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Malaysia PM Muhyiddin's party deputy voted out as Perak chief by Perikatan Nasional allies

KUALA LUMPUR – The deputy of Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia party has lost his majority test in the Perak state assembly, bringing an end to his two-year tenure as Perak Menteri Besar and exposing the rift between Bersatu and its Perikatan Nasional (PN) allies Umno in the state.

Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu only garnered support of 10 out of 59 state assemblymen during the Perak state assembly sitting on Friday (Dec 4) morning.

The vote followed a confidence motion that was filed by a lawmaker from Umno, Bersatu’s ally in both the state and federal administration.

During a secret ballot, 48 state assemblyman voted against him with one lawmaker abstaining.

Pengkalan Baru assemblyman Aznel Ibrahim, who is from Umno, had filed the confidence test motion earlier this week, before it was accepted by Perak state assembly speaker Mohamad Zahir Abdul Kadir, who is also from Umno.

Datuk Aznel was appointed as Mr Ahmad Faizal’s political secretary last month. But Perak opposition leader Abdul Aziz Bari had previously noted that Umno and Bersatu are “at war” in the state.

Right after the vote was ratified by the state assembly, Mr Ahmad Faizal indicated that he would resign as Perak state chief and ensure “a smooth transition to the new government”.

“It is a great honour to serve the beloved state. In these challenging times for our economy, I do not want to prolong a political crisis,” Mr Ahmad Faizal told the state assembly.

Datuk Zahir said he would notify Perak Sultan Nazrin Shah Azlan Shah of the results before Mr Ahmad Faizal has an audience with the ruler, where he is expected to offer his resignation.

The state assembly sitting, which was originally scheduled to run from Dec 4 to 11, has now been deferred to Dec 9.

The confidence motion was tabled and debated on Friday after 37 state lawmakers asked that it be brought forward before Mr Ahmad Faizal’s administration tables a state budget.

The Bersatu deputy president originally became the Menteri Besar as part of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration after PH won the elections in Perak in 2018.

Following Bersatu’s decision to leave PH and form PN earlier this year, which caused the collapse of the federal PH administration, Mr Ahmad Faizal resigned as Menteri Besar but was subsequently re-appointed to the role by the state ruler for a new PN state administration.

Umno, which is the biggest party in PN, has 25 seats in the state assembly, far eclipsing Bersatu’s five seats.

Umno and Bersatu previously clashed over the Sabah Chief Minister post after PN won the state elections there in September, with Umno ultimately ceding the post to Bersatu after two days of negotiations.

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