UMNO needs to resolve Johor MB issue wisely - political analyst

15/03/2022 12:53 AM

KUALA LUMPUR, March 14  -- Umno will need to resolve potential internal issues if there happens to be a clash of views on the Johor Menteri Besar candidacy following Saturday’s state election.

Political analyst Prof Dr Sivamurugan Pandian of Universiti Sains Malaysia said this was because throughout the election campaign, only Johor Barisan Nasional chairman Datuk Seri Hasni Mohammad was mentioned as the coalition’s choice for Menteri Besar. 

He said if others have their own choices, then they must have the ability to manage the issue well without jeopardising the party’s credibility.

“Of course, if Hasni is not appointed, I believe there will be unavoidable internal rifts, as his (Hasni) supporters have been working hard to maintain his popularity as the pillar of BN’s victory in the polls. 

“Usually, UMNO is able to resolve conflicts peacefully through discussions and I believe the party will not allow the issue to fester as it knows Hasni is an extraordinary figure,” he said. 

Sivamurugan said this as a guest on Bernama TV’s ‘Ruang Bicara-PRN Johor Selesai, PRU15 Pula Dicanang’ programme hosted by Sherkawi Jirim tonight.

He said if it was not properly resolved, there would be people who will question whether there is an internal crisis in the party, with the emergence of other candidates for the post of Menteri Besar, more so since it’s so close to the UMNO General Assembly this week.

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia’s Institute of Ethnic Studies (KITA) deputy director Prof Dr Kartini Aboo Talib @ Khalid, meanwhile, said that besides Hasni, the other two names being mentioned for the Menteri Besar’s post also had their own credibility and strengths in political leadership.

“Among them are Rengit state seat winner Datuk Mohd Puad Zakarshi, who is no newcomer in UMNO as he has been involved in politics for a long time and understands the political situation, besides his other advantage having a doctor in philosophy in different methods of analysis.

“Other than that, Machap state assemblyman Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi, who is the great-grandson of UMNO founder, Datuk Onn Jaafar and grandson of the third Prime Minister, Tun Hussein Onn, also has strong political pedigree, besides being young, highly educated and background as an accountant.

"There we can see the pedigree, heritage and his political experience since 2006 and the youthful spirit come into play if Hasni wants to promote a younger person to take over as Johor Menteri Besar,” he said.

Yesterday, Hasni had reportedly been suggested as the sole Menteri Besar candidate for the consent of the Sultan of Johor Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar. However, Hasni today called on the party leadership to consider a younger person to lead Johor.

In the Johor election that concluded yesterday, Hasni won easily with a majority of over 5,000 votes, beating three of his opponents for the Benut state seat.

On Feb 28, 2020, Hasni was confirmed as the 18th Johor Menteri Besar after taking his oath in front of Sultan Ibrahim.