Who’s in and who’s out: The heads of state governments to have come and gone since 2018

Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu was ousted as mentri besar through a no-confidence motion in the state assembly last Friday, 10 months after he successfully kept his position following the collapse of the federal PH. — Picture by Farhan Najib
Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu was ousted as mentri besar through a no-confidence motion in the state assembly last Friday, 10 months after he successfully kept his position following the collapse of the federal PH. — Picture by Farhan Najib

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KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 7 — In the past two years, Malaysians have seen a number of government leaders come and go.

None has been as impactful as the departure of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as prime minister in February when his Pakatan Harapan (PH) federal government collapsed. 

The shock waves from that political strategem, dubbed the Sheraton Move, continue across the country till today.

The latest ripple reached Perak last Friday when Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu was ousted as mentri besar through a no-confidence motion in the state assembly, 10 months after he successfully kept his position following the collapse of the federal PH.

The Bersatu deputy president is the sixth state government leader to have been removed. 

While we wait to see who will be the 14th Perak mentri besar, here’s a look back at the other five mentri besar and chief ministers in the country who have come and gone in these two years.

Appointed on May 12, 2018, Datuk Osman Sapian was PH’s first mentri besar in Johor, considered an Umno fortress. — Picture by Roysten Rueben
Appointed on May 12, 2018, Datuk Osman Sapian was PH’s first mentri besar in Johor, considered an Umno fortress. — Picture by Roysten Rueben

JOHOR

Malaysia’s southernmost state bordering Singapore is a strong contender for the political tumult category. It beats the other states by having more mentri besar appointed since May 2018.

Datuk Osman Sapian 

Appointed on May 12, 2018, the Bersatu man was PH’s first mentri besar in Johor, considered an Umno fortress. 

He resigned just 11 months later on April 9, 2019. 

It was widely reported that Osman’s resignation due to pressure from Dr Mahathir, who was upset that he did not support the federal government when it came to policy making in Johor, and for reportedly bowing to the demands of the state royal family on matters seen as outside its purview.

Datuk Dr Sahruddin Jamal 

Osman’s successor Dr Sahruddin, also from Bersatu, assumed the position on April 14, 2019, and left on February 28 this year, after a tenure of 10 months. 

His departure came after Bersatu’s withdrawal from PH and the federal government’s collapse.

Following this, Dr Sahruddin along with state Barisan Nasional (BN) chief Datuk Hasni Mohammad had an audience with Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar.

The sultan later invited all 56 Johor assemblymen to the palace to determine whom they supported; 28 assemblymen chose to join the fledgling Perikatan Nasional (PN) formed by Bersatu’s Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin after he became prime minister and ousted Dr Mahathir from the party. 

Another 26 chose PH, resulting in Hasni who is from Umno becoming the new Johor mentri besar by a very thin margin the very same day. 

However, Hasni’s leadership of the Johor government has not been without internal challenge from Bersatu. 

Yet Hasni so far appears to have avoided the treacherous paths of his predecessor, judging from PH’s amicable expressions in his favour yesterday, after he announced equal Budget 2021 allocations for all Johor assemblymen.

Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir resigned as Kedah MB on May 17, just a little over two years in office. — Bernama pic
Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir resigned as Kedah MB on May 17, just a little over two years in office. — Bernama pic

KEDAH

Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir 

Like his father, the son of Dr Mahathir became head of government a second time May 11, 2018 after joining the PH coalition.

Mukhriz resigned as Kedah MB on May 17, just a little over two years in office, saying he was not confident of having the support of the majority of assemblymen as his reason for relinquishing the post.

Mukhriz was succeeded by Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor from PAS who took office on the same day. 

Muhammad Sanusi is currently under scrutiny by his BN allies, especially MIC, which has been critical of his “drunk on toddy of popularity” remark following the recent demotion of a Hindu temple in Taman Bersatu, Kuala Kedah.

Adly Zahari was appointed Melaka chief minister on May 11, 2018, and resigned on March 2 this year, after 21 months in office. — Bernama pic
Adly Zahari was appointed Melaka chief minister on May 11, 2018, and resigned on March 2 this year, after 21 months in office. — Bernama pic

MELAKA

Adly Zahari 

The Melaka PH chairman from Parti Amanah Negara was appointed chief minister on May 11, 2018, and resigned on March 2 this year, after 21 months in office. 

Similar to Mukhriz, Adly could no longer retain the confidence of a majority of the state’s assemblymen. 

He was succeeded by Umno’s Datuk Seri Sulaiman Md Ali on March 9.

Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal's departure was the most eventful of all the political shake-ups that have occurred since GE14.  — Picture by Firdaus Latif
Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal's departure was the most eventful of all the political shake-ups that have occurred since GE14. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

SABAH

Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal

Shafie, the president of Parti Warisan Sabah, was appointed chief minister on May 12, 2018, and left office on September 29, after two years and four months in office.

His departure was the most eventful of all the political shake-ups that have occurred since GE14. 

Shafie’s appointment as chief minister sparked a constitutional crisis as it was disputed by his predecessor Tan Sri Musa Aman following a series of political maneuvers behind the scene, which was resolved in Shafie’s favour by the High Court in Kota Kinabalu.

However, in July this year, Musa and 11 assemblymen, including Warisan defectors, attempted a takeover. They claimed Musa, who is from Umno, had a simple majority to take over as chief minister.

To thwart the coup, Shafie sought and gained an audience with Sabah Governor Tun Juhar Mahiruddin who consented to dissolve the state legislature on July 30, which paved the way for a statewide election on September 26.

Despite intense campaigning, Warisan lost to the mammoth alliance of PN, BN and several Sabah-based parties which took the majority 38 seats out of the 73 in the legislature. 

Shafie was replaced by Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor from Bersatu who was sworn in as chief minister on September 29.

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