KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 21 ― A federal DAP lawmaker questioned today MCA and Gerakan's apparent silence in the wake of their coalition partner Umno's bid in Kedah to remove Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir as state mentri besar.
In a statement, the lawmaker, Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng, asked the two Chinese-based Barisan Nasional (BN) parties to state their positions on the matter, pointing out that they were noticeably missing from reports on the ouster bid.
“The front page of Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia today was attention-grabbing. Kedah Umno's top guns... collectively stated their rejection of Mukhriz.
“But what is baffling is that not a single representative from other BN component parties attended the press conference,” the DAP MP said.
He also questioned the reasons for the ouster, and asked if Mukhriz was currently under investigation for any wrongdoing.
“I'd like to ask the MCA and Gerakan leaders of Kedah ― What sin did Mukhriz commit for this to happen? Were there donations that weren't shared?
“Is Mukhriz being investigated by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission or Bank Negara? Did he abuse state funds for golfing holidays or hire family members into state posts?” Lim asked.
He then went on to say that the most appropriate way to remove Mukhriz from his mentri besar post, if at all necessary, would be through a vote of no confidence in the state legislative assembly.
But most important of all, Lim added, other component parties in Kedah BN should state if they support Umno's bid to remove Mukhriz.
MCA has two seats in the 36-seat Kedah assembly while Umno has 19 and the opposition has 15.
Yesterday, Kedah Umno leaders expressed their loss of confidence in Mukhriz as state mentri besar.
Kedah Umno deputy chairman Datuk Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipah held a press conference in Alor Star listing three reasons for the ruling party’s move against the son of former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who has been publicly criticising Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
The reasons they gave were Mukhriz’s purported failure to unite Umno and the party machinery in Kedah, the lack of a strategic plan for Umno to face the 14th general election, and his purported failure to govern the state.
Among the Umno leaders present at the press conference were Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Jamil Khir Baharom, Kedah Wanita Umno chief Datuk Maznah Abd Hamid, Kedah Umno Youth chief Datuk Shaiful Azizy Zainal Abidin and Kedah Puteri Umno chief Datin Norashimah Md Nowar.
In response, Muhkriz acknowledged the ouster call from his fellow Kedah Umno leaders last night, but did not say if he would seek a meeting with the state ruler on the matter.
The first-term MB said, however, that whether he stays or goes will be decided by the people.