Possible change in Melaka

MELAKA: There is a possibility the Perikatan Nasional-led state government may see an immediate leadership change following the political turmoil at the federal level.

A Perikatan insider told The Star that Melaka Umno is not keen to work with two Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia lawmakers in the state following Umno’s decision to withdraw support for the Perikatan Nasional government which is led by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who is Bersatu president.

On Aug 3, Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi announced the decision of the Umno supreme council to withdraw support for Muhyiddin as the Prime Minister.

The insider said following the supreme council’s decision, Melaka Umno severed ties with Bersatu assemblymen, Datuk Mohd Rafiq Naizamohideen (Paya Rumput) and Noor Effandi Ahmad (Telok Mas).

There is a plan to remove the two Bersatu lawmakers from their executive councillor positions.

The Perikatan insider said the decision might lead the two to form another coalition by luring Umno lawmakers to crossover.

“It’s a catch-22 situation now for Melaka; the government may collapse anytime now,” he said when interviewed.

Melaka has 28 state seats and the state government has the support of 17 lawmakers.

The government consists of Umno with 13 assemblymen, Bersatu (two) and two independents while the Opposition comprises DAP (seven), PKR (two) and Amanah (two)

There is a possibility that Bersatu, DAP, Amanah, two independents and three Umno rebel assemblymen might try to bring about the downfall of the Melaka government.

Interestingly, the insider said, Melaka Chief Minister Datuk Seri Sulaiman Md Ali (pic) is not the Melaka Umno chief or the one leading the Barisan Nasional machinery.

“Therefore, Sulaiman has to leave the decision on political matters to Melaka Umno chief (Datuk Seri Ab Rauf Yusoh),” he said.

The insider said Sulaiman is also a down-to-earth leader who doesn’t mind vacating his position if the situation warrants it.

“He (Sulaiman) always said that he will do his best when in power and would leave gracefully if asked to vacate,” the insider said.

Perikatan Nasional came into power in March 2020 following the defections by four assemblymen from the previous Pakatan Harapan-led state government.

The four were Mohd Rafiq, Noor Effandi as well as Rembia assemblymen Datuk Muhammad Jailani Khamis (who left PKR to join Umno) and Pengkalan Batu assemblyman Datuk Norhizam Hassan Baktee (whom DAP sacked and is now an independent).

There is talk, however, that certain Umno assemblymen are disillusioned with the current party leadership and are now “potential kingmakers” with regard to purported attempts to topple the Perikatan Nasional-led state government.

It is learnt that these Umno assemblymen are unhappy that they have been ostracised and disregarded due to different factions within the party.

When contacted, Melaka Chief Minister Sulaiman, the Lendu assemblyman, said he is ready for any eventualities.

“My focus is now on the Covid-19 pandemic and to resolve the hardship faced by the rakyat.

“Whatever happens, I will accept it,” he said.

When asked about the current political situation, Umno’s Sungai Udang assemblyman Datuk Seri Idris Haron replied in a message: “all possibilities”.

Pengkalan Batu assemblyman Norhizam said he considers himself an independent lawmaker after having quit from DAP last year.

“I am more keen to help my constituents who have lost their jobs due to Covid-19 for now.”

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