KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 31 — Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir today confirmed he was aware of the impending meeting tomorrow between the state Regency Council and Barisan Nasional (BN) assemblymen but said he will not be attending it.
According to The Star Online, the embattled leader told reporters at the Sultan Abdul Halim Airport in Alor Setar that he will not be in the office at Wisma Darul Aman where the meeting is expected to be held at 2pm.
On the purpose of the meeting, Mukhriz guessed that it may be to gauge support for the bid to unseat him.
“Maybe the Council has a few questions to find out the assemblymen’s actual stand on the issue and whether it was the same as reported on media.
“I will not be in the office where the interview will be conducted.
“Even if I’m in the building, I will be heading to my office,” he was quoted as saying by The Star Online.
Earlier today, a report by national news agency Bernama said that several state assemblymen have been told about the meeting, which is expected to discuss the crisis over Mukhriz’s mentri besar post.
One assemblyman told Bernama that he received information on the meeting through WhatsApp while another said he was also contacted by an officer from Wisma Darul Aman.
It was previously reported that 19 Kedah BN assemblymen — 17 from Umno and two from MCA — had signed statutory declarations to declare their loss of confidence in Mukhriz’s leadership.
The controversy first erupted last week when Kedah Umno’s deputy chief Datuk Seri Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipah led a delegation of 14 division chiefs, state and federal lawmakers to express their loss of confidence in Mukhriz, citing the first-term mentri besar’s purported failures to govern the state and to unite the party, as well as his lack of strategy to face the next general elections due in 2018.
Since then, it has been reported that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has presented a list of possible replacements for Mukhriz to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and the Kedah Regency Council.
On Friday, Najib told a press conference that the council did not object to any of the names proposed in the list.
According to media reports, the council intends to meet individually with the state’s BN assemblymen tomorrow to determine if the ouster has the support of the majority in the 36-seat state assembly.
Including Mukhriz’s seat, Kedah Umno has control of 19 seats in the state assembly while MCA has two, giving BN 21 seats to the opposition’s 15.