Three in the race to be next Perak MB


  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 11 Mar 2020

IPOH: It’s three’s a crowd for the race to be the next Perak Mentri Besar as Umno and PAS leaders joined the newly resigned Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu, of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, in throwing their hats into the ring.

Almost as soon as Faizal quit as Mentri Besar, Umno nominated its chairman Datuk Saarani Mohamad while PAS is believed to have nominated its state commissioner Razman Zakaria for the position to helm the state government.

Faizal tendered his resignation as Perak Mentri Besar after an audience with Sultan of Perak Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah yesterday.

His move, after more than a week of silence, followed the pullout of Bersatu from Pakatan Harapan, rendering the collapse of the state government led by the coalition.

The administration is now replaced by Perikatan Nasional, in keeping with political developments at the federal level.

Faizal is hoping to be reappointed as Mentri Besar.

All three men sought an audience with Sultan Nazrin at Istana Kinta here yesterday.

In the running: (From left) Faizal, saarani and razman are vying for the position to helm the Perak state government. — BernamaIn the running: (From left) Faizal, saarani and razman are vying for the position to helm the Perak state government. — Bernama

In a statement, the Comptroller of the Royal Household Datuk Pengelola Bijaya Diraja Kol (R) Datuk Abd Rahim Mohamad Nor said Sultan Nazrin will evaluate and consider the names that have been submitted.

“His Royal Highness will appoint the one with the trust of the assemblymen as the 13th Mentri Besar.

“The date for the swearing-in ceremony will be set later,” he said, adding that Sultan Nazrin has also accepted Faizal’s resignation as the Mentri Besar, which came into immediate effect.

Yesterday marked Day 17 of Perak’s political upheaval as lines were being redrawn after the Pakatan government crumbled.

After leaving the palace, Faizal told reporters that he had informed the Sultan that Pakatan no longer held a simple majority to administer the state.

“I’ve also officially informed His Royal Highness that Bersatu had left Pakatan on Feb 24 and have reached a consensus with Umno and PAS to form the new state government with a 32-seat majority.

“I will leave it to the Sultan to appoint a new Mentri Besar to form a new state government.

“I urge the people to be patient and remain calm while His Royal Highness makes a decision,” he added.

Faizal had on Monday announced that Perikatan, which consists of Bersatu, Umno and PAS, would be forming the state government.

Perikatan consists of 25 Umno assemblymen, three from PAS and four from Bersatu.

Former state exco members Paul Yong Choo Kiong (Tronoh assemblyman; DAP) and Hasnul Zulkarnain Abd Munaim (Titi Serong assemblyman; Parti Amanah Negara), together with Buntong assemblyman A. Sivasubramaniam (DAP), have also quit Pakatan to become Perikatan-friendly independents.

Perak Pakatan now holds 24 seats in the 59-seat state assembly.

Faizal also said he was proud to have a wise Sultan to make the best decision for the state.

On the exit of Yong, Hasnul Zulkarnain and Sivasubramaniam from their parties, Faizal said he thanked them for their support for him to be the Mentri Besar.

“I am comfortable and close with them,” he said, adding that he hopes to continue working with them.

“It will also be fantastic for the new state government if more assemblymen support Perikatan,” added Yong, who has claimed trial to raping his Indonesian maid last year.

Saarani said he has delivered a letter to the Sultan on behalf of Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi over the party’s agreement to form the state government with Bersatu and PAS.

He said in the letter, the party also nominated him as the Mentri Besar candidate.

“All 25 assemblymen from Umno have signed statutory declarations to support the candidate,” he said.

Razman declined to speak to reporters, only calling on them to wait for a decision from Sultan Nazrin.

At a separate press conference held later in the afternoon, Yong and Subramaniam fought back at being labelled as “frogs” and “traitors”.

They demanded that state DAP leaders cease attacking them or they would air the party’s dirty linen in public.

Sivasubramaniam then revealed that the plot to topple Faizal as the Mentri Besar had always cropped up during the state DAP party meetings.

He said it was one of the reasons why the state Pakatan government fell and not because of him and Yong quitting the party.

“Faizal himself said it on Monday ... it’s all 100% true.

“It (the plan to topple Faizal) was always discussed during state party meetings.

“They want to put their own Malay assemblyman as the Mentri Besar and there was also a plot to remove Yong as state executive council member and take his portfolio.

“I have all the proofs and minutes from the meetings, so they should zip their mouths if they don’t want me to reveal all and other things,” he said.

Yong said he and Sivasubramaniam did not join another party so there was no basis to call them frogs or traitors.

“We did not cause the state Pakatan government to collapse as Faizal had first made the announcement that Perikatan would be forming the new state government as they already had the majority support of 32 state assemblymen.

“We quit and maintain our support for Faizal to be the Mentri Besar so that we can fulfil the mandate given by our voters,” he said.

Asked whether both of them quitting the party itself was an act of betrayal, Yong said it was not.

“We’ve not betrayed anyone. We left the party because we don’t like how some people lead the party, so what’s the problem?” he asked.

Yong said it was also unbecoming of two senior leaders in Perak DAP to focus their attacks and allegations against him and Sivasubramaniam.

“They are very good at using their cybertroopers to twist facts and incite (hatred).

“It is so childish and heinous. I hope both of them will act more respectably or else more party members will leave and they will also incur the anger of supporters,” he said.

This would be the second time that a Pakatan-led Perak government was toppled.

The first being the constitutional crisis in 2009 after three Pakatan Rakyat state assemblymen defected, causing the collapse of the then state government.

The late Sultan of Perak Sultan Azlan Shah had back then denied then Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin’s request to dissolve the state legislative assembly and sworn in Barisan Nasional’s Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir as the Mentri Besar.

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