Johor chief minister to seek Sultan’s consent to dissolve state assembly, paving way for elections

Earlier in the week, Mr Hasni said he had to be careful and sensitive regarding the stability of the Johor state government as the state assembly has a narrow majority.

He added that the stability of the Johor state government was a prerequisite for some investors and companies to expand their operations in the southern state.

Mr Hasni said: “I said that on the need to hold Johor state elections, I cannot reject it. I have to do some research and look at the matter closely. The voices of different parties cannot fall on deaf ears.

The recent disappearance of Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) Party member and Kempas Assembly member Osman Sapian had raised talk of an impending state election.

Bersatu was one of the key elements governing the Johor state government, alongside the UMNO-led Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition.

His death means the ruling coalition now holds a narrow one-seat majority, with 28 of the total 56 seats.

The opposition coalition Pakatan Harapan (PH), made up of the Democratic Action Party (DAP), the Amanah Negara Party (Amanah) and the Keadilan Rakyat Party (PKR), has 27 seats.

The government of Johor is made up of 16 deputies from the BN and 12 from the Perikatan Nasional.

In December, Johor state assembly speaker Suhaizan Kaiat told the Malay Mail that a by-election for the Kempas state seat would not be called following Mr Osman’s death.

He explained that the seat became vacant more than three years after the incumbent was elected in the 14th general election (GE14) in May 2018, so a by-election is not necessary.

However, some UMNO quarters called for disbanding the state assembly and holding state elections at short notice.

UMNO Johor deputy leader Nur Jazlan Mohamed told CNA last week that the Johor state government was currently in a “precarious position” given its slim one-seat majority.

“The chief minister does not have everyone’s support even though there is an agreement in place. Better to settle this by going to (state) elections and giving the mandate to the people,” he said then.

Mr. Nur Jazlan added that the time had come for UMNO to secure the support of the people, given the performance of the party in the Melaka State elections in November, where the BN led by the UMNO won 21 of 28 seats.

The opposition, meanwhile, insisted it was not the right time to call elections, due to the spread of the COVID-19 Omicron variant and parts of Johor still recovering from the floods. monsoon.

Johor DAP President Liew Chin Tong told CNA that the pressure to call for elections likely came from UMNO members aligned with former Prime Minister Najib Razak.

“The Najib Razak-aligned UMNO faction is pushing for a snap poll in Johor to destabilize Ismail Sabri’s government and trigger a national-level snap poll, which Najib believes would benefit him and his faction,” Mr. Liew said.

About Joshua M. Osborne

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