IPOH: For the first time, Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu has admitted that there have been attempts to overthrow him from the day he took office.
However, he stopped short of naming the people behind such plots, saying he was still MB despite everything.
Asked if he had full confidence in his executive council (exco) members, and whether he believed they would not try to oust him, Ahmad Faizal said, "That is what I am seeing."
"I would like to reiterate the (earlier) statements I made that in exco meetings, we do not have any problems, and the state government is still functioning as usual.
"My exco members and I are still focused on our work. Whilst ensuring that things at the state assembly go on smoothly, we are, at the same time, busy carrying out our respective duties.
"That is more important.
"But there are a lot of people who have tried to overthrow me from day one. But as you know, I am still the MB," he told reporters during a visit to the media room during the state assembly sitting here on Friday (April 19).
Ahmad Faizal was also asked to comment on an audio recording purportedly of an exco member criticising him.
He said those responsible for making the audio viral should own up.
He said Perak Umno had denied that the video was uploaded by them.
"So it's not from Umno, not from me, it definitely must be from someone. Those responsible must prove the allegations made.
"But we all know that state opposition leader Datuk Saarani Mohamad and several Umno assemblymen have been issuing statements about an exco member who allegedly met the (Pakatan Harapan) assemblyman who wanted support to be the next Mentri Besar," he said.
In the four-minute-plus audio clip, an unidentified individual is heard complaining about Ahmad Faizal's performance in administering the state.
Speaking to a few people believed to be Umno assemblymen, he claimed that Ahmad Faizal was always late for meetings and had a tendency to skip programmes with the Sultan of Perak, among other things.
Ahmad Faizal said he had yet to hear the recording. He said he was unfazed by harsh comments.
"You should meet my mother, and hear what she says about me. And oh, there are a lot of harsh comments made by my wife about me," he said in jest.
He said exco Dr Abdul Aziz Bari had already denied being the person in the recording, so that there was nothing to talk about.
"On me coming late for exco meetings, initially as a new MB, (I found) there were pre-council discussions and briefings to attend, and sometimes the meetings start a little late.
"I am not perfect, and I am sure that all of you (referring to media) have also been late for work. So we are not perfect, but I always try to ensure the situation is improved," he added.
Audio slamming Perak MB goes viral