KUALA LUMPUR, May 15 — Tangga Batu division chief Datuk Seri Mohamad Ali Mohamad today denied claims that he is aiming for the position of Melaka Umno chief, which is currently held by Datuk Seri Ab Rauf Yusoh.
Instead, Mohamad Ali — who is also Melaka Umno deputy chief — said that chief minister Datuk Seri Sulaiman Md Ali is the most qualified for the position, as suggested by Umno’s Alor Gajah division led by Datuk Rospandi Leman.
“The people of Melaka know of the individual who has high aspirations and wanted the chief minister position after Barisan Nasional (BN) won the state election last November.
“Everyone knows who the person who went against Umno leadership’s decision to choose Sulaiman as the chief minister, and it is the same individual who made moves against Sulaiman.
“The people of Melaka also know who caused the ruckus during the chief minister’s swearing-in ceremony to the point it was delayed until 1am after BN announced it had won in Melaka,” he told Mingguan Malaysia.
Previously, Malaysiakini reported several Melaka Umno divisions wanting the Lendu assemblyman Sulaiman to replace Rauf who is party state chief to resolve its leadership woes.
The news portal reported that the Alor Gajah Umno division had already met earlier this week after which its acting chief Datuk Rospandi Leman announced that members want Sulaiman to lead the state chapter instead of Rauf.
Ali is also Melaka Umno deputy chief; he indicated that other divisions may call for similar meetings on replacing Rauf with Sulaiman.
Melaka Umno has six divisions in total: Alor Gajah, Tangga Batu, Masjid Tanah, Hang Tuah Jaya, Kota Melaka and Jasin.
After Umno and BN won the Melaka state election last year, drama unfolded during Sulaiman’s swearing-in before Governor Tun Mohd Ali Rustam as Rauf was absent.
Rauf had tried to lobby top party leaders including Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, party president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and also Datuk Seri Najib Razak who is Barisan Nasional adviser, to become the chief minister instead.
Questions have been raised over Rauf’s fate ever since it was reported that he was absent from Sulaiman’s swearing-in, and last week, Rauf dismissed talk in political circles that he has been trying to pressure Melaka chief minister Sulaiman into resigning.
Rospandi said that Sulaiman had come under some form of coercion to sign a resignation letter, as speculated on social media over the last few days.
Later, Sulaiman quashed rumours that he had resigned as the Melaka chief minister, adding that he believed the attempt to spread the rumours about his resignation was politically motivated and to destabilise the state government.