KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 3 ― Kedah Umno deputy chairman Datuk Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipah will be appointed as the state’s new mentri besar, replacing Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir who resigned today after losing confidence of the majority in the state assembly.
A well-placed source told Malay Mail Online that Ahmad Bashah was the sole name submitted by prime minister and Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman Datuk Seri Najib Razak to the Kedah Regency Council.
“Kedah Regency has to accept advice by PM,” the source said.
Malay Mail Online understands that Ahmad Bashah’s swearing in will likely be held tomorrow.
Kedah executive councillor Datuk Tajul Urus Mat Zain, Tanjung Dawai assemblyman from Umno, confirmed Ahmad Bashah’s appointment.
“Bashah has been confirmed as the new MB,” he told Malay Mail Online.
Mukhriz announced his resignation this morning after the Kedah Regency Council held meetings with all the assemblymen in the state over the past two days, including those from the opposition.
The son of former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said he was quitting because the Kedah royal council had informed him that he has lost majority support in the state assembly.
It is not known which representative had expressed a loss of confidence in Mukhriz.
A confidence vote was not tabled in the Kedah legislative assembly.
Ahmad Bashah was the ringleader of the group of Umno division leaders that sought to remove Mukhriz, accusing the first-term mentri besar of failing to govern the state and to unite the party as well as criticising his lack of strategy to face the next general election due in 2018.
The 36-seat Kedah state legislative assembly has 21 Barisan Nasional representatives including two from MCA while the rest are from Umno; on the opposition bench are eight from PAS, four from PKR, two from the DAP and one from Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah).