KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 11 — Melaka state assembly speaker Datuk Seri Ab Rauf Yusoh reached out to DAP to consolidate support for Umno’s Datuk Seri Sulaiman Md Ali in a last minute attempt to prevent the state government’s collapse, according to Tey Kok Kiew.
The Malaysian Insight today reported Melaka DAP chief claiming that Ab Rauf, who is also from Ummo, had asked it to step in and back Sulaiman after four assemblymen withdrew support on October 3 — a day before Melaka Governor Tun Mohd Ali Rustam consented to the state assembly’s dissolution.
But Tey also said the matter was discussed with Pakatan Harapan (PH) leaders who subsequently found that Umno was not in the best position to stop what was transpiring.
“Speaker Rauf asked us [DAP] to stop the four or he will dissolve [the state assembly]
“It is because they [Umno] were part of the problem. We didn’t want to interfere in their problem.
“We then decided that Melaka Governor Mohd Ali Mohd Rustam was the best person to solve the crisis,” he was quoted saying.
According to Tey, Melaka DAP leaders and their Umno counterparts, including Ab Rauf, had met on three occasions dating back to August when word of a conspiracy to remove Sulaiman as chief minister first emerged.
“DAP was offered exco positions and all other government facilities by Umno, on the back of plans to sack Bersatu exco members, namely Mohd Rafiq Naizamohideen and Noor Effandi.
“They came to see me with the approval of the chief minister.
“We told them we will bring the matter to PH. We could discuss it as PH, not DAP. They [Umno] must bring in Amanah and PKR together.
“We told them we will discuss with the central leadership and then we can talk about the next step,” Tey was quoted saying.
Subsequent to a meeting with the state PH chapter, Tey said Melaka DAP was given the green light to hold discussions with Umno for the best solution.
“We then decided to meet Rauf. That was when former prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin was about to step down.
“So, when I met the state Umno chairman, we were told to wait and see what happens [with Muhyiddin].
“Muhyiddin’s government subsequently collapsed, but after that our talks with Umno stopped,” he told the news portal, adding that a second discussion was held with Umno on October 1.
The discussions with Umno culminated on October 3 where Ab Rauf called the state DAP leadership to stop the four assemblymen from leaving, Tey claimed.
The 28-seat Melaka state assembly was dissolved on October 4 after four assemblymen declared they would no longer support Sulaiman, who is now left with control of 13 seats.
Datuk Seri Idris Haron (Sungai Udang) and Datuk Nor Azman Hassan (Pantai Kundur) were at that time with Umno while the remaining two are Datuk Noor Effandi Ahmad (Telok Mas) was with Bersatu. All three were subsequently expelled from their respective parties.
The last assemblyman was Datuk Norhizam Hassan Baktee (Pengkalan Batu), who was formerly from DAP before becoming an independent who had previously pledged support for Sulaiman.
Idris was also the chief minister prior to Sulaiman.
The Election Commission has reportedly received an official notification about the dissolution of the 14th Melaka Legislative Assembly, but has yet to make an official announcement if polls will be held.