Umno sacks Perlis MB hours after swearing in (Updated)

KUALA LUMPUR: The Perlis mentri besar saga took a twist today when Umno sacked Datuk Seri Azlan Man two hours after he was sworn in at 11am today.

Nine Umno state assemblymen had boycotted the ceremony.

Azlan's sacking was confirmed by Perlis Umno liaison committee chief Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim who said the Azlan's actions were at odds with party policy.

However, an official statement from the central Umno committee on the sacking is still pending.

"Azlan's appointment did not receive the majority support from Perlis BN assemblymen. He should not have accepted the appointment when he does not have the support of the majority.

"Perlis Umno as part of BN has axed Azlan Man with effect from today. Go ahead and be an MB without a party," he lashed out during a media conference at Menara Dato Onn here today.

Shahidan, who was re-elected as Arau MP in the 14th general election (GE14) said since BN had won 10 out of 15 seats in the recent election, Tambun Tulang assemblyman Ismail Kassim commanded the confidence of the majority to form the state government.

Ismail is Shahidan's younger brother.

Shahidan added that the sacking was also conveyed to Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who is now performing the duties of Umno president, and Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, who is performing the duties of deputy president.

All nine state assemblymen who skipped the swearing-in ceremony were present at the press conference.

Perlis Umno leaders earlier had a two-hour meeting with Ahmad Zahid and Hishammuddin.

Shahidan also appealed to Raja of Perlis, Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin Putra Jamalullail, asking him not to interfere in the state government, and called on Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to intervene in the mentri besar's appointment.

The over two-week saga on the next mentri besar of Perlis drew to a close earlier when Azlan, who is Bintong assemblyman, was sworn-in before Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin Putra at Istana Arau.

Azlan was the previous mentri besar, and under his leadership, Perlis became the only state in the west coast of the peninsular that did not fall to the Pakatan Harapan coalition's juggernaut in the just concluded 14th general election.

The 60-year-old technocrat was a former career diplomat in the Foreign Ministry before he joined politics full time in 2013.

The tussle over who should be the mentri besar saw a power struggle brewing as Shahidan had proposed Ismail, the Tambun Tulang assemblyman as BN's preferred choice to lead the state.

However, Azlan claimed that he was not consulted, prompting the state palace to intervene in the matter.