KUALA LUMPUR, May 12 — Kedah could be the latest state to slip from Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) grip as speculation has emerged that two PKR assemblymen are set to leave the party today.
The two — Lunas assemblyman and state exco Azman Nasarudin and Sidam assemblyman Robert Ling Kui Ee are both aligned to former PKR deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali, who was sacked from the party in February for his part in the “Sheraton move”.
A source in Kedah confirms that both will issue a statement later today.
“There will be a statement, you have to wait, Can’t confirm (leaving the party) yet,” the source close to both PKR assemblymen said.
On May 4, Ling, who is also Sungai Petani PKR chief, openly criticised the party for sacking several party members including his deputy Firdaus Yusoff.
Firdaus was appointed as Kedah’s Pemuda Negara coordinator, a vehicle NGO led by Azmin’s right-hand man Hilman Idham.
Meanwhile, Azman was one of the leaders who followed a walkout of Azmin’s faction in the last day of congress in Melaka last year where he openly criticised party secretary-general Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail for receiving an “achievement award” from the party instead of Azmin.
Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir’s fate in the state have hung in the balance since last week as speculation swirled that Umno and PAS have moved to oust him, making it the fourth state after Johor, Perak and Melaka to fall from Pakatan Harapan’s administration since February.
On May 10, 15 Kedah state assemblymen from PAS and two from Umno held a three-hour closed-door meeting with central PAS leaders at the Kedah PAS Complex which was attended by party vice-president Dr Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar, secretary-general Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan, Kedah PAS commissioner Ahmad Yahaya and Kedah Umno chairman Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom.
Ahmad Samsuri, when met by reporters after the meeting, said various issues were discussed including the state government’s position, but declined to comment further.
Asked whether the discussion also touched on the new Kedah mentri besar candidate from PAS, Ahmad Samsuri said: “Now Kedah still has a mentri besar, so for now Datuk Seri Mukhriz (Tun Mahathir) is still the mentri besar,” he said.
On May 6, state PAS commissioner Ahmad Yahaya said Kedah PAS was confident of taking over the state government’s administration through the support of Muafakat Nasional.
On the same day, Jamil Khir replied to Ahmad’s statement with his own, agreeing to PAS’ observation on a grim reality in Kedah and calling for the “federal PN government” to intervene in the state.
On Sunday, there was another speculation about a move from Bersatu to oust Mukhriz and his father, party chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in a supreme council meeting.
However, the meeting, scheduled on Monday, was postponed without any reason given by party officials.
Currently, PAS and Umno have 17 seats in the Kedah state assembly, while the state government under Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) and PH have 19 seats.