Johor deputy Umno chief unfazed by ex-MB Osman Sapian’s rumoured crossover, sees snap poll as solution

Osman may see his party membership revoked after allegations surfaced of his supposed impending exit to join Tun Dr Maharhir Mohamad’s Parti Pejuang Tanah Air. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim
Osman may see his party membership revoked after allegations surfaced of his supposed impending exit to join Tun Dr Maharhir Mohamad’s Parti Pejuang Tanah Air. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim

JOHOR BARU, Sept 1 ― Johor Umno deputy chief Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed said the party should stand firm and back the call for snap election in the event of a hung state assembly due to political defections.

He said the best solution for Johor, that faces the prospect of a hung state assembly from any crossovers, is to hold a state election to settle any problems faced by the Perikatan Nasional (PN) administration.

“The issue (of political) defections) will not end unless the state assembly is dissolved to pave the way for fresh elections.

“I have been consistent on this matter for the past four months where I have said the election machinery of Umno and PAS are prepared for both state and national polls,” said Nur Jazlan when contacted by Malay Mail today.

He was responding to speculation that former Johor mentri besar Datuk Osman Sapian may exit his party, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu), and align himself with Pakatan Harapan (PH).

Yesterday, Malay Mail published a report quoting Johor PH chief Aminolhida Hassan as revealing that Osman had recently made contact with the coalition’s representatives for discussions.

He said it was Osman’s unhappiness with PN that saw him reaching out to PH.

Aminolhuda, who is also Johor Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) chief, said the state PH will accept Osman as an independent assemblyman aligned with the coalition in the event he decides to support them.

Declining to comment further, Nur Jazlan is of the opinion that Bersatu president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who is also the prime minister, should look into the matter involving Osman.

He pointed out that Osman, who is also the Kempas state assemblyman, should be addressed by his own party that is part of the ruling PN government.

On another matter, Nur Jazlan said Johor Umno and also its PN allies should not give in to such pressure by the state’s PH component Amanah in wanting to grab power through a “backdoor” government.

He insisted that it was Amanah that wanted a “backdoor” state government several months ago and still currently harbours such hopes as a means of continuing its 14th general election mandate.

“To me, they are afraid that they won’t get then rakyat’s vote this time round if a snap election is announced,” said Nur Jazlan.

Osman, who was a key state Bersatu leader during 2018’s GE13 campaign, may see his party membership revoked after allegations surfaced of his supposed impending exit to join Tun Dr Maharhir Mohamad’s Parti Pejuang Tanah Air (Pejuang).

This was after the Johor Bersatu strongman was publicly seen with several of the new party’s leaders during the Slim by-election campaign last month.

It was reported last Sunday that Johor Bersatu will leave it to the party leadership to deal with Osman according to party rules.

At present, Johor is led by PN under the leadership of its Mentri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad who is from Umno. His administration holds a simple majority of 29 seats, while the state PH coalition has 27 seats.

The Johor assembly has 56 seats. Both Umno and DAP have 14 each. The remaining seats are held by Bersatu (12), Amanah (nine), PKR (four), MIC (two) and PAS (one).

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