SUBANG: Two or three names may be presented to the Sultan of Johor for consideration for the state’s mentri besar post after the Ruler has accepted the resignation of Datuk Osman Sapian.
An assemblyman from Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia will hold the post.
Bersatu president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin (pic) said Osman submitted his resignation to the Johor Ruler on Monday.
“The party respects Osman’s decision and thanks him for his services.“I hope the process to replace the mentri besar will take place in an orderly way so that the administration of the Johor government goes on smoothly.
“It is important that efforts to progress the state are not hindered by this transition in leadership,” he said yesterday.
Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar is currently overseas and scheduled to return today.
Following Osman’s resignation, there has been much discussion as to whether the Johor Ruler has the absolute right to appoint a mentri besar of his choice.
Muhyiddin, who is also Home Minister, said the process of electing a mentri besar was provided for in the state constitution, that it was not new and that it had been enforced for ages.
“When there is a vacancy, it must be filled. Normally the leader of the party that leads the state assembly – in this case, Pakatan Harapan – will present names. Then the Sultan will elect,” he explained.
“The state constitution says that the post is elected by the Sultan, and His Majesty will do so based on names given by the party holding the most seats.
“Right now, Osman has resigned and the process of accepting the resignation is pending the Sultan.
“When the resignation has been accepted, then the vacancy is official and I will then present suitable names,” Muhyiddin said.
He added that while no time frame was given for when he would submit the names, the governance of Johor took precedence.
“The replacement is important. The faster the better,” he said.
He said the agreement among Pakatan Harapan component parties was that the Johor mentri besar would come from Bersatu.
“This was decided from before the last general election. For Johor, it’s Bersatu and a list of possible candidates is already in the works.
“Maybe two names. Maybe even three,” he said, but did not share any names when pressed by the media after visiting the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency air station here.
Johor Bersatu deputy chairman Senator Md Nasir Hashim said there was a meeting between Muhyiddin and 21 Bersatu division leaders from Johor on Thursday.
“We held the meeting at the party headquarters in Petaling Jaya. All of us agreed that this problem will be put to rest as we believe in our leaders’ effort in finding an amicable solution,” he said when contacted.
He added that during the meeting, the division leaders also agreed to leave it to the party in naming the candidates for the mentri besar post.
Md Nasir also pointed out that Johor Bersatu would give its utmost support to any individuals nominated for the position.
When asked which division chiefs did not attend the meeting, he said those from Ayer Hitam, Sembrong, Muar, Batu Pahat and Pasir Gudang were not present.
Md Nasir downplayed the issue, saying the chiefs from the five divisions could not make it to the meeting because it was held abruptly.