PH loses Johor, status of other states uncertain


A NEW coalition will be formed in Johor as a result of political crisis at the federal level that led to the collapse of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration.

Johor’s royal palace announced yesterday that a new coalition has gained a simple majority to form the state government in place of PH after ruler Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar completed interviewing 56 state assembly representatives on Wednesday.

The statement said 28 representatives have chosen the new coalition compared to 26 who backed the incumbent government, while two representatives — Simpang Jeram and Puteri Wangsa — could not attend the interview.

As such, a new mentri besar (MB) will be named before new state executive council members can be appointed.

Political analyst Dr Ahmad Fauzi Abdul Hamid said any change in the state administration would take into account the people’s interest in the particular state.

“The realignment of government in states would be according to people’s interest in the state. Political parties need to consider if that is suitable for the people, although there is a change at the federal,” Ahmad Fauzi told The Malaysian Reserve.

Perak and Melaka could be heading for a political shift similar to Johor, following the exit of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia and others from PH.

At present, PH in Perak has 30 seats comprising 18 from DAP, Parti Amanah Negara (6), PKR (4) and Bersatu (2).

The Opposition currently holds 28 seats — Umno (25) and PAS (3) — as well as one independent, and could wrestle the state from PH if the two Bersatu representatives pivot.

In Melaka, PH commands 15 seats out of 28 consisting of eight representatives from DAP, PKR (3) and two each from Amanah and Bersatu.

Again, PH would topple in Melaka upon crossover by the two Bersatu representatives, giving the simple majority to the Opposition solely from Umno (13).

But such a political realignment did not happen in Kedah.

Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir said yesterday that he is staying as Kedah MB following support from 18 PH and Bersatu representatives. Mukhriz said portfolios of the state executive council members remain the same.

Ahmad Fauzi said one of the factors that could possibly be considered in Kedah was Mukhriz is Dr Mahathir’s son and parties may want to avoid antagonising the interim PM and thus retaining Mukhriz as the MB could be strategic too.

The political analyst said Bersatu looks like becoming a “hybrid” party where the members could have the inclination to either support the group that backs Dr Mahathir or PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim — that would play a role at the state politics level.

“Bersatu has both the nationalist and reformist elements. The nationalist element is inherited from Umno, while some members have the reformist credentials.

“The ones with a reformist background would be pulled towards PKR or Amanah, while those nationalists would gravitate to Umno,” he said.

Ahmad Fauzi said Malaysians have to learn to get used to the scenario of hybrid parties in the country’s political landscape.

PH is expected to retain control in Selangor and Penang.

In Sabah, Parti Warisan Sabah has a simple majority of 31 state assembly seats out of 60 and PH is a “partner” in the state government.

Currently, the Sabah state government coalition controls 52 seats comprising Warisan (31), Bersatu (9), DAP (6), PKR (2) and United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation or Upko (4).

As it is, Warisan has the luxury to choose who would be its partner to form the state government.