ALOR SETAR: Mukhriz Mahathir today announced his resignation as the 13th menteri besar of Kedah after his Pakatan Harapan-led coalition lost its majority support, with six assemblymen pledging allegiance to a PAS-led opposition.
His resignation marks the second time he is leaving as menteri besar, after he quit in February 2016 following a fallout with then prime minister Najib Razak.
Mukhriz’s announcement at a press conference here paves the way for the naming and swearing-in of a new menteri besar, expected to be held at the Kedah sultan’s office here this afternoon.
Reports said the new MB is expected to be the current opposition leader, PAS’ Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor.
Mukhriz, who had won the Jitra state seat in 2018 on a PPBM ticket, said he had lost majority support in the state assembly and, with his resignation, the state executive line-up was also automatically dissolved
He said it was clear that Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin wanted him out because of his stance against Umno and his father’s proposal for a no-confidence motion in Muhyiddin in Parliament.
“I’m contesting the PPBM presidency against Muhyiddin. So, perhaps he is not so confident, hence the action to topple me. I feel I will be able to beat him as party president,” he told reporters at Wisma Darul Aman.
He also blamed Muhyiddin for “surrendering” the positions of Johor MB and Melaka chief minister to Umno, adding that “soon, the Perak MB too will fall”.
Mukhriz also accused Najib of being the “real protagonist”, leading to his resignation.
He said he and those in PH would “monitor” the incoming PAS-led government, especially on issues related to logging in forest reserves.
The collapse of the state government had been expected after Sanusi announced he had obtained the support of 23 assemblymen, more than sufficient for a majority in the 36-member state assembly, to form a new Perikatan Nasional government.
He said those supporting PN had signed sworn statements.
Two PKR assemblymen – Robert Ling (Sidam) and Azman Nasrudin (Lunas) – announced earlier they had quit their party to be independent members friendly to PN.
Sanusi said PN had also obtained the support of four PPBM members.
PH had won the Kedah election with a simple 19-17 majority in the state assembly, with PAS securing 15 seats and Umno two.
Mukhriz had said earlier this week that he remained as MB unless challenged by a no-confidence vote in the state assembly.
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