An upset Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng is said to be on a relentless pursuit to throw out PKR councillor Johari Kassim from Seberang Perai Municipal Council (MPSP).
Sources said he had directed the state secretary, Zainal Rahim Seman, to issue written instructions to the MPSP president, Mokhtar Mohd Jait, to bar Johari from attending any council meetings.
The matter is now under the purview of the state executive councillor in charge of local government affairs and traffic management and also DAP state chief Chow Kon Yeow.
It is learnt that Zainal may issue the written directive to Mokhtar within the next few days.
Lim, also the DAP secretary-general, is determined to “teach Johari a lesson” for openly defying his decision to appoint Mokhtar to head MPSP early this month,
The chief minister is unhappy that PKR had refused to heed to his call to sack Johari as councillor.
Johari and seven other PKR councillors have boycotted Mokhtar’s swearing-in on June 4 in protest against the state government decision to appoint senior public officers to helm local municipalities.
Who is the boss?
The DAP-dominated Pakatan Rakyat state government has also appointed senior civil servant Tan Cheng Chui as the new Penang Island Municipal Council (MPPP) president.
Apart from Johari, the others were Che Mat Hashim, Amir Ghazali, Mahamad Hashim, Rynu Shanmugam, Goh Choon Aik, Mohd Kamil Abu Bakar and Zaini Awang.
The boycott has inevitably caused Lim a bruised ego, and he wants to show Johari “who’s the boss”.
For record, Johari has attended several council meetings since the controversy erupted early this month.
Lim’s unprecedented move to deploy administrative rule to punish Johari, however, is set to meet tough resistance from the state PKR.
During a meeting among state PKR’s parliamentarians, legislators and councillors on Friday, it is learnt that the state party leadership had decided to adopt a tough stance not to yield to DAP leadership demand to force Johari to resign as councillor.
Those at the meeting, despite having difference of opinions and views over the political controversy, decided anonymously to throw their weight around the embattled Johari, the state PKR and Tasek Gelugor division committee member.
State leaders also decided to inform, in unequivocal terms, to Lim soon that the controversy shall be best resolved through the Pakatan state council leadership.
PKR leaders defend Johari
A source said PKR leadership thought that Lim was wrong in trying to use an administrative rule to resolve a political problem.
“The leadership thought it should be resolved through a political forum,” said the PKR source.
PKR leaders are determined to defend Johari merely because he had only defied a state decision to protect the party interest.
The state leadership has decided not to take any action on Johari during a meeting held the next day after the Johari’s MPSP boycott.
Although the matter was referred to the party national political bureau, headed by deputy president Syed Husin Ali, albeit under pressure from Lim, the bureau also emulated the state stand.
Meanwhile, a portal blogspot has emerged to carry out a character assassination campaign on Johari, PKR state chief Zahrain Hashim, secretary Mustafa Kamal Mohd Yusoff and several other leaders.
Quoting its source of information is from Malaysiakini, the bloggers are carrying out a campaign in similar modus operandi executed so effectively on former Deputy Chief Minister 1 Fairus Khairuddin.
PKR leadership is now checking on the bloggers, believed to be party members linked to a state executive councillor.
Zahrain is now under intense internal pressure to quickly identify and take drastic action, including party membership termination, on these anonymous bloggers.
Ahli Majlis MPSP....!!!!