Wait continues as no one has simple majority yet


Hoping for the best: (From left) Asmuni, Nga and Farhash waiting for a decision. — RONNIE CHIN/The Star

IPOH: Perakians will have to wait a little longer to learn of who will be their next mentri besar, with no side having majority support yet to claim the post.

According to an official, Perak Ruler Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah, who granted an audience to the leaders of Umno and Pakatan Harapan yesterday, is expected to make a decision when things become clearer in the next few days.

State National Council member Datuk Seri Annuar Zaini said at this stage, no side could confirm to the Perak Sultan of having majority support.

“His Royal Highness needs to be convinced that a simple majority has been obtained, ” he told reporters outside Istana Kinta yesterday.

Annuar said the Sultan wanted to meet PAS and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia assemblymen to hear their views on the formation of a new state government.

“The swearing-in ceremony of the mentri besar will be called once His Royal Highness is confident that a simple majority has been achieved, ” he said.

Annuar said no party had sought an audience with Sultan Nazrin today.

Perak PAS Commissioner Razman Zakaria and former mentri besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu, who is the state Bersatu chief, were initially scheduled to meet the Sultan yesterday but did not turn up.

When contacted, Razman said PAS called off the meeting as “we have nothing to present to the Sultan and decided not to waste His Royal Highness’ time”.

The Gunung Semanggol assemblyman said PAS would seek an audience with Sultan Nazrin at a later date.

“It all depends on the party leadership. We hope to do so as soon as there is a decision, ” he added.

In a statement issued earlier, Razman said he would abide by any decision made by the top PAS party leadership.

“Considering the political turmoil in forming the state government, we will follow whatever decision made by the party leadership.

Faizal, who quit as mentri besar on Saturday after losing a confidence vote at the State Assembly the day earlier, said Bersatu did not receive any official notification to seek an audience with the Sultan.

Perak Umno had moved a motion of confidence in Faizal as the Perak Mentri Besar.

Faizal, the Chenderiang assemblyman, only got 10 votes, while 48 voted against him with one abstention.

State Umno chairman Datuk Saarani Mohamad is said to be the frontrunner for Perak’s top job, having received full backing from the party and the party’s state assemblymen.

Other names being bandied about include that of former mentri besar and Pangkor assemblyman Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir and Rungkup assemblyman Datuk Shahrul Zaman Yahya.

Shahrul, however, chose to quash the speculation linking him with the vacancy.

Earlier yesterday, Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, accompanied by Saarani, presented to Sultan Nazrin the party’s choice for the post.

Ahmad Zahid said he was confident that there was more than enough majority support for the candidate.

Asked whether support also came from PAS and Bersatu, he said Umno would like to defend the Perikatan Nasional coalition and form the state government with them.Pressed on whether a simple majority has been achieved, he replied: “God willing.”

Meanwhile, Perak Pakatan leaders who met the Sultan for about an hour yesterday did not say much when asked whether they would support the Umno candidate as mentri besar.

State Parti Amanah Negara chairman Datuk Asmuni Awi said his party has yet to pledge support for anyone, while state PKR chief Farhash Wafa Salvador Rizal Mubarak said the Sultan was updated on the goings-on.

State DAP chief Nga Kor Ming said he was “hoping for the best”.

A state Pakatan source said they would await a decision from its top leadership.

“Despite having made known our willingness to work with Umno, nothing has been decided yet. The ball is in Umno’s court, ” he added.

In the 59-seat state assembly, Umno holds 25 seats, Bersatu five, PAS three, Gerakan one and Independent one.

The Opposition holds 24 seats - DAP (16), PKR (three) and Amanah (five).

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