KUALA LUMPUR: The fall of Mukhriz Mahathir in Kedah is imminent, with at least two Pakatan Harapan (PH) assemblymen set to announce that they no longer support the menteri besar.
Two PKR assemblymen, Robert Ling Kui Ee (Sidam) and Azman Nasarudin (Lunas), are expected to make a joint announcement today, in what could be an immediate blow to the fragile majority keeping Mukhriz in power.
Both men are known to be aligned with Mohamed Azmin Ali, who alongside about a dozen PKR MPs defected from the party in February, ending PH’s 22 months in federal power.
Just last week, Ling had dared the PKR leadership to sack him from the party, amid a purge of Azmin supporters in recent weeks.
A source close to Azmin’s camp told FMT that today’s move had been delayed many times “out of respect for Tun”, referring to Mukhriz’s father and former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
“Out of respect and consideration for Tun M, the PH assemblymen not happy with Mukhriz were told to stay put. Even PAS agreed not to rattle the state administration.
“But things are getting out of hand. It is no longer possible to support him,” the source told FMT last night, adding that Mahathir’s recent statements and “claims of innocence over PH’s downfall” did not help matters.
Last week, Kedah PAS chief Ahmad Yahaya said Mukhriz’s fall from power was inevitable, and expressed confidence that the Islamist party would return to power in the state, seven years after its last rule.
PAS has 15 seats in the 36-member assembly, while Umno has two.
Any defection by the two assemblymen today would mean Mukhriz no longer has the majority to remain as MB.
Since the fall of the PH government, Johor, Melaka and Perak have seen a political realignment to reflect the Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition at the federal level.
The move in Kedah, the home state of Mahathir, comes amid speculation that the veteran politician would be sacked for his open criticism of PPBM, the party he co-founded with Muhyiddin Yassin.
Both men have since split following the collapse of the PH government, which saw Muhyiddin forming a loose alliance with Umno, PAS and GPS who backed him to lead the PN government.
This would be the second time Mukhriz would find himself being ejected from the top post.
He was menteri besar from 2013 to 2016, when he was expelled from Umno together with Muhyiddin for questioning Najib Razak’s handling of the 1MDB scandal. He regained the post following PH’s victory in 2018.
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