by AFIQ AZIZ/ pic by TMR FILE
DATUK Seri Mukhriz Mahathir (picture) is at risk of losing his Mentri Besar (MB) post for the second time as 23 of the 36 state assemblymen in Kedah have called for a vote of no confidence over the Jitra’s assembly person leadership.
PAS election director Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor said the party, together with Umno and some Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia members under Perikatan Nasional (PN), are expected to nominate a new MB candidate to replace Mukhriz. He said four of the 23 assemblymen are from Bersatu.
“Twenty-three state assemblymen have lost their confidence towards Mukhriz’s leadership — 15 are from PAS, two from Barisan Nasional and two ex-PKR members who announced their stand to leave their party just now,” Sanusi told a press conference in Alor Setar, Kedah, yesterday.
“As such, Kedah Pakatan Harapan (PH) has loss their power to govern the state in immediate effect. The 19 members who present today (from PN block) has agreed to form a new state government of Kedah under the PN banner,” he added.
In 2016, Mukhriz lost the MB post to Umno’s Datuk Seri Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipah after being critical of the former prime minister (PM) and Umno president Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak over the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) scandal.
This time around, Mukhriz — who is the deputy president of Bersatu — is expected to vacate his position following the change of government in March, which saw the collapse of the PH government at the federal level.
Since then, Bersatu and PKR have been divided into two factions — PH and PN.
A faction of Bersatu supports the PN coalition led by its president and PM Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, while another is said to remain loyal with party chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Recently, PKR initiated a “purging process” by firing and suspending those who claimed to be not aligned with the PH block and PKR anymore.
Earlier yesterday, two PKR assemblymen — Robert Ling Kui Ee (Sidam) and Azman Nasarudin (Lunas) — announced their resignation from the party, saying that they have lost confidence with PKR leadership under Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. They also declared themselves to be friendly allies of the PN government.
Sanusi, the assemblyman for Jeneri, has been widely rumoured to helm the MB post as he is the current Opposition leader in the house.
“We have reached the consensus at the federal level and we hope the swearing-in ceremony can be scheduled before May 18. So far, we have not discussed the executive councillors’ seats, but that will be done as soon as possible.
“I think if he (Mukhriz) follows Muhyiddin’s step (in forming the PN government), he would not have to go through this. This is the second time, so I sympathise with him.”