The recent appointment of a new Johor Chief Minister nearly led to Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad to resign, new reports in Malaysia media said.
Angered to the point of almost resigning
Malaysiakini reported the issue by quoting an unnamed source close to Mahathir.
On April 22, a reshuffle of Johor’s executive council by the new Chief Minister, Sahruddin Jamal, had allegedly angered Mahathir so much that he had considered resigning.
The 93-year-old leader was then allegedly dissuaded from doing so by Malaysia’s Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, a 26-year-old fresh-faced politician.
Malaysiakini reported that while this series of events was not confirmed by Syed Saddiq himself, it was confirmed by another unnamed source close to him.
What was the reshuffle about?
Under Sahruddin, three members of the 11-men executive council were replaced and eight members had their portfolios reshuffled, The Straits Times reported.
Mahathir was incensed and disappointed that Sahruddin had not followed his advice in keeping the Johor executive council as it was, the Malaysiakini source for Mahathir highlighted.
On April 13, Johor Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar had also given a precondition that the executive council line-up must be reshuffled once the new Chief Minister replaces Osman Sapian, the outgoing menteri besar.
At that time, Mahathir had told the Sultan that royalty did not have any say in the matter.
The new Chief Minister might have obliged and followed the Sultan’s demand after consulting Muhyiddin Yassin, the President of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) and the leader of Bersatu in Johor, Malaysiakini reported.
Muhyiddin subsequently clarified that he had told Sahruddin to pick executive council members whom he was comfortable working with.
Reshuffle perceived as insubordination
That’s not to say the reshuffle was supposedly accepted by the other members of Bersatu.
Mahathir had also allegedly told other members of Bersatu of his anger and desire to resign at an emergency meeting of the party’s supreme council, on the night of April 22, Malaysiakini‘s Mahathir source said.
This resulted in the other supreme council members expressing their unhappiness over the Chief Minister’s apparent insubordination.
However, Mahathir had also supposedly cooled his anger by that point in time, the source added.
What’s more, the presence of Muhyiddin at the meeting also saw him apologise to Mahathir and explain why the reshuffle took place.
What had occurred was essentially a case of miscommunication, the source further claimed.
The crown prince had also tweeted that he hoped the new chief minister would not be a “yes man” to Putrajaya.
Mahathir then responded that Malaysia would no longer be a democratic country if those who chose the Prime Ministers and Chief Ministers were the monarchs.
Syed Saddiq hits out at Johor Crown Prince
Separately, Syed Saddiq has also been reported as having hit out at the Johor Crown Prince, according to The Star.
On April 24, Syed said the Crown Prince had raised political demands that he was unable to fulfil, and had made him very uncomfortable, both before and after the 2018 election.
Syed noted that one such indefensible demand allegedly made by the Crown Prince was for the cancellation of a high-profile boxing match featuring Manny Pacquiao on July 15, 2018.
Syed added that his priority was the people of Malaysia and sticking to his principles.
“Being a young politician, I personally believe if I don’t stick to my politics or principles, I will lose myself very early on”, he said.
“I still humbly respect him (the Crown Prince) as the future Sultan of Johor, but our disagreements will always be there. In the end, the rakyat will be my priority.”
Source : Mothership