By DASHVEENJIT KAUR / Pic By BERNAMA
Datuk Osman Sapian (picture) has resigned as Johor’s mentri besar (MB) on Monday, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad confirmed yesterday.
Dr Mahathir said Osman personally tendered his resignation letter to him on Monday evening, effective immediately.
The Kempas assemblyman is also expected to seek an audience with Johor ruler Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar once the latter comes back from an overseas trip.
“The Johor MB resigned on Monday via a letter to me and will submit a decree to the Sultan of Johor too,” Dr Mahathir told reporters at the Parliament lobby yesterday.
As for Osman’s replacement, Dr Mahathir said there are up to four candidates shortlisted for the position.
“Yes, I do have three to four (candidates) in mind. But for now, Johor has no MB,” he said, adding that the next MB will come from Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia as agreed with Pakatan Harapan.
“It has to follow the (Pakatan Harapan) agreement, the replacement must be from Bersatu,” he added.
Dr Mahathir also declined to confirm whether state Health, Environment and Agriculture Committee chairman Dr Sahruddin Jamal would be the new state chief minister, as Dr Sahruddin represented Osman at the 9th Malaysia-Singapore Leaders’ Retreat yesterday.
Osman was surprisingly absent from the annual leaders’ retreat, which is very important for border state Johor and further fuelling speculations of Osman’s resignation.
Besides being the MB, Osman oversaw the state’s natural resources, administration, finance, planning and economic development portfolios.
He was sworn in 11 months ago following Pakatan Harapan’s historic victory in federal and Johor — the state in which Umno was born before independence.