By Adib Zalkapli
KUALA LUMPUR, March 24 — The simmering discontent with Perlis Mentri Besar Datuk Dr Md Isa Sabu among his Umno rivals in the state is threatening to boil over following the resignation of Titi Tinggi assemblyman Yip Sun Onn.
Former Perlis Umno information chief Datuk Hashim Suboh said today that the resignation of MCA’s Yip is evidence that Md Isa has failed to provide leadership in the state.
“Yip’s resignation confirms our early analysis that Datuk Md Isa’s leadership has not been accepted by the people,” said Hashim who heads Mantap, an organisation that aims to unseat Md Isa.
Hashim claimed that the organisation had recently surveyed some 7,000 Perlis voters and found out that fewer than ten per cent were still confident of Md Isa’s leadership.
He told The Malaysian Insider that the problems which led to Yip’s resignation would not have happened if Md Isa was not made the mentri besar after Election 2008.
“If the appointment of mentri besar had been made according to party procedure, meaning allowing Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim to take the post, we would not have seen this problem,” said Hashim.
Md Isa was appointed Mentri Besar despite an apparent decision by Barisan Nasional’s (BN) national leadership to let Shahidan continue to head the state government.
But Shahidan, who had been the mentri besar since 1995, was said to have not enjoyed the confidence of the majority of the state assemblymen.
Md Isa was appointed Mentri Besar with the support of nine of the 15 state assemblymen.
“I am not supporting Datuk Seri Shahidan as an individual. It is the principle that I am defending. He was then the Perlis Umno chief and his appointment as MB was agreed to by former Prime Minister Tun Abdullah (Badawi),” said Hashim.
“Adhering to the procedure would have led to greater compliance not only among Umno leaders but also other BN component parties to the leadership, because the assemblymen would not take the MB’s views for granted if he has the legitimacy to lead,” he added.
Yip resigned yesterday almost one week after he was dropped from the Perlis executive council in favour of another MCA lawmaker Dr Por Choo Chor.
Perlis Assembly Speaker Yazid Mat however said that he would not forward the resignation letter to the Election Commission (EC) in an attempt to persuade Yip to retract the resignation.