PENANG, 15 April 2009: Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng has given Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) advisor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim more time to decide on the candidate for the post of Deputy Chief Minister I.
In a statement distributed here, Lim said that Anwar might be under pressure to decide on the candidate for the post, which fell vacant following the resignation of Penanti assemblyperson Mohammad Fairus Khairuddin.
Reporters turned up in large numbers to cover an event attended by Lim, here, in anticipation of an announcement for the post, but Lim told them that he had no announcement to make.
“I have prepared a statement. It’s all there,” he said after handing over a RM1.5 million allocation to 28 Tamil-type schools here today.
He then rushed to the Bayan Lepas International Airport en route to the national capital to attend the swearing-in ceremony of the Penang Yang Dipertua Negeri, Tun Abdul Rahman Abbas, at the Istana Negara.
Lim, who declined to say when he would announce the appointment for the post, said that the delay did not mean that Anwar had not been trying to resolve the problem.
The post is said to be a toss-up between two PKR assemblyperson Abdul Malik Abdul Kassim (Batu Maung) and Maktar Shapee (Sungai Bakap).
Meanwhile Abdul Malik said the delay in announcing Mohammad Fairus’ successor had not affected ties between PKR and DAP and that both parties were cooperating well.
In any case, the post should be filled by a PKR leader, he told reporters after receiving a business delegation from Henan, China.
Abdul Malik, who is the state executive councillor for domestic trade and consumer affairs, said that although the chief minister had the prerogative to appoint his deputy, PKR should be given the opportunity to propose a suitable candidate.
“We leave it to Anwar to decide. We are confident that he will make the right choice,” he said. — Bernama