ALOR SETAR: The clock is ticking against him but embattled Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir is still fighting to hang on.
In a strongly worded statement yesterday, Mukhriz lashed out at the detractors calling for his ouster, describing their actions as an affront to the Sultan of Kedah and reigning King, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah.
He claimed that the revolt by 14 Kedah Umno division chiefs and wing leaders led by Datuk Seri Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipah on Jan 20 to seek his removal as Mentri Besar had marred the Sultan’s 88th birthday celebration.
Mukhriz said many of those who attended the press conference called by 12 Umno division chiefs and two deputy division chiefs were not aware of the plot to oust him from the mentri besar’s post.
“I believe their insistence that I be replaced does not represent the majority of Umno members and, more importantly, the needs of Kedahans,” Mukhriz said in his two-page statement.
The besieged Mentri Besar said as a result of the actions of the 14 leaders, six of the state’s nine exco members did not attend the weekly exco meeting on Jan 27, which he described as a violation of the oaths they had taken before the Sultan under the Kedah Constitution.
“Their refusal to attend the exco meeting disrupted the state administrative process and the state government’s programmes and development activities for the people.
“As chairman of Kedah Umno and Mentri Besar, I was notified that the Sultan and the Kedah Regency Council were offended by the group’s act.
“As the state Umno chairman, I seek forgiveness from the Kedah Sultan and Kedah Regency Council for the actions of these Umno members in dishonouring the Sultan and marring his birthday celebrations.
“Until the issue is resolved, all state exco members and assemblymen must perform the responsibilities entrusted to them by the ruling King and his people, as articulated under the laws of Kedah,” he said.
He claimed that the actions of the 14 leaders, along with the heads of the state Wanita and Youth wings, had also offended the Kedah Regency Council, and urged all involved to “formally seek the Sultan’s forgiveness”.
Several exco members and assemblymen contacted by The Star declined to comment on Mukhriz’s statement.
Among them were Bukit Kayu Hitam assemblyman Datuk Ahmad Zaini, Bukit Lada assemblyman Datuk Ahmad Lebai Sudin and Pantai Merdeka assemblyman Datuk Ali Yahaya.
All of them said they would attend the meeting with the Kedah Regency Council, scheduled for today.