Premature to form new govt in Johor, says Bersih

Bersih says the assemblymen should be allowed to choose for themselves, at a special state assembly session, who should form the state government. (Bernama pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih 2.0) said today the declaration of a new government in Johor is premature.

This is because the position of another two assemblymen is not known and has not been taken into account.

Bersih said in a statement today that the Johor palace had announced that a new coalition had taken over the Johor state government with 28 state assemblymen stating their support for the new coalition and 26 choosing to remain with Pakatan Harapan (PH).

It noted that in the 56-member assembly, two more assemblymen — Salahuddin Ayub of Amanah-PH and Mazlan Bujang of PPBM — had yet to indicate their stand.

“There is a risk of a hung assembly of 28-28 should the two choose to remain with PH and as such the declaration of a new state government at this juncture may be premature.”

As such, Bersih urged the Sultan of Johor to allow the assemblymen to choose for themselves, at a special state assembly session, on who should form the state government, in keeping with how the Dewan Rakyat will choose the next prime minister.

Bersih reiterated its call for assemblymen who left PH to join BN and PAS in an attempt to form a new government to resign from their seats immediately as they had contested the 14th general election on the PH ticket.

“Not doing so would be a betrayal of voters who voted for them as PH’s candidates,” it added.

In JOHOR BAHRU, Bernama reported that the decision to form the new coalition government in Johor was based on discussions with PPBM top leaders, including its president Muhyiddin Yassin.

Johor Menteri Besar Dr Sahruddin Jamal, in his first news conference after PPBM left PH four days ago, said the new coalition, which has yet to be named, would comprise PPBM, Umno, MIC, MCA, PAS and several assemblymen from other parties.

“The decision was made following a discussion with PPBM central leaders, including Muhyiddin,” he said when asked on why Johor PPBM had chosen to work with Umno while Kedah PPBM had decided to cooperate with PH.

Asked on when the new coalition would form the government, Sahruddin said he expected everything would be in place by the end of this week at the latest.

“We will discuss the list of menteri besar candidates to be presented to the Sultan of Johor soon,” he said.

Earlier today, Istana Johor confirmed a new coalition government comprising PPBM and Umno among others would be formed in the state.

This follows the PH government in the state losing its majority because PPBM had pulled out of PH.

In the wake of the political situation, Sultan Ibrahim had summoned all 56 assemblymen in the state to hear for himself on which coalition they supported.

In his statement today, Jaba Mohd Noah, the private secretary to the Sultan of Johor, said the establishment of the new coalition was presented to Sultan Ibrahim yesterday by Sahruddin and Johor Umno chairman Hasni Mohammad.

Jaba also said on completion of the interviews between Sultan Ibrahim and 54 assemblymen yesterday, Sultan Ibrahim was satisfied that the new coalition had the simple majority of 28 seats compared with 26 supporting PH.