Multiple realignments in Malaysian state assemblies after switch in federal power

Multiple realignments in Malaysian state assemblies after switch in federal power

Malacca pedicab
Trishaws decorated with cartoon characters on a street in Malaysia's historical city of Malacca. (Photo: AFP) 

KUALA LUMPUR: As the dust settles in Putrajaya with a new Cabinet set to be announced, the picture at the state level appears to be far more complex, with coalitions being formed sometimes without regard for the political divide. 

States helmed by Pakatan Harapan (PH) now find themselves facing uncertainty, with the departure of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) from the coalition. 

At the federal level, Bersatu has joined forces with Barisan Nasional (BN), which includes United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), as well as Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS) to form a new alliance.     

In Melaka, Governor Mohd Khalil Yaakob told PH’s chief minister Adly Zahari from Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) that he no longer commands the majority support in the state assembly. 

Rejecting Mr Adly’s proposal for the state assembly to be dissolved, Mr Mohd Khalil said a new chief minister for Melaka will be sworn in on Friday (Mar 6). 

On Thursday, Melaka BN said it would not work with state Bersatu assemblymen to form a new government. 

Thirteen BN assemblymen have withdrawn their cooperation with two Bersatu assemblyman, according to Bernama. 

State BN chief Ab Rauf Yusof said they would instead work with an assemblyman from Democratic Action Party (DAP) and another from Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR). These two are believed to have crossed their respective party lines in agreeing to work with BN.  

PKR, DAP and Amanah are remaining members in the opposition PH coalition.

Melaka Barisan Nasional
Melaka Barisan Nasional and Melaka UMNO chairman Ab Rauf Yusoh. (Photo: Bernama) 

“Without affecting the cooperation and spirit of Perikatan Nasional at the federal level, the coalition of 13 BN assemblymen and two Bersatu assemblymen will cease to be effective immediately,” he said in a press conference. 

With 15 seats, BN will have a simple majority in the 28-member Melaka state assembly. 

Melaka is the second state that saw a new coalition taking over the state legislature, after Johor. 

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Johor Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar has picked a new chief minister from UMNO last week, following an interview with 54 of the 56 state lawmakers. 

Mr Hasni Mohamad replaced Dr Sahruddin Jamal from Bersatu, who had only taken office in April last year. 

Johor PH, which earlier said it commanded 28 seats, has lost one PKR assemblyman to the new coalition on Wednesday. 

PH CONTINUES TO HOLD SWAY OVER SELANGOR, KEDAH 

Selangor and Kedah are two PH states that have assured the people that there would be no change in government. 

In a statement on Thursday, Selangor PH said it will uphold the mandate of the people and the state coalition is throwing full support behind Chief Minister Amirudin Shari, who is from Parti Keadilan Rakyat.

However, it will remove Bersatu’s administrative role in the Selangor state government immediately, including its state executive councillors, those councillors in all local governments, heads of village, and positions in government-linked companies.

In the 56-seat Selangor assembly, PH holds 44 - including PKR’s 20, DAP’s 16 and Amanah’s eight, Bersatu five, while BN and PAS have six. 

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Mr Azmin Ali, who led 10 other members of parliament out of PKR last week to work with Bersatu, is also a state assemblyman in Selangor. 

Up north in Kedah, the political dynamics are also complicated with Mr Mukhriz Mahathir, son of Dr Mahathir Mohamad, helming the PH state. 

While Dr Mahathir has resigned as Bersatu’s president after Mr Muhyiddin Yassin pulled Bersatu of PH without his consent, Mr Mukhriz has not left the party.

Mukhriz Mahathir
Kedah Chief Minister Mukhriz Mahathir. (File photo: Bernama) 

Mr Mukhriz, who is Bersatu's deputy president, said Bersatu will remain with PH to form a joint government in Kedah. 

Out of the 36 seats in the Kedah state assembly, PAS holds 15, PKR seven, Bersatu six, Amanah four, while DAP and UMNO have two each. 

On Wednesday, Mr Mukhriz vowed to defend Kedah as the last state being led by a chief minister from Bersatu. 

“We lost Johor, and we will probably lose Perak too, The only state left for Bersatu is Kedah Darul Aman, but we are also in a very precarious situation right now.

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“For the sake of our party and all our struggles, we must fight tooth and nail to defend the state and never ever surrender it to PAS,” he said in his speech at a Bersatu event, according to Bernama.

ALL EYES ON PERAK

Another PH-controlled state which might also see a turmoil is Perak, where PH holds 26 seats, Bersatu four, and BN and PAS a collective 28.

The current chief minister Ahmad Faizal Azumu, from Bersatu, has been quiet on the possibility of a switch in power, with the state administration remaining as status quo so far. 

Source: CNA/Bernama/tx(aw)

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