JOHOR BARU, Dec 23 — All Johor Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) state assemblymen will back the government of Mentri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad from Umno until the next general election, claimed one lawmaker.

Permas assemblyman Datuk Che Zakaria Mohd Salleh noted that the death of Bersatu’s Kempas assemblyman, Datuk Osman Sapian, left Hasni’s state government with a razor-thin majority in the state assembly.

However, he said all Johor Bersatu assemblymen will continue to support Hasni’s leadership until the 15th general election (GE15).

“The present focus should be on efforts to assist the people in the state who are at risk of floods due to the impending north-east monsoon.

“We will continue to support Hasni to lead the state because he is a good mentri besar and easy to work with even though he is from Umno. We have no problems and are satisfied with his service,” said Che Zakaria at his service centre in Taman Bukit Dahlia here today.

Che Zakaria also pointed out that such support from Johor Bersatu was also to maintain political stability in the state, which would allow the government to focus on assisting the people affected by the Covid-19 situation and flood preparations.

Yesterday, Johor Speaker Suhaizan Kaiat reportedly said there was no need for a by-election in Kempas as it was already three years since the last general election in 2018 and there was no issue of a hung assembly.

Following Osman’s death, the Johor government currently has 28 state seats while the Opposition Pakatan Harapan (PH) has 27.

Based on the current situation, if any one of the 28 ruling coalition’s assemblymen withdraws support, both the government and opposition seats will be at 27 seats each and the Johor state assembly will be hung. This will point towards it being suspended or dissolved.

Che Zakaria said Osman, who is also the former Bersatu Johor chief and party’s Ayer Hitam division chief, was a great loss for the party’s Johor chapter.

“We have lost a competent and vocal leader.

“Osman was a good friend and he was one of the early founders of Bersatu in Johor Baru where we struggled to establish the party in the early years,” he said.