Melaka state assembly dissolved

EC to consult NSC and MoH on holding state election

By HARIZAH KAMEL / Pic BERNAMA

THE prospect of another pandemic state election became a reality with the dissolution of the Melaka State Assembly yesterday after four lawmakers withdrew support for the state government.

However, following lessons learned from the Sabah state election last year, a decision whether to hold Melaka elections will be made by the Election Commission (EC).

Two of those who withdrew support came from Umno, the same party as Melaka Chief Minister (CM) Datuk Seri Sulaiman Md Ali.

Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi told reporters at Parliament yesterday that he has had some discussions with Sulaiman, together with the Melaka State Legislative Assembly Speaker Datuk Seri Ab Rauf Yusoh.

Ahmad Zahid said the decision whether to hold a state election will be made by the EC, upon advice from the National Security Council (NSC) and the Health Ministry (MoH) due to Covid-19 concerns.

The Melaka political crisis came to a head late yesterday afternoon with an announcement that the state assembly has been dissolved.

The official announcement was issued by the office of the Melaka State Legislative Assembly speaker and the proclamation of the dissolution of the State Legislative Assembly was gazetted yesterday.

“I hope that the EC will hold discussions with the NSC and MoH to determine whether the state election will be held according to the schedule as stated in the Elections Act (1958).

“Until the election is announced by the EC, the CM will function in the form of a ‘caretaker government’,” Ahmad Zahid said.

Earlier, Ahmad Zahid had said holding the state election within 60 days as stipulated in the Elections Act as dangerous and prompted Melaka to follow Sarawak’s move in delaying such action.

The Bagan Datuk MP said he would leave it to the CM to determine whether the state government can run as usual with a number of trusted executive councillors (excos).

Ahmad Zahid also said the state excos who have lost faith in the CM can consider themselves no longer with the caretaker government for the administration of the state.

“Barisan Nasional (BN) and Umno will continue to provide support to Sulaiman to continue his duties as CM in this caretaker government.

“For the assemblymen from BN and Umno who betrayed the state government, I hope they are ready to accept action from the party by receiving a letter of dismissal.”

Furthermore, Ahmad Zahid said the loyalty of any elected representative, whether an assemblyman or an MP, must focus on the party, especially if the party is led by Umno and BN.

The collapse of the Umno-led Melaka government was not a complete surprise following mounting speculations over the weekend.

The four assemblymen involved are former Melaka CM Datuk Seri Idris Haron (BN-Sungai Udang), Datuk Nor Azman Hassan (BN-Pantai Kundor), Datuk Norhizam Hassan Baktee (Independent-Pengkalan Batu) and Datuk Noor Effandi Ahmad (Bersatu-Telok Mas).

The lawmakers declared a loss of confidence in Sulaiman’s leadership due to a series of decisions not implemented by the state government, which Idris added portrayed Melaka as a “flip-flop” state, citing “as if there are two lions on a mountain”.

The Melaka assembly has 28 seats — 14 held by BN, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (2), DAP (7), PKR (2), Parti Amanah Negara (2) and one Independent assemblyman.