Umno and Bersatu have joined forced to form the state government in Johor, following the collapse of Pakatan Harapan after the recent political impasse.

According to a statement by the Johor palace, the two parties have attained a simple majority in the state assembly.

"Following the announcement by Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin that the party had quit Pakatan Harapan, the Johor state government became a hung assembly without a majority.

"Johor Menteri Besar Dr Shaharuddin Jamal (of Bersatu), and state Umno chairman Hasni Mohammad then had an audience with His Highness the Johor Sultan on Feb 26, and informed that a new coalition comprising several state assemblypersons have beenformed, and that they have the simple majority to form the government," the Sultan's private secretary, Jaba Mohd Noah, said in the statement.

The state ruler, Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar, then interviewed the assemblypersons to gauge their standing, and were asked to state their allegiance via a Statutory Declaration (SD) on whether they supported Pakatan Harapan or the new coalition.

The interview was witnessed by the State Secretary and the State Legal Advisor, and all of the 56 assemblypersons summoned, except two, attended the session.

"After the interview session, His Highness Tuanku was satisfied that the new coalition had attained a simple majority to form the state government, with 28 assemblypersons choosing the new coalition, compared to 26 who chose Pakatan Harapan.

"Therefore, the new coalition has the rights to nominate a Menteri Besar candidate, before a new exco line up is finalised," said the statement.

Meanwhile, in Kedah, Mukhriz Mahathir will remain as the state Menteri Besar, after obtaining the support from PKR, DAP, and Amanah.

In a press conference in Alor Setar this afternoon, Mukhriz said he had attained the support letters of 18 assemblymen for him to retain his position, and the message had been conveyed to the state ruler.

Malay Rulers To Convene

On the federal level, the Malay Rulers are expected to meet with the Yang diPertuan Agong, Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah, tomorrow, to discuss on the ongoing political impasse.

This after the King had individually interviewed all MPs to gauge which party has the majority support to form the federal government, and choose the eighth prime minister.

Interim Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad had earlier today, met the King again.

Mahathir, in a televised address to the nation yesterday, apologised for the chaos, and said if given a chance to lead the country again, he would take a unity government approach.

Pakatan Harapan lawmakers, however, had unanimously chosen Port Dickson MP Anwar Ibrahim, as their candidate for prime minister.

Mahathir To Return To Bersatu

Meanwhile, reports state that Mahathir is set to return to Bersatu, just days after quitting. However, it is unclear whether he will return as chairman, or just an advisor.

The impasse happened after former PKR deputy president Mohamed Azmin Ali, senior PKR leader Zuraida Kamarudin, as well as representatives from Bersatu, BN, PAS, GPS and Warisan, met with the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong on the formation of a new government, over the weekend.

The group staging the coup had reportedly used Mahathir's name without his consent, causing the latter to quit as PM, and also quit Bersatu. The party then pulled out of Pakatan Harapan.

Azmin and Zuraida were later fired from PKR over the move. Their exit caused an exodus of at least nine other MPs from the party.

Photo source: Astro Awani