KUALA LUMPUR, March 30 — Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has nominated the party’s Melaka state liaison chief Datuk Seri Ab Rauf Yusoh as the state’s new chief minister to replace Datuk Seri Sulaiman Md Ali.

During a press conference today, Ahmad Zahid said that he had sent a letter to Melaka governor Tun Mohd Ali Rustam about Sulaiman’s resignation and nominated Ab Rauf to take his place.

Ahmad Zahid went on to say that Sulaiman tendered his resignation after informing him of his health issues.

“I have sent a letter to the Yang di-Pertua Negeri Melaka to accept the resignation of the chief minister of Melaka.

“The party hereby proposes, through the letter, Datuk Seri Ab Rauf Yusoh as the new chief minister, full stop. It has been delivered,” he told reporters after chairing a meeting of the National Entrepreneur Development Council and Small Medium Enterprises (SME).

When asked whether the new exco line-up for Melaka will involve Pakatan Harapan (PH) representatives, Zahid said the appointments would reflect the good spirit of the unity government at the federal level.

“I have discussed the exco line-up. If we consider the spirit of the unity government that has been going well nationally, I am sure that spirit will flow to Melaka to present good optics to not only the people of Melaka, but also the people of Malaysia,” he added.

Earlier today, Melaka State Secretary Datuk Zaidi Johari said that the person appointed as the state’s new chief minister will be sworn in tomorrow.

Yesterday, it was reported that Sulaiman had resigned as the head of the state government a mere four months into his second term.

Rumours began to swirl after pictures emerged on social media of Sulaiman’s staff appearing to pack their belongings at the chief minister’s office, signalling an imminent change of guard.

As confirmed by Ahmad Zahid, Ab Rauf, who is also Tanjung Bidara assemblyman and the incumbent Melaka state investment, industry, entrepreneur development and cooperatives executive councillor, is set to assume the chief ministership.

On Monday, Zahid hinted that a new unity government could be formed in Melaka.

In the Melaka state election held in November 2021, Barisan Nasional (BN) won 21 of the total 28 seats in the state assembly and gained sole control of the state government.

After the 14th general election, however, BN joined former rival PH and two Borneo coalitions to form the federal government.