ALOR STAR, Feb 3 ― Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir appears to be taking the ouster against him in his stride, saying today that now that he is no longer Kedah mentri besar, he will find it easier to speak out freely against the Barisan Nasional (BN) administration.
The leader who was all smiles at the press conference to announce his resignation, told reporters that he was always openly critical of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s leadership but will be even more so now that he has given up his post.
“Now, without a position, I am more open to speak my mind so beware,” he told the press conference.
Mukhriz also said he believes his ouster was due to efforts to undermine his leadership in Kedah because of his critical stance against Putrajaya and Najib in the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) controversy.
“Now, I will have more opportunity to fight on and speak out for the people because this will not shut me up,” he said when asked if his resignation will stop him from speaking out further.
He claimed that Umno is currently at its “weakest point” because “scandals after scandals” have been affecting the federal administration.
“We can't take it anymore, we can't even hold our heads up overseas,” he added.
He pointed out that although Malaysia’s Attorney-General has cleared Najib of any wrongdoing in the RM2.6 billion political donation and SRC International cases, other authorities in Switzerland, Singapore and France are still investigating 1MDB.
Mukhriz announced his resignation this morning after he was informed by the Kedah Regency Council that he had lost majority support in the state assembly.
Kedah Umno deputy chief Datuk Seri Ahmad Bashah Md Hanifah will be appointed as the new mentri besar.
Ahmad Bashah was the man who led the delegation of 14 Umno division chiefs, state and federal lawmakers to call for Mukhriz’s removal.
Among the reasons given for their discontent was Mukhriz’s purported failure to govern the state, to unite the party and his lack of strategy
The Kedah Regency Council met with all the Barisan Nasional assemblymen in the state, including Mukhriz, and the 15 opposition assemblymen on Monday and yesterday.