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KUALA LUMPUR, May 17 — Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir today formally announced his resignation as Kedah mentri besar effective immediately after losing majority support in the state legislative assembly.
Mukhriz, who is also Jitra assemblyman and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) deputy president, said he has informed Kedah ruler Sultan Sallehuddin Sultan Badlishah of the matter.
“I have informed the sultan on the reasons I lost majority (support) and with this, I resign from the post of mentri besar, effective immediately,” he said at a press conference broadcasted live from Wisma Darul Aman earlier today.
This would be the second time Mukhriz has lost the top post since 2016, at the height of his father Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s fallout with then-prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak over the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal.
It is understood that PAS’ Jeneri assemblyman Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor, who is also the current Kedah Opposition leader, is poised to take over as Kedah’s 14th mentri besar later today.
Mukhriz, who was reading from a prepared statement, had pointed out that the Kedah Pakatan Harapan government had achieved much during its two years of ruling despite the challenging economic environment and financial constraints.
“As a result of Kedah PH’s strategic efforts, the state achieved an exceptional amount of investments totalling around RM14.7 billion in various sectors, with manufacturing comprising some RM11.5 billion that puts us behind Selangor and Penang.
“This is a 400 per cent increase from 2018’s achievement. From that amount, RM8 billion were foreign direct investments from the United States, China, German, Hong Kong and Taiwan,” he said of the state’s achievement under PH rule.
Therefore, Mukhriz said there were no serious issues whatsoever which had arisen during PH’s administration of Kedah as there were no-known scandals linked to him or state excos which could have triggered the change in state government or mentri besar.
He said there were only two reasons why he was toppled as Kedah MB — his move to challenge Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin for the president post in Bersatu and Dr Mahathir’s motion for a vote of no confidence against the PM in Parliament.
“It was only personal political interests outside of Kedah which the Kedah people are now victims of.
“Perhaps they were clumsy to topple the MB in Kedah as a birthday gift to the PM?
“Now the victors have become the Opposition and the losers the government. That is what is meant by a back-door government,” he said.
He also claimed the instruction to oust the PH state government that came from Muhyiddin through Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin was actually from Najib himself who wished to be let off from numerous criminal charges he faced.
Mukhriz also vowed that the Opposition will not entertain any request from assemblymen that have betrayed the people’s trust should they wish to return to their fold.
“It is generally known that I uphold the strict principles held by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad which reject any cooperation with Umno because the kleptocrats are still in control of the party. It is better for me to be an Opposition than join a political coalition tainted with internationally-known scandals.
“Stay there with your conspirators. There is no forgiveness for you,” he added.
He also sternly warned the new state government under Perikatan Nasional that the Opposition and the people would now scrutinise every one of the administration’s moves.
On May 12, PKR duo — Lunas assemblyman and state exco Azman Nasrudin, and Sidam assemblyman Robert Ling Kui Ee — announced that they had left the party and threw their support behind Perikatan Nasional (PN), paving the way for a change in state government.
On the same day, Muhammad Sanusi, who was serving as Opposition leader in the state assembly, held a press conference to confirm that PN had received the support of both men as well as four other Bersatu state assemblyman.
On May 10, 15 Kedah state assemblymen from PAS and two from Umno met their party’s central leadership, including PAS vice-president Dr Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar, PAS secretary-general Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan, Kedah PAS commissioner Ahmad Yahaya and Kedah Umno chairman Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom.