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    Feb 01, 2016

    Mukhriz's fate hangs on regency council-BN meet


    THE fate of Kedah Chief Minister Mukhriz Mahathir will be decided after the Malaysian state's regency council meets state assemblymen from the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition today to discuss the bid to remove him from office, local media reported yesterday.

    Political sources in Kedah told The Sunday Star daily that the council will meet each of the 21 assemblymen individually to assess whether the majority of them support the bid.

    The sources said the council was forced to act because Mr Mukhriz had refused to step down as Chief Minister.

    The council is led by Tunku Sallehuddin, who represents his brother, Sultan Abdul Halim, also Malaysia's current Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

    Mr Mukhriz yesterday hit back with defiance, urging the 14 state division chiefs of the United Malays National Organisation (Umno) - the main party in the BN - as well as its state wing leaders, who had called for his ouster on Jan 20 at a press conference, to apologise to the Sultan and the regency council for their actions.

    He said the press conference had offended the Sultan, adding that the group did not represent the majority of Umno nor the wishes of the Kedah people.

    Mr Mukhriz also said the six state executive councillors, who failed to attend the executive council meeting last Wednesday, must also apologise, as they had been remiss in carrying out their duty.

    Media reports earlier said 19 state Umno assemblymen - comprising a majority in the 36-member assembly - had signed sworn statements in support of Mr Mukhriz's removal.

    Mr Mukhriz is the son of former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, who has been accusing Prime Minister Najib Razak of corruption and incompetence and demanding his resignation.

    It was reported last week that Kedah's regency council had requested a formal letter on Mr Mukhriz's status in Umno and followed that up with an audience with him.

    On Friday, Mr Najib announced that he too had met the council on the Mukhriz issue, adding that the royalty did not reject a list of candidates he had proposed to replace the Chief Minister.

    Mr Najib also indicated that a motion of confidence would likely not be tabled at the Kedah assembly - which would be a constitutional way to remove Mr Mukhriz other than dismissal by the council, the Malay Mail newspaper reported.

    The Malaysia Chronicle online news portal said yesterday that Mr Najib is determined to remove Mr Mukhriz, as he has joined his father in criticising the Prime Minister over several scandals.