Report: Ex-Melaka CM Idris Haron denies he will defend Sungai Udang seat

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Sungai Udang assemblyman Datuk Seri Idris Haron speaks during a press conference in Melaka October 5, 2021. — Bernama pic
Sungai Udang assemblyman Datuk Seri Idris Haron speaks during a press conference in Melaka October 5, 2021. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 18 — Former Melaka chief minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron has dismissed claims suggesting that he will defend his Sungai Udang seat in the looming state election.

Idris was quoted as saying in an Utusan Malaysia report today that he was surprised to learn of the Tangga Batu Umno division claiming to have identified a candidate to go against him for the Sungai Udang seat.

He added that he had never announced that he would be defending the seat after agreeing to accept the challenge of Tangga Batu Umno division chief, Datuk Seri Mohamad Ali Mohamad.

Idris also said that since neither he nor Mohamad Ali were Sungai Udang locals, it was impossible for the seat to be their primary choice.

"Who said I want to defend Sungai Udang? Before this, Mohamad Ali challenged me, so I have to wait for him to announce which seat he will be contesting.

"Since Mohamad Ali and I are not locals from Sungai Udang, it is not nice to 'sit' there.

"Umno needs to give opportunities to locals to be elected as representatives in that state constituency.

"There are many seats where we can compete; for example, Klebang or Paya Rumput," he told Utusan Malaysia.

Yesterday, the Malay daily said that the Tangga Batu Umno division had identified the candidates for two hot seats, namely Sungai Udang and Pantai Kundor, ahead of the Melaka state election.

Before this, it was reported that Mohamad Ali had challenged Idris to contest any state seat, including the one currently held by Idris, Sungai Udang.

Meanwhile, Pantai Kundor assemblyman Datuk Nor Azman Hassan confirmed that he will be defending his seat in the coming state election.

He said what is certain is there is an understanding with the state Pakatan Harapan (PH) leadership to give way to him to defend the state seat.

"I will contest Pantai Kundor. As for which PH component quota, that has not been decided. The only definite thing is it will not be on an Independent ticket," he said.

The need for a new Melaka government, which would be the third in as many years in the state, was triggered by the withdrawal of support for Umno’s Sulaiman Md Ali by four assemblymen, causing him to lose the majority.

The four were Idris (Sungai Udang), Datuk Noor Azman Hassan (Pantai Kundur), Datuk Noor Effandi Ahmad (Telok Mas), and Datuk Norhizam Hassan Baktee (Pengkalan Batu).

Idris, a former chief minister, and Noor Azman were later sacked by Umno for their betrayal of the Barisan Nasional-led government, while Noor Effandi was also dismissed by Bersatu. Norhizam, formerly from DAP, is an Independent.

Following the assemblymen’s withdrawal of support, Melaka Governor Tun Mohd Ali Rustam consented to the dissolution of the state assembly, which means snap polls must be held within 60 days.

Melaka PH has since claimed that Mohd Ali erred in his decision to dissolve the state assembly, saying Sulaiman Md Ali, by losing his majority, had also lost his appointment as chief minister and eligibility to advise the governor, therefore nullifying the dissolution.

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