KUBANG PASU: Kedah Menteri Besar Mukhriz Mahathir today said that there was no urgent need to hold a state election as the issue of the appointment of the state assembly speaker would be resolved in the best way possible.
He said so far the process to resolve the issue involving the Pakatan Harapan (PH) state government, PAS and Barisan Nasional (BN) was still underway and he believed it would be resolved before the first day of the state assembly sitting on July 4.
“In my view, all parties, maybe also including PAS, are not keen on having state election because as I mentioned prior to this, the EC (Election Commission) has come to see me explaining that this is not the same as a general election (GE).
“… on the the part of the EC alone, its estimate is RM18 million (the cost of having a state election in Kedah which has 36 state seats), a cost that need not be spent if we can avoid it,” he said after handing over 2018 Raya meat vouchers in Taman Arowana, Ayer Hitam, Jerlun, near here today.
He said this in response to a statement by PAS deputy president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man that it was expecting a state election to take place in Kedah as the issue on the appointment of the speaker remained unresolved.
Mukhriz, who is also Kedah PH chairman, said that the response he received through informal discussions with PAS and BN also showed that the issue was not a difficult thing to overcome.
“We are not up to that stage (calling a snap election). I don’t think they (PAS and BN) have to take a hardline. That is why my approach all this while is persuading them that we develop Kedah together in this new era of government, the ties between the government and the opposition is not the same as previously, we recognise and acknowledge the role and responsibilities of the opposition.
“… I am convinced that whenever we talked, the parties we are discussing with had the mandate from their respective party leadership, so they do not talk merely empty talk. Rightly, their party leadership should know and understand what the stand is in Kedah. In Kedah, the state government and opposition are not at each other’s throats too much.
“The atmosphere is quite calm. In Kedah, we have our own way,the method adopted in Kedah will further strengthen the democratic system in this country,” he said.
Mukhriz, who is also MP for Jerlun, said that among the things he had offered to PAS in the discussions was to recognise the role of the opposition leader by providing facilities such as an office and official vehicle.
“Although we in Pakatan Harapan do not accept the proposal (officially) of a unity government (as) suggested by PAS, there are many more ways we can deal with the opposition so that the opposition’s role is clear, the goal is (to) create check and balance in the way we (the state government) administer the government,” he said.
Meanwhile, without disclosing the amount, Mukhriz said that the state executive council had discussed and agreed that the constituency development allocation should also be given to the opposition assemblymen in the state.