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KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 28, 2016:

Kedah will be on the brink of turmoil if its Menteri Besar, Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir is not replaced in the near future, an analyst says.

Universiti Utara Malaysia Political and International Affairs analyst Shukri Shuaib said the state’s administration would be affected if Mukhriz continued to be at the helm of the state and the party there.

“If there is no change, there will be a problem in the administration. In the state assembly, the executive committee members and assemblymen will act like the Opposition… not in opposing Umno, but the Menteri Besar.

“If Mukhriz chairs the state liaison committee meetings, there would perhaps be only 10 people who will attend, so how will he hold meetings? If Mukhriz is removed, only he alone would be absent.

“Seeing it from an administrative angle, he will bring problems to Kedah,” Shukri said when asked to comment on the on-going crisis in the state.

The political turmoil which erupted last week has yet to be resolved by Umno’s top leadership.

Earlier today, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak sought an audience with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah apparently to discuss the political crisis.

However, Shukri said it was imperative for Mukhriz to be removed as the party needed to prepare its machinery for the next general election immediately.

“To me, the most suitable candidate is Datuk Seri Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipah because he is an old-timer. Old timers have their own touch.

“Ahmad Bashah is also able to be close to the grassroots because he is considered a war lord. We need people like him because Kedah has its own way of doing things.”

Shukri said Mukhriz should be given a position that was suited for him at the federal level as this would bring balance to the turmoil in the state which had an effect on the people.

“But in any situation, I feel that Datuk Mukhriz must be given a position at the national level, to appease the rakyat who have been affected by the crisis. If this is not done, Kedah will fall into Opposition hands in the next election.

“At the national level, Mukhriz would be more free to leave an impact on the people,” the lecturer added.

Yesterday evening, Mukhriz, at a function in Kampung Sanglang, Ayer Hitam, said he would not betray the people who had given him the mandate to lead the state.

He stressed that he would be Menteri Besar for as long as the people supported him, despite being given an offer to take on a higher position at the national level.

“Currently the situation is 50:50. And I have been made to understand that there are efforts to gather branch chiefs to support Mukhriz,” Shukri said.

“The younger generation favours Mukhriz but the reality is that many among the high ranks of the leadership do not fancy his leadership.

“I have heard that all the assemblymen accept this change other than two who we know are close to him,” Shukri said.

The Rakyat Post was unable to confirm the matter with the assemblymen yesterday despite repeated attempts to contact them.

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