KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - In a move sure to further fuel speculation that Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir is in danger of losing his job, he was asked to leave the ongoing Umno Supreme Council meeting.
Mr Mukhriz arrived at 3.05pm at Putra World Trade Centre for the meeting but departed shortly afterwards.
"Those who are present but not invited should leave" was the instruction delivered at the meeting.
Mr Mukhriz said it seemed like the instruction was aimed at him because it was not specified whom it was directed at.
He said the instruction had come from party secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor.
Mr Mukhriz is not a supreme council member but by convention, he is invited to attend council meetings in his capacity as Kedah Umno liaison chief.
It is understood that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak obtained the blessings for a change of leadership in Kedah from Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah during an audience on Wednesday morning.
The Regency Council, however, is believed to have reservations over the Prime Minister's proposed candidate as the new menteri besar.
Once its consent is obtained, the swearing-in of the new menteri besar is likely to take place on Monday.
On Jan 20, Kedah Umno division leaders as well as chiefs of the Wanita, Youth and Puteri wings held a press conference led by Kedah Umno deputy chairman Datuk Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipah to announce a loss of confidence in Mr Mukhriz's leadership, urging the Umno president to make immediate changes.
Soon after, 19 of the 21 Barisan Nasional assemblymen from Kedah signed a statutory declaration to endorse the change as Mr Mukhriz refused to step down.