January 26, 2016
Goodbye Mukhriz–Kedah will likely have a New Chief Minister
by Sira Habibu
It looks like the end of the road for Dato Seri Mukhriz Mahathir.His detractors are confident that if their move to oust the Menteri Besar goes according to plan, Kedah may get a new head today.
The group that initiated the revolt against Mukhriz, which is headed by Kedah UMNO Deputy Chief Dato’ Seri Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipah, has managed to secure the support from the majority of the Barisan Nasional assemblymen in the state.
“As of late this evening, 19 have each signed a statutory declaration (SD) stating their support for the removal of the Menteri Besar. “All of them have endorsed the SD saying that they have lost confidence in Mukhriz,” said a source yesterday.
Of the 19, 17 were from UMNO while the other two were from MC A.Among the last to ink the SD were Dato’ Suraya Yaacob (Sungai Tiang), Datin Nor Sabrina Mohd Noor (Bandar Baharu) and Kota Siputeh assemblyman Dato’ Hasan Sarif.
It is learnt that Prime Minister Dato Seri Najib Tun Razak had met several assemblymen in Langkawi yesterday. Another source said the final hurdle for the group was to get the nod from the Kedah Palace.
He said the swearing-in ceremony would take place the moment the Palace gave its consent.
He said Ahmad Bashah was the leading candidate to replace Mukhriz but the palace had requested that more names be included in the proposal.Other names that have cropped up as possible replacement for Mukhriz included Tanjung Dawai assemblyman Dao Tajul Urus Mat Zain and Bukit Kayu Hitam assemblyman Dató’Zaini Japar.
It is learnt that the swearing-in ceremony is being rushed to resolve the Menteri Besar crisis immediately. One of the UMNO division heads who was present at Wednesday’s press conference urging Najib to replace Mukhriz said the group met late last night to discuss their next move.
The Member of Parliament, who declined to be quoted, said the meeting was held late as Ahmad Bashah was busy hosting his daughter’s engagement party in Alor Setar. Hundreds of people, including many Barisan Nasional politicians, were present at the function.
There are 36 state seats in Kedah and Barisan holds 21 of them. The only two Barisan assemblymen who did not sign the SD were Mukhriz (Jerlun) and Jitra assemblyman Dato’ Aminuddin Omar.