Datuk Seri Najib Razak said the ousting of Bersatu’s Ahmad Faizal Azumu as Perak Mentri Besar today was due to two main issues that Umno did not agree with.
In a Facebook post, the former prime minister said the two reasons were the sale of 15,000 hectares of palm oil plantations owned by the state to Singapore-based Taiko Plantations Pte Ltd and the appointment of an Umno assemblyman as Ahmad Faizal’s political secretary without approval from the state Umno leadership.
Najib said the selling price of the palm oil plantation announced in April after the PN government took over was RM342 million, while the total value of the estate is RM1.03 billion, which is only 35 percent of the original price of the plot of land.
“Last year, the late Datuk Khusairi Abdul Talib, who was Slim assemblyman warned the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government not to sell the oil palm plantations worth RM1.03 billion that gives Perak a huge profit of RM40 million a year, at cheap to Singapore-based Taiko Plantations.
“After the collapse of the Perak PH government, the PH Perak MB became the Perikatan Nasional (PN) Perak MB, and the sale continued through direct negotiations without tenders even though the price of palm oil has reached RM3,400 a tonne compared to RM1,800 to RM2,000 last year,” he said.
Najib then pointed out that the appointment of an Umno assemblyman as the political secretary of the Perak MB without reference and approval from the Umno state leadership also contributed to the downfall of Ahmad Faizal.
“Perak Umno has been on the alert for a long time after Bersatu Perak took some Umno assemblymen after the 14th general election. That is why an agreement was made when the Perak PN government was formed after PH fell in March.
“Among the agreements was that every political appointment must get the consent of their respective parties, and even though Umno has warned Perak MB several times not to appoint an Umno assemblyman as his political secretary, Ahmad Faizal simply ignored the advice.
“It seems that Umno Perak and the inter-party agreements are not important. The appointment of an Umno assemblyman and the attitude of the Ahmad Faizal refusing to entertain Umno protests is a moment of clarity for Umno Perak,” Najb said.
On October 12, Azumu appointed Umno’s Pengkalan Hulu assemblyperson Datuk Aznel Ibrahim as his political secretary.
Najib further clarified that those who tried to accuse Umno of colluding with DAP and PKR in Perak to overthrow the Mentri Besar is simply false as PH has been waiting long to overthrow Ahmad Faizal as they look at him as a traitor, as he switched sides during PH’s downfall in March.
“This is not true because PH Perak has been waiting for a long time to overthrow the Perak MB because PH thinks they were betrayed by the Perak MB, who also took some PH assemblymen with him,” Najib said.
Earlier today, Ahmad Faizal lost a motion of confidence that was tabled against him at the state legislative assembly.
Perak Speaker Datuk Mohammad Zahir Abdul Kalid announced the results showing that 48 assemblymen had voted against Ahmad Faizal, while only 10 supported him. – MMO