New Perak MB to be sworn in today

Kota Tampan assemblyman Datuk Saarani Mohamad as Umno candidate for the Perak Mentri Besar's post.(December, 7th, 2020). - RONNIE CHIN/The Star

IPOH: Perak Barisan Nasional chairman Datuk Saarani Mohamad will be sworn in as the 14th Perak Mentri Besar at Istana Iskandariah in Kuala Kangsar at 11am today.

In a press statement, Comptroller of the Perak Royal Household Kolonel (Rtd) Datuk Abdul Rahim Mohamad said Sultan of Perak Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah had been convinced that the Kota Tampan assemblyman had received majority support from state assemblymen for the position.

The announcement was made after state Umno, PAS and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia leaders sought an audience with the Perak Ruler at Istana Kinta here yesterday evening.

Reporters were told that nine statutory declarations (SDs) in support of Saarani, signed by several assemblymen, were presented to Sultan Nazrin.

State PAS commissioner Razman Zakaria, who is also Gunung Semanggol assemblyman, said he and two assemblymen from the party presented their SDs to the Sultan yesterday.

“We pledged our support as all three parties have reached a mutual agreement, ” he said outside the palace, referring to PAS, Umno and Bersatu.

State Bersatu secretary and Sungai Manik assemblyman Datuk Zainol Fadzi Paharudin said he presented five SDs to the Perak Ruler, namely himself, Datuk Nolee Ashilin Mohamad Radzi (Tualang Sekah), Datuk Abdul Yunus Jamahri (Kuala Kurau), A. Sivasubramaniam (Buntong) and Paul Yong Choo Kiong (Tronoh).

“Titi Serong assemblyman Hasnul Zulkarnain Abd Munaim presented his SD earlier, ” he added.

On Saturday, Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu resigned as mentri besar after losing a confidence vote at the state assembly.

The Perak Bersatu chairman and Chenderiang assemblyman received only 10 votes, with 48 voting against him and one abstention.

Umno’s Pengkalan Baharu assemblyman Datuk Abdul Manaf Hashim had moved a motion of confidence for Faizal to be the mentri besar last Friday.

Earlier yesterday, the Perak state assembly created history of sorts when it convened without a state government.

The state assembly sitting was also brief as it lasted only about six minutes, with the time used mainly for announcements by

State Speaker Datuk Mohamad Zahir Abdul Khalid and state assembly secretary Muhammad Nazri Abdullah.

In his announcement, Zahir said the sitting would be postponed to Dec 16 at 2.30pm.

“Seeing that the agenda to bring the Bills up in the august hall cannot be continued in line with the state constitution and due to the current situation, the sitting will be postponed.

“Replies to oral questions that have been submitted will be given in written form, ” he said.

Faizal and Razman were notably absent.

Faizal, who is Tambun MP, was in Parliament while Razman is said to be in his constituency.

Saarani was present during the sitting, along with several other assemblymen from Umno as well as Pakatan Harapan.

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).

In Kuala Lumpur, Barisan secretary-general Tan Sri Annuar Musa, Bersatu secretary-general Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin and PAS secretary-general Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan released a joint statement yesterday saying that a consensus was reached by the three parties after a meeting.

“Based on the spirit of Perikatan Nasional, the three parties agreed to propose Saarani as the new Perak Mentri Besar to be consented by the Sultan of Perak, ” it said.

It added that Wednesday’s meeting managed to reach a consensus with regards to other appointments in the state government.

“The parties agreed to strengthen cooperation between parties in the Perikatan government in Perak and at the federal level for political stability and harmony, ” it said.There was speculation of strained ties between Barisan and Perikatan after Umno and Pakatan Harapan assemblymen voted against Faizal last Friday.

It was also revealed that Barisan chairman Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has apologised on behalf of its assemblymen in Perak for voting against Faizal.

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