KUALA LUMPUR: PKR vice-president Azmin Ali has resigned as board member of the Selangor State Development Corporation (PKNS) as the rift between him and Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim reaches a new height.
Party sources told FMT that Azmin had tendered his resignation at noon today as a sign of protest against the appointment of Faekah Hussin as Khalid's new political secretary.
Azmin holds a powerful post in PKNS, standing only second to Khalid who chairs the board.
Sources close to Azmin said the protest was not made against Faekah, a former political secretary to PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ahmad, but against the manner of the appointment.
"He did not consult any leaders within the party. What it signals is his (Khalid's) arrogance and many are unhappy about it," a source told FMT.
Faekah's appointment was announced at a media night held by the Selangor government last night.
She replaced Seri Setia assemblyman Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, who is set to play a more central role in the party as head of its communication department, replacing incumbent Jonson Chong.
Rumours were rife that Nik Nazmi had quit after a fall-out with Khalid but the latter denied the allegation.
Azmin-Khalid rift over MB post
PKR has tried hard to conceal the spat between Azmin and Khalid but to no avail.
Azmin has openly attacked Khalid's leadership in the past, accusing him of incompetence and arrogance.
He also called for a total reshuffle in Khalid's executive council line-up.
The conflict between the two started with party supremo Anwar Ibrahim's directive that Khalid be appointed as Selangor's Menteri Besar after PKR ousted the Barisan Nasional government in the 2008 general election.
It is rumoured that Azmin, the Gombak MP and Bukit Antarabangsa assemblyma, had coveted the post.
Anwar had to intervene and mediate in a closed-door meeting between the two after their public row had provided their political rivals with fodder against a party already suffering from internal discord.
Both Azmin and Khalid are known to be close to Anwar but the former holds greater influence over the party's leader.
The reconciliation lasted for a while, with Azmin showing signs of camaraderie with Khalid, especially during the Hulu Selangor by-election, which the party subsequently lost to BN.
"Azmin had given Khalid a chance but the manner of Faekah's appointment was the last straw that broke the camel's back," said the same source.
It is understood that despite the rift, Azmin had not wanted to make public his resignation to avoid speculation that the party is in tatters. The PKR vice-president could not be contacted for comments.