Johor Speaker says did not receive no-confidence motion against MB

Suhaizan said he would not rule out the possibility of a last minute motion of no-confidence againt the mentri besar. — Picture by Ben Tan
Suhaizan said he would not rule out the possibility of a last minute motion of no-confidence againt the mentri besar. — Picture by Ben Tan

ISKANDAR PUTERI, Sept 10 — There was no submission of a no-confidence vote against Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad in the Johor state assembly sitting today, said Speaker Suhaizan Kaiat.

He clarified that no such motion was received as only five motions will be tabled in this session.

“So far, there are five motions, the first is the economic stimulus package, the appointment of the house committee, the appointment of the Senate members, additional budget and lastly the motion from the Opposition representatives, namely the reduction of land tax,” said Suhaizan when met by reporters when the Johor state assembly was in recess at Kota Iskandar here today.

However, Suhaizan said he would not rule out the possibility of a last minute motion of no-confidence againt the mentri besar as it is up to any state assemblyman to do so.

“Despite that, the Speaker has the right to determine whether the motion can or cannot be accepted,” he said.

On the support for such a vote, Suhaizan said the matter will be up to Hasni as the mentri besar to act on.

“I am of the view that the MB will have two options when it comes to such matters. He can resign or advise the Sultan of Johor to call for the dissolution of the state assembly,” he said, adding that the prerogative will be entirely up to the mentri besar. 

On a separate matter, Suhaizan described the current state assembly session as a special one as it was conducted by him, as Speaker, who was not appointed by the present Perikatan Nasional (PN) government.

In addition to that, he is also the Speaker to three mentris besar and two state governments within a span of three years.

Suhaizan, who is not an elected representative, was appointed as the Johor state assembly Speaker in June 2018 after Pakatan Harapan (PH) took over the state after defeating Barisan Nasional (BN) in the 14th general election.

The 47-year-old Johor politician is currently also the organising secretary for Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah), under the PH coalition and also the party’s Johor chapter vice-chairman.

Suhaizan’s role was ironclad under Johor’s previous PH government, before it fell on February 28, with the Perikatan Nasional (PN) pact consisting of BN, PAS and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) taking over the state.

Johor BN chairman and Umno chief Datuk Hasni Mohammad was later sworn in as the state’s new mentri besar.

In early May, it was reported that there had been an attempt to oust and replace Suhaizan as Johor state assembly Speaker during its sitting scheduled on May 14.

However, the plot did not materialise after Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar informed all assemblymen to abide by the coming state assembly’s proceedings in Kota Iskandar on that day, with the Johor ruler saying he does not want any “disruption”.

Johor’s political situation heated up again last week after Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) appeared to have expelled former Johor mentri besar and Kempas assemblyman Datuk Osman Sapian before reversing its course.

His expulsion would have effectively resulted in a hung assembly.

Osman’s loyalty to Bersatu and the ruling PN pact was earlier questioned after he was seen publicly among those campaigning for Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s still-informal Pejuang party at the Slim by-election.

Dr Mahathir, who co-founded Bersatu, lost control of the party in late February and was later removed as a member.

At present, Hasni only retained control of the administration by virtue of Osman’s continued membership in the party and his support for the PN government.

PH controls 27 seats in the assembly. The coalition would have as many lawmakers as PN in the event Osman goes independent and allies with it.

In the state assembly, both Umno and DAP have 14 seats each. The others are held by Bersatu (12), Amanah (nine), PKR (four), MIC (two) and PAS (one).

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