MELAKA: Datuk Seri Ab Rauf Jusoh, who has become Melaka’s third chief minister in as many years, says it is the most politically stable state in the country.
The 62-year-old said it was wrong to claim the state was in turmoil due to recent developments which led to the change in leadership.
“We would not have secured a thumping win in the November 2021 state election if the political landscape was shaky,” he said.
Ab Rauf, who is also the Melaka Umno and Barisan Nasional chief, said the previous differences among (Barisan) assemblymen was just “a husband-and-wife quarrel” that had been blown out of proportion by netizens.
“The political situation in the state has improved significantly after the Umno division elections,” he told a press conference after being sworn in as the 13th Chief Minister.
The swearing-in ceremony was held at 3.30pm at the office of Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Dr Mohd Ali Rustam in Ayer Keroh here.
Also at the ceremony were former chief minister Datuk Seri Sulaiman Md Ali, state exco members and top government officials.
Ab Rauf thanked Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi for giving him the trust to helm the state.
Ab Rauf said he would work on his new exco line-up within the next 48 hours.
Asked if he would appoint any of the four DAP lawmakers, Ab Rauf said he had yet to get an indication from the leadership.
He said he would create a business and investor-friendly atmosphere but would continue much of the administrative and development policies of his predecessor.
“I also express my gratitude to Sulaiman for his contributions as chief minister since March 2020,” he added.
Sulaiman, 56, took over from Pakatan Harapan’s Adly Zahari whose government collapsed after four assemblymen withdrew their support.
He then faced an attempt to oust him on Oct 4, 2021 but a fresh election was called and Barisan swept to a huge win and Sulaiman was reappointed. He resigned on Wednesday.
Ab Rauf also said he would focus on continuing plans drawn up by Sulaiman.
Land will be allocated in the Alor Gajah and Masjid Tanah corridor for industries, a paediatric hospital will be set up and he will address traffic congestion in the city.
Ab Rauf, who won the Tanjung Bidara seat for the first time in the November 2021 election, was re-elected as an Umno supreme council member in the party’s election this year, and retained his Masjid Tanah division chief post unopposed.
A Masjid Tanah local, he received his early education at Sekolah Kebangsaan Jeram before furthering his studies at Institut Kemahiran MARA in Kampung Pandan, Kuala Lumpur.
He is married to Datin Seri Zuriyah Aziz.
He was Melaka state assembly Speaker since 2020 and was appointed state investment, industry, entrepreneur development and cooperatives committee chairman after the 2021 election.