I’m still MB, says Mukhriz

Kedah Menteri Besar Mukhriz Mahathir speaks at a media conference in Alor Setar today.

ALOR SETAR: Mukhriz Mahathir today said he remains menteri besar of Kedah until a motion of no confidence against him is passed, despite a string of statements showing he has lost the support of the majority in the state assembly.

“News of my (political) death has been highly exaggerated,” he told a packed media conference here today.

“I am still here. My government exists. It is not true that the Kedah government has fallen.”

Mukhriz, who had already resigned from the post once four years ago, was seen as under pressure to do so again following the move by two PKR assemblymen yesterday who quit their party and declared support for Muhyiddin Yassin, tipping the balance of power in PAS’ favour.

In doing so, Sidam assemblyman Robert Ling Kui Ee and Lunas assemblyman Azman Nasarudin said they would stand as independents but maintain friendly relations with Muhyiddin’s coalition, Perikatan Nasional (PN).

Kedah opposition leader Muhamad Sanusi Md Nor meanwhile said at a press conference earlier that day that 23 of the 36 assemblymen in the state had lost confidence in Mukhriz’s leadership.

He also said all 23 had signed statutory declarations (SDs) to that effect.

But Mukhriz dismissed this, saying an authoritative source is needed on any loss of confidence in his leadership.

“Who are we to believe what is said in a press conference by the opposition leader?

“What SDs?” he added. “Before this, I met with all Pakatan Harapan and PPBM assemblymen, and they too signed a SD supporting my leadership and consented to forming a PH-PPBM state government. That was when the federal government fell to PN.”

Adding that all parties must respect the state constitution, he said members have a right to propose a motion against him in the assembly.

When asked how he felt, he said it “looked like the season for betrayal”.

“What am I to feel when a person is betrayed? This has happened before,” he added.

He also questioned the timing of the circumstances, asking why the opposition leader was insisting that the change in power must take place by May 18.

“They say they are not hungry for power. Can’t they wait a few more weeks?”

He also said he had no plans to sack Azman or PPBM’s Mohd Firdaus Ahmad (Kuah) and Halimaton Shaadiah Saad (Bukit Kayu Hitam) who had defected to PN.

“I thought about it but what’s the point? Even if I sacked them, it would be academic. We will leave it like that for now,” he said.

On rumours that he and his father Dr Mahathir Mohamad would be sacked from the party, he said members accused of wrongdoing must be allowed to defend themselves before a disciplinary committee.

He added that he had yet to receive any letter from the committee.

He also said the Supreme Council had no authority to discipline or impose penalties on members. Even if it were to convene, he said, it would need to be endorsed by the chairman in line with the party’s constitution.

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