Salleh: For some, the appointment is about keeping one's promise.
KUALA LUMPUR: Penang Pas chief Salleh Man confirmed that opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim promised the position of the head of the State Religious Council (MAIPP) during the Permatang Pasir by-election in 2009.
Speaking to The Mole Salleh said: “During the by-election, Pas was promised to have the YDP (Yang Dipertua - head) of the MAIPP if we won in Permatang Pasir.”
“I personally feel this is a non-issue but for some, it’s about keeping one’s promises,” he added.
Salleh was commenting on the appointment of Abdul Malik Kassim as the head of the religious council last month.
Abdul Malik is a Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) state assemblyman for Batu Maung.
During the Permatang Pasir by-election campaign in August 2009, Anwar reportedly said: “We will ask for Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng to consider appointing Salleh as the head of MAIPP if he wins the seat.”
The Mole had earlier today posted a report giving some insights on the state of affairs among the Pakatan Rakyat partners in Penang and how Pas and PKR assemblymen have not been treated accordingly by Lim.
The report, among others stated: "There was widespread talk that Salleh felt pressured as Lim had marginalised Pas in making decisions related to Muslim affairs and he was being questioned by members who wished to see the party play a bigger role in the state government."
Salleh when asked about the report confirmed there was a kemelut (discontent) regarding the position but refused to elaborate.
He however said the State government and the council were working together to resolve the matter.
“Insyaallah we will know the outcome in few days’ time. I suppose we will just have to wait for the Deputy Chief Minister's (Datuk Mansor Othman) announcement.”
“I don’t want to talk further about this. Let’s just wait and see what the State Government’s decision is going to be,” Salleh said but again refused to elaborate what the decision he was referring to.
A blog post described Abdul Malik’s appointment as proof of how Pas is being side-lined in the DAP-led Penang government.
Asked whether he was shocked on Abdul Malik’s appointment, Salleh said: “I think it’s the people from Umno who exaggerated the whole thing.”
“I have never said I am not happy or dissatisfied. I keep telling people I do not want to be associated with any political game.”
Salleh won against Barisan Nasional’s candidate Rohaizat Othman during the by elections, retaining Pas’ only seat in Penang which was won by the late Datuk Mohd Hamdan Abdul Rahman in the 2008 general election.
Another blog post stated Lim had refused to comment on the appointment issue, saying the matter should be resolved by the state’s executive councillor for religious affairs and related parties.