BN reps to apologise to ruler but stand firm on MB post

Perlis Umno deputy chairman Zahidi Zainul Abidin says the BN assemblymen are seeking an audience with the Perlis ruler. (Bernama pic)

GEORGE TOWN: The nine Perlis Barisan Nasional (BN) assemblymen who had boycotted the swearing-in ceremony of Azlan Man as the menteri besar on May 24 are seeking an audience with the Raja of Perlis and will also issue an apology.

Perlis Umno deputy chairman Zahidi Zainul Abidin said the apology will be tendered when they are allowed to have an audience with Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin Putra Syed Jamalullail in the coming few days.

Zahidi, however, pointed out that their issue was not with the Perlis ruler and said the group would clarify what had transpired.

“We will seek an appointment with Tuanku, and we will seek his forgiveness. But, the issue here is not with Tuanku. The issue here is that we do not want Azlan Man (as the menteri besar).

“So, we are going to see Tuanku. We will ask him to respect the democracy of the country. We also respect the Tuanku. It is not that we are going against the palace,” he told FMT today.

Zahidi, who is Padang Besar MP, was asked to comment on whether the BN 9 will apologise to the Perlis ruler for skipping the swearing-in ceremony last Thursday.

Azlan, who is Bintong assemblyman, had been sworn in as the new MB at the Istana Arau before Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin, but in the absence of the nine assemblymen who had flown from Perlis to Kuala Lumpur the night before.

The boycott by the nine incurred the wrath of the Perlis ruler, who voiced his displeasure and anger over their absence.

Perlis Umno chairman Shahidan Kassim subsequently said Azlan would be sacked from Umno. The Perlis BN chairman had also reportedly asked the Perlis ruler not to interfere in the state’s administration.

Meanwhile, Zahidi said Perlis BN would be submitting 11 names to the Perlis ruler as potential candidates for the menteri besar’s post.

The nine BN assemblymen which includes the sole MCA representative Teh Chai Ann, will be present at Istana Arau, together with Zahidi and Shahidan, when the audience is granted.

“Previously, we submitted just one name (for menteri besar). Maybe that was our mistake. So what we want to do now is to discuss with the Tuanku and tell him we don’t want Azlan Man. We will issue a statement this Friday,” he said.

In the list, Shahidan and Zahidi are also listed as potential menteri besar candidates. Zahidi claimed that the state laws allow an MP to be the menteri besar if there is consent from the palace.

Despite Azlan’s swearing-in, Perlis remains the only state without a government in place as the state executive council had yet to be formed.

BN had managed to secure a two-thirds majority in the northern state, winning 10 out of 15 state seats it contested.

Pakatan Harapan had won three state seats (Kuala Perlis, Sena and Indera Kayangan), while PAS secured the Sanglang and Guar Sanji seats.