KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 5 — After a week of speculation about a crisis in the Melaka government, things finally came to a boil when four state assemblymen announced that they have lost confidence in and are withdrawing their support for the state’s leadership.
Melaka, which has just entered Phase Three of the National Recovery Plan (PPN) in efforts to control the COVID-19 pandemic, was stunned by the media conference held this afternoon by Datuk Seri Idris Haron (BN-Sungai Udang), Datuk Nor Azman Hassan (BN-Pantai Kundor), Datuk Norhizam Hassan Baktee (Independent-Pengkalan Batu) and Datuk Noor Effandi Ahmad (Bersatu-Telok Mas), who declared that they had lost confidence in the leadership of Datuk Seri Sulaiman Md Ali as the 12th Chief Minister.
Based on that announcement, the Melaka government has technically collapsed.
Speaking at a media conference held at a hotel, Idris, representing the other three assemblymen, said they had all submitted their letters withdrawing their support to the Chief Minister’s office today.
The reason given by Idris for their action was the non-implementation of several decisions by the state government, thus turning Melaka into a “flip flop” state or constantly changing its mind in making decisions.
“It’s as if there are two lions on one mountain and this is causing anxiety among the people,” he said.
This was then followed by a media conference by Melaka Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman Adly Zahari, who stated that the coalition would seek an audience with the Yang Dipertua Negeri Tun Mohd Ali Rustam in the nearest future to submit a letter stating that the state government had lost its majority.
This is in line with Article 7 (4) of the Melaka State Constitution which states: ‘If the Chief Minister no longer has the confidence of a large number of State Assemblymen, then the Legislative Council shall resign.’
Istana Melaka then announced that it had yet to receive any letters from any political party for an audience with Tun Mohd Ali.
This was confirmed by the Melaka Yang Dipertua Negeri’s special secretary Datuk Nur Azmi Ahmad, who said that for now, Tun Mohd Ali is undergoing two-week self-quarantine from Sept 30 after being a close contact with an individual who tested positive for COVID-19.
The development attracted the attention of UMNO president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who suggested that it was only apt for the State Assembly to be dissolved and a snap poll is held.
“Let’s give back the mandate to the people to choose the best government to rule the state and the country, InsyaAllah,” he said when debating the motion on the 12th Malaysia Plan at Dewan Rakyat today.
The political crisis continued with a press conference held by Melaka UMNO Information chief Datuk Seri Ab Rauf Yusuh at his house that was joined by Sulaiman and other executive councilors.
At that press conference, Ab Rauf said the state UMNO would leave it the wisdom of Tun Mohd Ali to resolve the current political crisis.
Stating that Melaka UMNO was ready if a state election was held, Ab Rauf, who is also the assembly Speaker, explained that according to Article 19 (2) of the Melaka State Constitution, Tun Mohd Ali could prorogue or dissolve the State Legislative Assembly.
Commenting on the UMNO membership of Idris and Azman, Ab Rauf said that their membership was automatically revoked after holding a press conference with the opposition.
In expressing his disappointment over the action of the four assemblymen, Ab Rauf feels that the development of the state government in the past 19 months had been shaken due to the interests and ambitions of certain individuals.
At the press conference, Sulaiman said his relationship with the four assemblymen was good and that attention was always given to whatever was needed by the four representatives at every executive council meeting.
They (assemblymen who withdrew their support) also have the same task to do but they have finally brought it down, just when we are entering Phase Three (of the National Recovery Plan),” he said, adding that he would leave it to Ab Rauf to decide on Melaka’s political direction following the announcement by the four assemblymen.
Meanwhile, UMNO vice-president Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid voiced his confidence that efforts are being taken to resolve the ongoing political crisis in Melaka.
The Melaka assembly has 28 seats, with 14 held by Barisan Nasional (BN), Bersatu (2), DAP (7), PKR (2) Amanah (2), and one independent.