Umno’s Hasni sworn in as 18th Johor MB, promises to be ‘leader for all’

Ben Tan
Newly-minted Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad (left) receiving his appointment letter and taking his oath of office before Johor ruler Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar in Johor Baru February 28, 2020. — Picture courtesy of Johor Royal Press Office

JOHOR BARU, Feb 28 — Datuk Hasni Mohammad took his oath of office as Johor’s 18th mentri besar before state Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar this afternoon amid a political impasse enveloping the rest of the country.

The newly-minted MB from Umno vowed to focus on the state’s recovery for the sake of all Johoreans while Malaysia awaits a decision on its eighth prime minister.

“I believe that now is the time for all of us to give our attention and energy to restore the state and ensure that Johor receives the best.

“As a Bangsa Johor, I will be a leader for all. I call upon all parties to pray and work together with me to provide the best for Johor and its people,” Hasni said in his first press conference.

Present was Johor MIC chief R. Vidyanathan, state PAS Commissioner Husin Abdullah and state Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) chief Mazlan Bujang.

The 61-year-old Hasni who is Benut assemblyman had earlier received his appointment letter at the swearing-in ceremony at Istana Bukit Serene here.

Also present at the swearing-in ceremony is Tunku Mahkota Johor Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim.

Hasni said that his appointment was in line with the state constitution, which grants the sultan the prerogative to decide who is MB.

He said his appointment was made possible with the support of Umno, Bersatu, MIC and PAS and added this new cooperation will form the basis of the new state government replacing Pakatan Hatapan (PH).

Newly-minted Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad (centre) said state ruler Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar had used his prerogative under the Johor State Constitution 1895 to appoint him as the mentri besar. — Picture by Ben Tan

Hasni, who is also the Johor Barisan Nasional (BN) chief and also state Umno liaison chief, said he will discuss with Mazlan and Husin to form the new state executive committee lineup, which he assured would mirror the racial composition of the state.

“Based on convention, I am given about a week to present my state executive committee line-up to Sultan Ibrahim for his consent.

“For Johor, with PAS having a single state assembly seat, we will still be discussing with Husin and also Mazlan on the matter.

“Now is the time to put aside past political differences to make Johor great again,” said Hasni.

Hasni replaces Datuk Dr Sahruddin Jamal of Bersatu, who was appointed Johor’s 17th Mentri Besar on April 14, 2019.

Hasni’s appointment followed a deadlock in the 54-seat state assembly, prompting Sultan Ibrahim to step in and conduct an interview to determine which assemblyman held the majority support to be MB.

Hasni is the third Johor MB in less than three years after the 14th General Election on May 9, 2018.

Previously, PH had 39 seats in the 56-member Johor state assembly comprising 14 from DAP, 11 from Bersatu, nine from Parti Amanah Negara and five from PKR.

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