JOHOR BARU, Feb 27 — A total of 28 state assemblymen from Barisan Nasional (BN), PAS and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia have now secured a simple majority in Johor, thanks to a yet unknown assemblyman from Pakatan Harapan (PH) who had pledged his support to them.
In a statement issued by the Johor Palace, ruler Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar said he hopes the new coalition state government can be formed immediately, following a deadlock in the state.
“Therefore, the new coalition party will have the right to name their mentri besar candidate before appointing the new state executive members.
“DYMM Tuanku hopes that the Johor state administration can be immediately formed to ensure the state’s development runs smoothly for the sake of the progress and wellbeing of the people in Johor,” said the statement signed by Sultan Ibrahim’s private secretary Datuk Jaba Mohd Noah.
Previously, Pakatan Harapan had 39 seats in the 56-member Johor state assembly comprising 14 from DAP, 11 from Bersatu, nine from Parti Amanah Negara and five from PKR.
With the departure of Bersatu assemblymen after the party withdrew from the pact, PH only had 28 left.
In comparison, Barisan Nasional had 17 seats comprising 14 from Umno, two from MIC, in addition to one from PAS. With Bersatu joining the fray, both sides had 28 people.
Due to the stalemate, Sultan Ibrahim had conducted an interview with the assemblymen at the Bangunan Sultan Ibrahim in Bukit Timbalan yesterday, witnessed by the Johor state secretary and also the state’s legal advisor.
Every assemblyman was also required to sign a statutory declaration (SD) to validate their stand on whether they are with PH or the new coalition.
“From a total of 56 state assemblymen that were called, two did not present themselves. They were the Simpang Jeram and Puteri Wangsa assemblymen,” said the statement.
Simpang Jeram referred to Amanah deputy president Datuk Salahuddin Ayub, while Puteri Wangsa is Johor Bersatu chief Mazlan Bujang.
With both sides having 27 representatives during the interview, it was not known who from the PH coalition had switched sides to support the BN-PAS-Bersatu pact.
Earlier, the statement said that both Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Sahruddin Jamal and Johor Umno chief Datuk Hasni Mohammad had earlier held an audience with Sultan Ibrahim on February 26 to inform on a new coalition in the state.
“In order to confirm the claim, Sultan Ibrahim then ordered for an interview session with all of the state’s assemblymen to personally hear out their stand,” said the statement.
This latest development will put to rest that Johor will be seen as a hung state following the current political impasse.