Johor exco reshuffle suggests PH-BN disunity at state level, says analyst

johor exco reshuffle suggests ph-bn disunity at state level, says analyst

Johor menteri besar Onn Hafiz Ghazi and his Pahang counterpart, Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail, announced changes to their state executive councils on Feb 13 and 14, respectively.

PETALING JAYA: The omission of Pakatan Harapan assemblymen from the newly reshuffled Johor executive council suggests discord in the PH-Barisan Nasional partnership at state level, says an analyst.

Azmil Tayeb of Universiti Sains Malaysia said Johor Umno’s move to exclude PH representatives was “surprising”, given that PH had appointed BN assemblymen to positions in the Selangor, Penang and Negeri Sembilan excos.

“It’s not a good move since it shows clear signs of disunity within the unity government at state level,” he told FMT, adding that PH “deserves to be part of the (Johor) exco line up” as it holds 12 state seats.

All 11 members of Johor’s exco are BN representatives.

Azmil said at least two or three highly qualified PH assemblymen should have been given exco positions. However, he said Johor Umno may not have wanted to appear “too cozy” with PH, and especially DAP, in the eyes of Malay voters.

The reshuffle, announced by Johor menteri besar Onn Hafiz Ghazi last week, saw Tanjung Surat assemblyman Aznan Tamin sworn in and appointed the education and information committee chairman, replacing Norliza Noh.

Onn Hafiz, the Machap assemblyman, added state tourism to his existing portfolios of state land revenue, and administration, finance, planning and economic development.

Other changes involved the swapping of portfolios among existing exco members.

Meanwhile, Pahang’s exco, which comprises nine members from BN and two from PH, saw three portfolios swapped in a recent reshuffling exercise.

BN’s Amizar Abu Adam was sworn in as an exco member and appointed chairman of the Felda affairs, cooperatives and entrepreneurs committee, taking over from Muadzam Shah assemblyman Razali Kassim.

Razali, also from BN, was given charge of the public works, transport and health portfolios, taking over from Bebar assemblyman Fakhruddin Ariff, who now chairs the local government, housing, environment and green technology committee.

Meanwhile, Chin Yee Mun, who heads the Tan Cheng Lock Centre for Social and Policy Studies at Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman, described the changes in the Johor and Pahang excos as “minor reshuffles” that maintained the status quo.

He pointed out that Amizar was only filling a vacancy that occurred following former Pelangai assemblyman Johari Harun’s death in a plane crash near Bandar Elmina in Shah Alam in August 2023.

“Overall, I think the reshuffles are in order and are not a sign that BN is leaving PH out.

“It is a move to make some changes to strengthen the state governments while ensuring status quo, meaning BN is not taking over more portfolios at the expense of PH while at the same time ensuring its supporters that BN is still in power,” he said.

Chin also explained that the Johor state exco’s all-BN line-up was maintained as its state government existed before the formation of the unity government at federal level.

“On the other hand, the distribution of portfolios had been agreed by PH and BN when both coalitions decided to work together to form the Pahang state government following GE15,”he said.

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