Johor PH eyes retaking power through ex-MB Osman

Johor PH leader Aminolhuda Hassan (left) says he hopes Osman Sapian of PPBM will switch sides.

PETALING JAYA: Johor Pakatan Harapan (PH) has laid out the welcome mat for Osman Sapian of PPBM, who has been in touch with old friends in the coalition, with the hope that others from PPBM will return and help to retake power in the state.

Johor PH chief Aminolhuda Hassan said today the coalition would welcome Osman with open arms if he decides to leave PPBM.

Osman, who is assemblyman for Kemas, was menteri besar of Johor when Pakatan Harapan was in power before PPBM left the coalition to form the Perikatan Nasional alliance with Umno, BN and PAS.

Perikatan Nasional holds 29 seats in the state assembly, of which PPBM has 12. Pakatan Harapan, now comprising PKR, DAP, and Amanah, are in the opposition, with 27 seats.

Aminolhuda told FMT that Osman has been in touch with his old friends in Pakatan Harapan. “They have met, there have been meetings,” he said, but declined to reveal details.

“We would welcome him if he returns to PH to form the government, on the condition that the administration is stronger and better as before this, we had already formed the state government,” said Aminolhuda.

He added a “hung” state assembly would result if Osman switches sides, as both sides would have 28 assemblymen each.

“That is why I invite our friends who were with PH to return because before this we went through good and bad times together; it is better if we form the government together in an environment in which the people can accept us,” Aminolhuda said.

“It is better if they (PPBM assemblymen) return, four to five people rather than just one. It could be that Osman is not happy with Perikatan Nasional.”

Osman was menteri besar for 11 months and resigned in April 2019 in a controversy over his academic qualifications.

Recently, a video which went viral showed a man, believed to be Osman, campaigning for Amir Khusyairi Mohamad Tanusi, the independent candidate in the Slim by-election. Amir represented the Pejuang party formed by former PPBM chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

In the video, the man says he is still a PPBM leader but criticises the party for straying from its original struggles.

Osman has said that he went to Slim only to meet his old friends and denied his trip there had anything to do with politics.

Aminolhuda said Osman had already met Johor PH leaders even before the video surfaced.

Yesterday Johor PPBM chief Mazlan Bujang said the state leadership will leave it to the party’s disciplinary board to decide on any action against Osman in relation to the video as the state chapter does not have the power to take action against members.