Discontent in Perak Umno threatens ‘fragile’ state government

The Perak state government is at risk of collapse after barely seven months, as a result of discontent among state Umno leaders regarding their coalition partner PPBM, says a party leader in the know.

(FMT) – Speaking to FMT, the leader who did not want to be named, said there was truth to reports that “all was not well” between the two Malay parties in the state, who are partners with PAS in Perikatan Nasional.

Citing a Malaysiakini report quoting Pakatan Harapan leaders, the leader said ties between Umno and PPBM have been strained over a number issues.

According to the report Perak PKR information chief Muhamad Arafat Varisai Arafat also claimed that at least six Umno assemblymen were ready to work with Pakatan Harapan (PH).

“I wouldn’t say that Umno leaders are ready to work with PH – Umno leaders won’t work with DAP – but this does not mean we will continue to support Peja”, he said, referring to Perak Menteri Besar Ahmad Faizal Azumu by a nickname.

The source said Perak Umno leaders were “annoyed” with Faizal’s running of the state and PPBM’s attempt to dominate politics despite Umno holding the most number of seats in the state assembly.

“And now, he appoints Aznel Ibrahim (Umno’s Pengkalan Hulu assemblyman) as his political secretary. This took us by surprise, we were not consulted.

“So while we will not work with PH, if there is a motion of no confidence against Peja in the state assembly, he may not get the support of all Umno assemblymen.”

The Perak state administration, comprising Barisan Nasional, PPBM and PAS was formed in March following the change of government in Putrajaya.

The coalition, along with the support of one Gerakan and one independent assemblyman control 35 of the 59 seats in the state assembly, with the rest being held by PH.

In GE14, Faizal was the sole PPBM candidate to win a seat while Umno won 27. PPBM has since beefed up its numbers to five after accepting two Umno assemblymen who were sacked by their party, as well as defectors from PKR and Amanah.

Nazri Aziz says Umno will not work with DAP

Umno’s Padang Rengas MP Nazri Aziz also acknowledged there was unhappiness with PPBM in the state, particularly over the appointment of village chiefs.

Originally, Nazri said, the party which wins in a constituency will appoint a village chief but that role has been taken over by a three-member committee comprising representatives of Umno, PAS and PPBM.

“PPBM has no branches, they don’t have (many) members, yet in every village there is a representative of each party.

“This is at the grassroots level, that is why Umno is not happy. They (PPBM) only won one seat in GE14. Umno should decide on the (appointment) of village chiefs. We are very angry,” he added.

Nazri said having three leaders for each village was counterproductive for Malay unity and that it would be better to have elections at the village level so the people could choose who they wanted.

On the way forward with PPBM, Nazri said he would leave this to Perak Umno chief Saarani Mohamad.

“What is certain is that we will not form a government with DAP. We are the only Malay party that has not worked with DAP.”

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