KUALA LUMPUR: The administration of several states may change hands following the departure of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) from Pakatan Harapan (PH) and the sacking of PKR deputy president Datuk Seri Azmin Ali.
Political and law expert Professor Datuk Dr Abdul Halim Sidek, in citing the situation in Melaka, said, PH, when it had Bersatu in the coalition, held 15 seats compared with Barisan Nasional’s (BN) 13 seats.
“But now that Bersatu has left PH, the coalition has 13, the same number as BN. This is a hung state legislative assembly and they (PH) can’t run the government.
“The former chief minister should seek an audience with the Yang di-Pertua Negeri to dissolve the state government, but not the state legislative assembly.
“They (PH) can’t run the government. If BN is smart, it will seek the two Bersatu leaders’ support to form a new state government.
“It is the same scenario as the 2009 Perak constitutional crisis, where the state government fell into the hands of the opposition and BN later regained power (as it obtained the support of several state assemblymen who are fence sitters to secure the majority),” he said yesterday.
Based on his observation, Halim said, other states — Johor, Negri Sembilan, Perak and Kedah — would be forced to take the same action based on the number of seats held by PH and other political parties in the states.
“Apart from the fact that Bersatu is no longer in PH, we have to take into account PKR assemblymen who are aligned to Azmin, who was sacked from the party and has since formed an independent bloc.
“Next is Kedah. You will see Pas taking over the state administration because it has the second largest majority (after PH).
“With the potential new coalition (reported to consist of Umno, Pas, Bersatu and leaders aligned to Azmin), it will not be a surprise if it works with Bersatu to secure the majority of state seats.”
He said while there was no timeframe to dissolve the state government, “it’s not good for the economy and security when one delays the formation of the new state government and many things can’t be done”.
Johor BN claimed it had the support of the majority in the state assembly to form a new state government.
Its chairman, Datuk Hasni Mohammad, said besides the support of 16 BN, one Pas and 11 Bersatu assemblymen, the coalition was confident of garnering support from three PKR and two Amanah assemblymen.
“I have been given the mandate to negotiate with Bersatu, PKR and Amanah assemblymen for the formation of the new state government.
“I have the signed statutory declarations (SDs) from BN and Pas. I am waiting for SDs from Bersatu and the five independent representatives to request for an audience with Sultan of Johor Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar.”
Hasni hoped to have an audience with the ruler by Friday.
On who would be the next menteri besar, he said it would be discussed by the coalition members.
“We have to consider the sultan’s views on the matter,” he said after attending a special meeting with state assemblymen from BN and Pas at the Johor Umno headquarters here.
He said he would give his support if Sultan Ibrahim wanted to maintain Datuk Dr Sahruddin Jamal as the menteri besar.
He denied that the move was an attempt to form a backdoor government.