After Johor, Melaka state assembly now falls to new PN alliance as lawmakers change sides

In Melaka, Parti Keadilan Rakyat's Muhammad Jailani Khamis (left) and Democratic Action Party's Norhizam Hassan Baktee have hopped on the Perikatan Nasional bandwagon.
In Melaka, Parti Keadilan Rakyat's Muhammad Jailani Khamis (left) and Democratic Action Party's Norhizam Hassan Baktee have hopped on the Perikatan Nasional bandwagon.PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM UMNO/FACEBOOK

KUALA LUMPUR - The Melaka state assembly on Monday (March 2) is now controlled by a new alliance led at the top by newly appointed Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.

It is the second state legislature that the former ruling coalition Pakatan Harapan (PH) had lost, after seeing Johor changing hands last Friday (Feb 28).

Defections announced on Monday have turned the tables on PH in Melaka.

It all began last week when Tan Sri Muhyiddin, president of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia last week took the party out of PH along with another 10 MPs led by a former leader of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), causing PH to collapse.

The collapse of the PH coalition did not just end the PH federal administration but also triggered changes in several states.

PM Muhyiddin now heads a Malay-dominated alliance called Perikatan Nasional (PN), or National Alliance in Malay.

It comprises Bersatu, Umno and PAS in peninsula Malaysia, and Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) from Borneo.

MELAKA

Shifting alliances led to Umno's Melaka legislators gaining numbers to form state government.

PN's Umno has 13 assemblymen, with the total rising to 17 after adding two from Bersatu and one defector each from PKR and DAP.

PH is now left with 11 state representatives in the 28 seat assembly, short of the majority it had to form the Melaka state government.

At a press conference aired over Facebook, the Melaka defectors - DAP's Norhizam Hassan Baktee and PKR's Muhammad Jailani Khamis - shared reasons behind their decision to hop on the PN bandwagon.

 
 

"Today I am acting for the interest of the Malays... I have worked hard, said I want to serve but I became a barua (lackey), I was really a barua," Mr Norhizam said.

"I am coming back to the right path," he added.

Mr Norhizam was a former Umno member before joining DAP in 2006.

Mr Jailani said: "I did not see how Pakatan Harapan fulfilled the people's mandate in the last 22 months".

Both Mr Norhizam and Mr Jailani have thus far not resigned from their respective parties.

PH today is left with three parties as members - Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), the Democratic Action Party (DAP) and Parti Amanah Negara.

Several Bersatu assemblymen along with ex-premier Tun Mahathir are also with PH, together with PH's key Sabah ally, Parti Warisan Sabah.

JOHOR

In Johor last week, Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar sworn in a new menteri besar from Umno.

This was despite the PH state lawmakers saying they had 28 assemblymen with them -or half of the 56 lawmakers.

A minimum of 29 assemblymen is needed to form the Johor state government.

Two other PH-controlled states are also hanging by a thread, as Bersatu's entry into the PN coalition affects the numbers in states that was narrowly won by PH.

PERAK

Perak and Kedah might see a switch in power as well this week, with the latter helmed by Mukhriz Mahathir - son of former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad.

Bersatu's partnership with Umno and PAS will tip the scales against PH in Perak by having 30 assemblymen versus PH's 28.

 
 

Perak's current menteri besar Ahmad Faizal Azumu from Bersatu would have to tussle with Umno to keep his seat after Perak Umno expressed interest to have its own assemblyman taking up the job.

KEDAH

In Kedah, matters are more complicated with Datuk Seri Mukhriz likely getting the boot for a second time from his chief minister's job.

He held the post when he was still with Umno but was sacked in 2016 during the leadership of former premier Najib Razak. Mr Mukhriz was expelled from Umno together with Mr Muhyiddin for speaking up against Najib in public over the 1MDB scandal.

Tun Mahathir later set up Bersatu together with his son and Mr Muhyiddin.

Kedah's 36-seat assembly is led by PH with 19 legislators. PAS and Umno have a combined total of 17 assemblymen. However, if the 5 bersatu assemblymen choose to abandon Mr Mukhriz, Kedah will see the return of PAS as state supremos.

In the May 2018 general election, PH won seven states in peninsula Malaysia, while its ally in Sabah won the eighth state.

PH only won Penang and Selangor states in the 2013 polls.