PENANG: May 5, 2008
Having an Umno assemblyman in the Pakatan Rakyat-led state department is tantamount to having a “government within a government”.
Deputy Chief Minister I Mohammad Fairus Khairuddin said there would be inconsistencies in the administrative process should Umno’s Permatang Berangan assemblyman Shabudin Yahaya continue to be state Islamic Religious Council president.
“Being the council president, Shabudin needs to liaise with me, a PKR assemblyman, as I am the state Islamic Religious Affairs Committee chairman.
“We are the government elected by the people and we want smooth management of religious administrative matters for the people,” he said when contacted yesterday.
Mohammad Fairus said the state government was still waiting for an appointment from the palace to seek an audience with Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin over the matter.
He said the state wished to explain its side of the story to the King.
“We also need to counter inaccurate feedback that could have been presented to His Majesty that enabled Shabudin to cling on to the post,” he said.
Shabudin recently claimed that the King had called on him to continue serving as the council president until his term expired next year.
On a newspaper report that the Penang government had pledged to support Shabudin for the post, Fairus said the report was misleading.
“I am contemplating legal action against the newspaper for twisting facts,” he said.
It was reported that the King, who heads Islamic religious affairs, had directed Shabudin to continue until his term ends December next year.
Apart from Shabudin who was appointed in 2004, nine other members of the council had also been asked to continue until their term ended.