalid said he had learned that one cannot be too rigid in politics because it would stifle growth. He is known to be a by-the-book administrator. This has drawn much criticism from the grassroots and the party’s top leadership.

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This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on May 29, 2013.