SHAH ALAM (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Selangor, a Pakatan Harapan (PH) stronghold, is taking swift action to purge its administration of rival Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) leaders.
Menteri Besar Amirudin Shari is making clear that he stands with PH. Bersatu, he said, was out of the state ruling coalition comprising partners Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), Democratic Action Party (DAP) and Parti Amanah Negara.
"The involvement of all Bersatu leadership and members will be excluded from the exco line-up, members of local authorities and village chiefs, as well as state government-linked companies.
"Other administrative areas will be removed in stages starting today," he said on Thursday (March 5).
Datuk Seri Amirudin said state allocations to those involved would be frozen as well, including the two representatives in the state assembly: Gombak Setia assemblyman Hilman Idham and Bukit Antarabangsa assemblyman Azmin Ali.
Datuk Seri Azmin and Mr Hilman, his political secretary, were among those recently sacked from PKR.
Mr Azmin, the former PKR deputy president, was involved in tumultuous infighting with party president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
He and 10 other former PKR elected representatives recently joined Bersatu. Their crossover was one of the factors leading to the collapse of the Pakatan Harapan leadership at the federal level.
Mr Amirudin is in the spotlight himself, as his loyalty has been repeatedly questioned.
Asked to comment on his position in Mr Azmin's camp, Mr Amirudin said: "I'm with him as long as he is with PKR. I'm with PKR now.
"When he left the party, I had to toe the party line. I am still with PKR, as promised in my election campaign. I will honour it with the rakyat.
"There are those here who are also being linked to some of the exco members, but they are committed to PKR. They are with PKR and support Pakatan and PKR policies," he said.
The Selangor Menteri Besar said he was helming a legitimate state government that enjoyed a two-thirds majority support, with 43 assemblymen out of the 56 elected representatives in Selangor supporting his leadership.
On rumours of his removal as Menteri Besar, he said after the long crisis at the federal level, talk of any changes to the Menteri Besar's post should be avoided.
"Political talk and rumours will continue but today, the majority of the exco members are with me and the matter should not be raised by any parties. But I cannot stop people from doing so.
"We should learn and repent from what happened at the federal level," he told a press conference at the Menteri Besar's residence after meeting with state assemblymen.
Among those present were state exco members Haniza Talha, Lee Hoy Sian and Siti Mariah Mahmud.
Mr Amirudin pointed out that the state had managed to avoid any crisis due to the unity of Pakatan leaders.
"As far as I am concerned, I receive full and good commitment from DAP, Amanah and PKR's leadership," he added.
Asked to comment on the campaign to oust "traitors" within PKR, he said all of them had been sacked.
"I think we have sacked them. I think the campaign is too late. Please ask those who are campaigning for it.
"Pakatan Harapan now has 43 representatives and the opposition has 13 members. The representatives from Bersatu will be moved to the opposition bloc along with independents," he said.
On the appointment of new exco members, Mr Amirudin said he would have to propose the candidates to the Sultan of Selangor.
"So far, we will maintain the nine excos line-up until I meet with the Sultan," he said.
The Selangor Pakatan government has 16 assemblymen from DAP, 19 from PKR and eight from Parti Amanah Negara.
The 56-member legislative assembly also has five assemblymen from Barisan Nasional, one from PAS, six from Bersatu and one independent assemblyman.