The Star Online|Malaysia 13th General Election

GE13: Blend of old and new faces for Selangor state exco line-up


Potential Selangor State Exco Members
Potential Selangor State Exco Members

THE selection of the new state exco line-up is similar to picking a football team during the off season.

Underperformers will be drop-ped, while freshly minted representatives with potential will replace them, with the hope that their potential would be realised.

In Selangor, the football anology applies well as the state constitution requires 11 people in the state executive council.

“According to the constitution, the exco must have 11 people, including the Mentri Besar. Not more, and not less,” said Sri Muda assemblyman Shuhaimi Shafiei of PKR.

“There will definitely be at least two new faces from DAP in the exco, as Teresa Kok and Ronnie Liu did not contest for a Selangor state seat this time.

The other DAP representative on the old team is Ean Yong Hian Wah, who retained his Seri Kembangan state seat.

Ean Yong is expected to stay on, and the names speculated to replace Kok and Liu are Datuk Teng Chang Khim (Sungai Pinang), Hannah Yeoh (Subang Jaya), Lau Weng San (Kampung Tunku) and V. Ganabatirao (Kota Alam Shah).

Teng, who was the state assembly speaker, has the experience to help the state government.

A move to become an exco member may seem like a demotion, although he would be able to directly help out with the day-to-day administration of the government.

“It is up to the party. At this point, it is best not to speculate.

“Otherwise it may be seen as lobbying for positions,” said Teng.

A political observer noted that Teng has a deep commitment to empowering the state legislative assembly to ensure there is a check and balance between the legislative and executive.

“I do not think he has achieved what he wants for the state assembly and as such, he may want to continue as Speaker to complete what he set out to do,” he said.

Yeoh is a popular choice and is seen by political observers and journalists as a capable young leader.

But she is also a mother of two young children and an exco position on top of her duties as assemblyman may be overwhelming for the 34-year-old.

Lau, a chemical engineer, has performed well as a member of the Selangor Special Select Committee on Competency, Accountability and Transparency (Selcat) and will most likely get one of the two vacant exco positions.

Ganabatirao’s name popped up following discussions that DAP may want to portray a multi-racial image for the party.

If that is the case, he is more likely to get the nod ahead of R. Rajiv (Bukit Gasing).

“In 2008, DAP only had M. Manoharan (Kota Alam Shah) as its non-Chinese assemblyman.

“But he was held under Internal Security Act (ISA) then, so the party had no option but to pick all Chinese for the exco positions,” said a party source.

PAS is most likely to retain its current line-up of Iskandar Samad (Cempaka), Dr Halimah Ali (Selat Klang) and Dr Ahmad Yunus Hairi (Sijangkang).

However, there is a chance that the party may want to slot in Selangor PAS commissioner Dr Rani Osman (Meru) in the exco.

“I am open to whatever decisions the party leadership makes. If they want me in exco, I will accept.

“If they want me as Mentri Besar or Prime Minister, I will also accept. But I will not ask for the position,” he said.

PKR’s options for its exco is more complicated, with a political observer noting that Dr Yaakob Sapari (Kota Anggerik) had not been performing when holding the portfolio of agriculture, natural resources management and entrepreneur development.

Elizabeth Wong (Bukit Lanjan) is a “50-50” case, as she works hard but does not have much to show for it, said the same observer.

“And Tourism Selangor, an agency which she oversees, has not been doing well,” she said.

The other two PKR representatives in the state exco, Dr Xavier Jayakumar (Sri Andalas) and Rodziah Ismail (Batu Tiga), look set to be retained.