ALOR STAR, Jan 25, 2016:
The turmoil in Kedah cannot be considered a crisis but is rather a call to change the leadership in the state, says Padang Terap Member of Parliament (MP) Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid.
According to him, what happened in Kedah was considered a small matter compared with what Umno had gone through during the time of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad when he was Umno president and Prime Minister (PM).
“The circumstances might be a little different now. I think that in any organisation, there will be a solution that can be reached when there is a crisis.
“During Tun’s time, when he was the PM, 22 representatives from Kedah had signed a petition to defend Tan Sri Osman Aroff as the Menteri Besar.
“But during that time, Tun was the PM and he had made his decision despite the 22 representatives being against him. Tun stuck to his decision and asked Osman to step down and be replaced by Tan Sri Sanusi (Junid) instead.”
He said this at a press conference held at the Felda Lubok Merbau, near here, today.
Mahdzir was asked to comment on the Kedah MB political crisis. A majority of the state’s Umno leaders had declared that they no longer had confidence in Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir’s leadership.
They claimed Mukhriz had failed to prepare the party members to face the upcoming 14th general election (GE14).
Mahdzir also said that during Dr Mahathir’s administration, there were greater crises in Umno. He said this present crisis was a small test any party must face.
Subsequently, he was confident that Barisan Nasional (BN) and Umno would remain in power after GE14.
“Such a crisis is not the first time. There have been a lot more crises that happened, either nationally or in the states. If we look at any political party, they have gone through a long process.
“Like PAS… up until today, how many parties have been created out of resentment towards the party? Hamim, Berjasa and the latest one is Amanah.
“The same for Umno. If we look at the beginning till now, Umno has gone through a long process.
“Come to think about the major crises, there was Team A and Team B in the party, Team B against Team A. Team B was led by (Tan Sri) Tunku Razaleigh (Hamzah) while Team A was led by Tun Mahathir. They were against each other in one party at that time.
“The main thing is how to manage the situation during the crises. For example, like in Kedah now, we have those who have urged him to step down. If we can manage it well, I believe we can come out of it all right,” said Mahdzir, who is also the Education Minister.
At the same time, he added that there was no need to call for a State Assembly sitting in order to change the leadership in Kedah.
“It does not involve the legislative council, it’s the party. Why should we drag the council into this? Because those involved are Umno division heads.”
The turmoil in Kedah started after a press conference, led by Kedah Umno deputy liaison committee chief Datuk Ahmad Bashah Md hanipah, on Wednesday. He announced that a majority of the state’s party leaders had lost their confidence in Mukhriz and wanted the Prime Minister to intercede.
This was followed by a closed-door meeting between Ahmad Bashah’s group and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in Kuala Lumpur.