ALOR GAJAH: Melaka Umno chief Ab Rauf Yusoh has denied accusations that he was the puppet master behind previous chief minister Sulaiman Md Ali, saying these claims were made up to distract from the recent political crisis in the state.
In an interview with FMT, he also dismissed an allegation that there were “two lions on one mountain” in the previous Barisan Nasional-led administration, a claim made by former chief minister Idris Haron.
Rauf said he and Sulaiman had an understanding about the lines that they should not cross, adding that the then state government would not have been able to function as well as it did if there had been external interference in the administration.
“Coincidentally, at that time and even now, I am the head of Melaka Umno, managing political affairs,” he said. “As we were close, it was perceived that there was interference from me in the chief minister’s job.
“But that did not happen. As someone who has experience in managing the state, the chief minister knew how the state government should be managed.
“I feel that the accusations were to distract from the real issue, that the political crisis in Melaka was caused by Idris’ desire to become chief minister again.”
He accused Idris of creating a bad perception among Melakans, maintaining that there was no instance when his approval as state Umno chief was needed in the running of the state.
“Everything Idris said was incorrect. Why should I respond to incorrect things? To me, Idris Haron is no longer a political issue for us. He has already moved on to a party that’s going against Umno’s struggle.”
Idris is now the PKR candidate for the Asahan seat.
“There’s no need for any statement to defend myself against mere slander,” Rauf said.
He also said he had no problems with the Umno leadership’s decision to name Sulaiman as Barisan Nasional’s chief ministerial candidate again, adding that he was a party man and would abide by any decision the leaders made.
“It is up to the leadership’s wisdom to decide how this government should be managed. As party members, we have to accept this.”