Melaka political turmoil a test case, could trigger power grab in other states

Melaka Governor Tun Mohd Ali Rustam’s decision to dissolve the state assembly is a test case for the other states.

Associate Professor Dr Azeem Fazwan Ahmad Farouk said politicians will be watching closely as events unfold, as many may be plotting their own power grab.

The state government fell after Sungai Udang assemblyman Datuk Seri Idris Haron (Umno), Pantai Kundor assemblyman Datuk Nor Azman Hassan (Umno), Telok Mas assemblyman, Noor Effandi Ahmad (Bersatu) and independent lawmaker Datuk Norhizam Hassan Baktee lost confidence in Chief Minister Datuk Seri Sulaiman Md Ali, from Umno.

State elections must be held within 60 days, unless the Election Commission delays it, or a state of emergency is declared.

Azeem said all is not well in Umno, and the infighting within the party was due to the fact that many factions were jostling for control.

“It had been the dominant party since 1957; it used to call the shots. But 2018 was a wake-up call and they quickly realised that they are no longer a force to be reckoned with,” said the director of Universiti Sains Malaysia’s Centre for Policy Research and International Studies.

“Umno only controlled two states after the 2018 elections, and many in the party were not happy as they had lost their power base.

“The Melaka elections will be a test case, not just for Umno, but also for the other political parties.

“Politicians will be campaigning in Melaka as parties would want to gauge their popularity. That could trigger more political instability in the other states.”

He added that state elections would be ill-advised as the Covid-19 situation was only beginning to wind down.

“It seems that political stability and the country’s well-being are of secondary importance to these politicians. Instead, they want to be in power, no matter what,” said Azeem.

“In the end, the losers are the people. Politicians should be thinking about how they can help the rakyat, instead of fighting for power.

“Many are out of a job. Now, with the latest political turmoil, the people will be left in the lurch once again.”

Melaka fell to Pakatan Harapan after the 2018 General Election, but a power grab in March 2020 saw Sulaiman retake the state for Umno.

Azeem warned against taking it easy with regard to Covid-19, even though nearly 90 per cent of the population had been vaccinated.

“State and international borders are reopening, but you only have to look at Singapore to see that it does not guarantee that the infection rates would go down,” he warned.

Singapore tightened its Covid-19 restrictions after a rise in new infections saw 2,475 new cases yesterday.

Separately, Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said Idris and Nor Azman faced the sack for their roles in the collapse of the Melaka government. He also said the dissolution of the state government was not orchestrated by Umno.

Here are Twentytwo13‘s news highlights today.

RACIAL SLURS AGAINST KELUARGA MALAYSIA SPIRIT, SAYS HALIMAH

National Unity Minister Datuk Halimah Mohamed Sadique condemned the racial slurs against national badminton player S. Kisona.

“Such comments are not welcomed. I condemn them as they go against the culture of the country.

“Sport is a unifying factor, and we need to embrace our athletes, no matter the race or religion, as we are all ‘Keluarga Malaysia’,” Halimah said when answering a question by Cha Kee Chin (PH-Rasah) in the Dewan Rakyat today.

Kisona’s father, A. Selvaduray, had yesterday lodged a police report against Facebook user Borhan Che Rahim – alleging that his comment was racist and had insulted his daughter, causing her to feel ashamed and stressed.

SURVEY: MOST TOURISTS TO LANGKAWI DID NOT USE TOUR OPERATORS

A Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry survey revealed that most tourists who went to Langkawi during the recent travel bubble phase, did not use tour operators.

Some had used tour operators who were not registered with the ministry.

The ministry also conducted checks to ensure enforcement and compliance of the Tourism Industry Act, 1992 and to obtain feedback from the public regarding travelling in a ‘new normal’ environment.

Among the locations monitored were the Kilim Geoforest Park, Tanjung Rhu, Langkawi SkyCab, Langkawi Wildlife Park, Pantai Cenang, Langkawi International Airport, and Kuah Passenger Ferry Terminal.

COVID-19 POSITIVITY RATE DIPS BELOW SIX PER CENT

Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said Malaysia recorded its lowest positivity rate since May 12.

It recorded 5.16 per cent, or 8,817 positive cases from 170,933 tests.

That brought the total number of cases to 2,294,457.

On May 12, Malaysia had a positivity rate of five per cent, and it reached a worrying 5.3 per cent on Aug 31.

KEY WITNESS IN LIM GUAN ENG’S CORRUPTION TRIAL FALLS TO HIS DEATH

A key witness in former Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng’s undersea tunnel corruption trial fell to his death at The Palazzo Condominium in Jalan Kelawai, Pulau Tikus this morning.

The 53-year-old businessman was the main witness in the ongoing corruption trial but had yet to testify.

Lim was charged with using his position to ask a developer for a 10 per cent cut of the profits from the project.

He was also accused of seeking RM3.3 million in kickbacks to appoint a developer to undertake the RM6.3 billion project, which included the construction of three main roads.