Datuk Seri Idris Haron reportedly discontented by more than one decision by state leadership since GE14
KUALA LUMPUR : It appears the crisis within the Melaka Umno ranks, which led to the recent collapse of the state government, can be traced back to 2018 when the party held its polls, according to an insider.
Party veteran Datuk Seri Kamal Amir Kamal Hijaz said Datuk Seri Idris Haron, who was sacked by Umno earlier this week for his role in the crisis, was discontented by a number of decisions made by the leadership since the election.
Chiefly, Idris was supposedly frustrated that he was overlooked for a couple of key appointments in the state.
Kamal Amir said the first incident occurred in July 2018, when Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi – then freshly elected – appointed Datuk Seri Ab Rauf Yusoh to head Melaka Umno, replacing Idris.
“Idris wanted to keep his position as state liaison chief, so he was not satisfied when he wasn’t given the role,” he said today.
“But it has been Umno’s convention to appoint the state chairman from among division leaders. Idris, unfortunately, failed to defend his Tangga Batu division chief post.”
Idris’ defeat was among the biggest shocks during the Umno polls in June 2018, although he did successfully defend his Sg Udang seat during the general election a month earlier.
There have been speculations that money politics were involved to ensure Umno delegates did not vote for Idris for the Tangga Batu division chief position, with a rumour of a falling-out between him and Zahid swirling back then.
The transition of the Melaka government in March last year following the infamous Sheraton Move, which also saw a change in federal administration, further aggravated the tussle.
Kamal Amir said then, Idris, a former Melaka chief minister himself, was again left frustrated after the responsibility of leading the state was given to Datuk Seri Sulaiman Md Ali.
Rauf, while he is the state Umno chairman and Tangga Batu division chief, is not an assemblyman, so he can’t be the chief minister. So, the position was instead given to Sulaiman, who is the secretary in Rauf’s Tangga Batu division. That didn’t please Idris one bit, and this led to the crisis we are seeing today. But in terms of party hierarchy, Sulaiman deserves the chief ministership more because at least he holds the position of division secretary.”
The Melaka Legislative Assembly was dissolved effective Monday after Idris led three other assemblymen to withdraw their support for Sulaiman, citing a loss of confidence over his handling of the government.
Idris and another Umno lawmaker – Datuk Nor Azman Hassan – were swiftly sacked by the party for their actions.
Rauf should take responsibility, too
However, Kamal Amir believes the two former Melaka reps should not be the only ones receiving their marching orders from the party, and that Rauf should similarly take the blame.
“First of all, I think the decision to announce the dissolution of the state assembly was done too hastily. Rauf, as Umno liaison chief, should be responsible.”
“He also overstepped his boundaries when he announced the dissolution. This should only be made by the chief minister or the governor.
“Finally, Rauf had been meeting Melaka DAP lawmakers to get their support when the crisis was first brewing in the state. So, I feel he deserves disciplinary action, too.”
Regardless, Kamal Amir said Idris’ decision to pull out his support for the state government could have been avoided had he sought the advice of Umno’s top leadership.
When pointed out that Idris had claimed that all channels within Umno had been blocked for him, Kamal Amir said he could still have aired his grievances through the media.
“Don’t be a sour grape. Whatever he said, his action (of withdrawing support for the chief minister) can be considered as a betrayal to the party, and so were Rauf’s actions.”