In exchange for support, Pas demanded RM170,000 for each of its assemblymen in Kedah – Mukhriz recalls

27 Jul 2023 08:21pm
Former Kedah Menteri Besar and Pejuang president Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir.
Former Kedah Menteri Besar and Pejuang president Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir.

SHAH ALAM – His successor claimed that all he needed to do to continue his tenure as the Kedah Menteri Besar was to simply pledge allegiance to Perikatan Nasional (PN) and that it was his cautious forethought that ended his ministerial career.

But of course, every story has two sides.

Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir remembered things differently from what Caretaker Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor recounted in an episode of the 'Keluar Sekejap' political podcast on YouTube.

And Mukhriz insisted that it was not a case of a-little-too-late.

“I have different recollection of that conversation,” he reminisced of his second MB ouster that occurred in May 2020 at Sinar Daily’s TopNews podcast.

“Sanusi came to see me in Mentaloon (Kedah MB official residence) and told me that Pas will not do anything to change the state government, even though it has 15 state seats under it.

“He told me I can continue as MB and the condition was that they wanted an additional budget for the Opposition assemblymen. We allocated RM70,000 for each assemblyman per year.

“He wanted it to be upped by another RM100,000. So in total, it was RM170,000 a year,” Mukhriz revealed the cost of the conditional support that the Kedah Pas dangled to him.

Related Articles:

Eventually, the matter was tabled in then-state exco meeting and was approved.

“But I did cross-check the matter with Sanusi’ superiors – it’s not that I do not trust his words, but I wanted to be careful.

“Fortunately, it was confirmed; that Pas was not out to change the Kedah government,” the Pejuang president reasoned.

However, the sharp knife of the internal powerplay within the then-Kedah Pakatan Harapan (PH) government ultimately ended Mukhriz’s political lifeline.

“There was a letter from Tan Sri Johari Abdul (then-Kedah PH chairman), informing the state secretary that seven PKR assemblymen had withdrawn their support on me.

“Without those seven, I am out. I was stabbed behind by PKR. It was them who initiated it [his ouster],” Mukhriz lamented.

Recently, Sanusi, who assumed the role of MB in May 2020, made it clear that he had no intentions of taking over from Mukhriz.

"After the 14th general election, I was appointed as the Opposition leader because I had some experience in governing among the elected opposition assemblymen," he said.

Sanusi revealed that he had approached Mukhriz in 2020, offering Pas' support and pledging not to topple him.

He assured Mukhriz that if he supported Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin as prime minister, the 15 Pas assemblymen would support him to remain as Kedah's MB.

However, despite his offer, Mukhriz did not respond, indicating his disagreement with the proposal.

Sanusi shared that he had never expected to become the MB when he was first elected as the Jeneri assemblyman in 2018.