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Najib Expected To Present Endorsement Letter For New Kedah MB Today

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PETALING JAYA: The Kedah mentri besar crisis is about to come to an end with Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak expected to meet the Regency Council today.

The Prime Minister has been granted an audience to present the official documents that will usher in a new mentri besar for Kedah.

The audience will take place at Istana Negara in Kuala Lumpur at 8.30am.

Najib is expected to hand over the watikah or letter of endorsement naming the person to take over from outgoing Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir.

It is understood that the Prime Minister has obtained the blessings for the change from Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah during an audience on Wednesday morning.

But the appointment of the new mentri besar is not a done deal as yet.

The Regency Council, which comprises the King’s two younger brothers and his only daughter, is believed to have reservations over the Prime Minister’s proposed candidate as the new mentri besar.

Given that, a decision on who will be the next mentri besar may not necessarily be known by today.

Najib is believed to favour Bakar Bata assemblyman Datuk Seri Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipah, 65, who is the deputy Kedah Umno chief.

Ahmad Bashah is currently a Senator and the Deputy Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister.

State executive council member Datuk Dr Ku Rahman Ku Ismail, 63, is said to be a possible alternative candidate. Dr Ku Rahman, who is Guar Chempe­dak assemblyman, has a PhD in rubber science from Loughborough University, Britain.

If everything goes well, the swearing-in of the new mentri besar is likely to be on Monday.

Palace procedures suggest that Mukhriz will also be called to the Palace to be informed of the royal consent for the change.

Meanwhile, Kedah-based sources said that Mukhriz’s officers had started packing things in his office as well as the mentri besar’s official residence in Mentaloon.

The latest development comes more than a week after a dramatic mutiny by the state Umno division chiefs against Mukhriz’s leadership.

The Umno division leaders as well as the state chiefs of the Wanita, Youth and Puteri wings held a press conference on Jan 20 to declare they had lost confidence in the leadership of Mukhriz and they urged the Umno president to take necessary action.

Events moved rapidly after that with 19 of the 21 Barisan Nasional assemblymen signing statutory declaration to endorse the change amid Mukhriz’s refusal to step down.

Mukhriz had come into the job on a wave of popular support after the 2013 general election.

However, he failed to consolidate his support among the state Umno leaders and fell out of grace with the Prime Minister over the 1MDB issue.

The Regency Council consists of Tunku Temenggong Tunku Sal­lehud­­din ibni Almarhum Sultan Badlishah, Tunku Laksamana Tunku Abdul Hamid Thani ibni Almarhum Sultan Badlishah and Tunku Panglima Besar Tunku Puteri Intan Shafinaz binti Sultan Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah.-The Star

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