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KUALA LUMPUR: Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) deputy president Azmin Ali claimed yesterday that his statement on the leadership of Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim has been misinterpreted by a local daily.
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He was responding to the call made by Pas secretary-general Datuk Mustafa Ali on Wednesday for DAP and PKR to refrain from making public opinions regarding the Pakatan Rakyat cabinet.
Mustafa had cautioned opposition allies from making such statements as they did not result from discussion with component parties and hence, should be avoided so as to not confuse the public.
It was reported earlier that Azmin had said Khalid would be made a minister if Pakatan Rakyat won the next general election.
When contacted, Azmin denied this and said his responses had been taken out of context.
"I never discussed about a cabinet or about the reshuffling of leadership either at state or federal level. I was asked a simple and direct question of whether a corporate figure like Khalid could perform well as a politician or could run a government."
Azmin said his statement was to debunk the notion that a corporate figure could not run a state or Federal Government, or even be a good administrator.
"On the contrary, Khalid has been able to implement Pakatan's policies at the state level and has been successful in putting forward reforms and policies for the last 41/2 years."
Azmin said he was asked if Khalid would be moved to a Federal level, but did not discuss the position of any particular leader.
He added that Mustafa should have had the courtesy to call him on the nature of his interview instead of going straight to the press.
"This is all a non-issue and I will explain to Mustafa soon," said the Gombak member of parliament.
Meanwhile, PKR vice-president N. Surendran dismissed Mustafa's statement, saying that it was more of "friendly advice" and there was nothing objectionable in that.
He said Azmin had only expressed the possibility of Khalid being promoted to a Federal position.
"It was not a hard and fast announcement that such a move would take place," he said, adding that there were more pressing issues, such as winning the general election.
DAP Socialist Youth chief Anthony Loke said "as far as (his party) is concerned, we have never made such statements".
His colleague, Selangor vice-chairman Charles Santiago, said that any decision on the cabinet positions should be left to the Pakatan presidential council.