KUALA LUMPUR – Chairman of Malaysia’s ruling party Umno called for state elections in Melaka on Monday (October 4) after the chief minister lost his majority in the legislature.
Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said voters should decide on the composition of a new state government after four lawmakers from the ruling alliance withdrew their support for Umno-born chief minister Sulaiman Md Ali.
The decision of the four members of the Assembly – including two members from Umno, one a member of the Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia Party (Bersatu) and the last, an independent – deprived Datuk Seri Sulaiman of his majority in the Assembly d State of 28 seats.
The rebels are led by Datuk Seri Idris Haron, a leader of Umno and former chief minister of state.
Mr Sulaiman’s Perikatan Nasional alliance had 17 lawmakers, while the opposition Pakatan Harapan (PH) bloc had 10. If the current state government were to fall, it would be the second time in two years.
The defections of four members of the Assembly sparked the collapse of PH’s previous administration in March 2020, days after the PH-led federal administration was ousted due to massive defections. PH – with Bersatu among its members at the time – narrowly won the 2018 state legislative elections, winning 15 seats.
Mr Idris appeared at a press conference with opposition PH lawmakers on Monday who called for Mr Sulaiman’s resignation and said they were looking to meet with state governor Ali Rustam to discuss next steps.
They did not explicitly say they wanted to form a state government, but said an election was not the best option right now as Malaysia was still dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic .
Malaysiakini has indicated that Mr Idris is likely to return as chief minister if the group of lawmakers he is leading join with PH in forming a new state government. Datuk Seri Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin, a PH deputy from Melaka, said on Monday he was “confident” that more members of the assembly would join them in forming a new government.
Zahid, however, said he was in favor of a poll, adding that he was prepared to lose a state administration led by his party.
“I think it is better to have new elections in the state so that the Melaka state assembly is dissolved and we can give the people back the mandate to choose which is the best government for the country. State, ”Zahid said during the 12th Malaysia debate. Plan in Parliament on Monday.
The political situation in Melaka has been tense in recent days with reports claiming that Mr. Sulaiman could demand the dissolution of the state assembly and call an election if attempts to overthrow his government continue.
The Star said on Monday that the chief minister had already expressed his intention to dissolve the state assembly to Tun Ali, the governor.
If the state assembly is dissolved, it would mean Malaysia’s second legislative election amid the Covid-19 pandemic, following the poll in Sabah – triggered under similar circumstances – just over a year ago. year.
Sabah’s election sparked a wave of Covid-19 that nullified Malaysia’s initial success in containing the pandemic, and then made 2021 the deadliest year for the country with multiple lockdowns.
The political crisis in Melaka is an indication that the political jostling has not abated even after Umno took over the reins at the federal level in August with Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob installed as the ninth prime minister, succeeding Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.