KUALA LUMPUR • Kedah Barisan Nasional (BN) assemblymen will attempt to force out Kedah Menteri Besar Mukhriz Mahathir in a "constitutional manner" if they do not succeed in ousting him politically, Malay daily Berita Harian Ahad reported yesterday.
On Wednesday, Umno state leaders declared a loss of confidence in Mr Mukhriz's leadership and demanded his removal by Prime Minister Najib Razak.
A source told the paper 13 assemblymen have signed a statutory declaration after Friday's closed-door meeting between Umno Kedah leaders and Datuk Seri Najib, who is BN chairman. A source from Umno Kedah said: "Now there are 13 out of 21 assemblymen who support this and we believe we can get another five or six more on our side.
"We want to do it in an organised manner, according to the provisions in the Kedah Constitution. The statutory declaration will be our pledge to the members of the Kedah Sultan Regency Council for consideration, which will be according to the Constitution."
Mr Mukhriz, however, again expressed confidence that the political crisis in Kedah would be resolved soon. He said his appointment was legitimate and he hoped to stay on, reported The Star.
"We must abide by rules and regulations," he said on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Utusan Malaysia's Sunday edition, Mingguan Malaysia, said three other names were being bandied about as possible successors. Earlier, Kedah Umno deputy chief Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipah, who led the revolt against Mr Mukhriz, was mentioned as a possible replacement.
Utusan's report, quoting an unnamed source, said the three names were being put forward in case there was "resistance" against Mr Ahmad.
One of them is Guar Chempedak assemblyman and state executive council (exco) member for industry and investment, domestic, cooperatives and consumer affairs, Dr Ku Rahman Ku Ismail, 63.
Another is Ayer Hangat assemblyman Mohd Rawi Abdul Hamid, who is the exco member in charge of religious, Siamese community affairs, tourism and heritage, and public works. The third candidate listed is Tanjong Dawai assemblyman and exco member in charge of education, transport and housing Tajul Urus Mat Zain, 64.