KUALA LUMPUR - The role of appointing the new Johor menteri besar lies with the party that won the election, not with the Sultan of Johor, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said on Wednesday (April 10).
"It will take some time to appoint an acting menteri besar of Johor. We will try to appoint one as soon as possible.
"We have a few candidates we have to trace; very quickly, we will find him," said Tun Dr Mahathir.
When pressed if it was the Sultan of Johor who would be appointing the MB or acting MB, Dr Mahathir said: "This is a political decision."
He did not confirm if Johor exco member Sahruddin Jamal from Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia was among the candidates for the post.
"I do not know," said Dr Mahathir, who was speaking to the media after opening the 15th Kuala Lumpur Islamic Finance Forum.
Johor MB Osman Sapian resigned from his post on Monday. Following that, Dr Mahathir said the replacement must come from Bersatu.
Dr Sahruddin, the state Health, Environment and Agriculture Committee chairman, is widely regarded as the front runner, but it is understood that the other Pakatan Harapan parties have also nominated their assemblymen for the post.
On Tuesday, Crown Prince of Johor, Tunku Ismail Ibni Sultan Ibrahim, tweeted that he hoped the new MB would not be a "yes man" to Putrajaya.
"The welfare of the people and well-being of the state must always be a priority," he wrote in his official Twitter account, adding that a decree to change the MB had been ongoing for a while.
"But somebody else is taking the credit and mileage, claiming that he ordered it.
"His Majesty (Sultan Ibrahim) has reviewed to change the menteri besar months ago," said Tunku Ismail.
He added that the appointment of the Johor MB was the absolute right of the state Ruler.