Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi today confirmed that Datuk Seri Sulaiman Md Ali has resigned as the Melaka chief minister.

Amid rumours that Datuk Seri Ab Rauf Yusoh would replace Sulaiman, Sinar Harian quoted the Umno president as saying the Lendu assemblyman tendered his resignation to him in Parliament yesterday.

Zahid said he would call on Melaka Governor Tun Mohd Ali Rustam to propose Sulaiman’s replacement soon.

“I will depend on the wisdom of His Excellency to accept the proposal that I will present, and the date of the swearing-in ceremony (for the new chief minister) will be set according to His Excellency,” Zahid was quoted as saying at a press conference in Kampung Lebu, Bentong, Pahang.

Zahid did not say when he would seek to meet Mohd Ali or how many candidates he would propose.

On rumours that Tanjung Bidara assemblyman Ab Rauf could be among those proposed, Zahid would “neither confirm nor deny” the matter.

However, he alluded to the formation of a unity government in Melaka, and that the change in chief ministers could be part of such a plan.

“We will see the latest developments when the new chief minister convenes the Melaka state assembly after Raya,” he was quoted as saying.

On Monday, Zahid hinted that a new unity government could be formed in Melaka.

In the Melaka state election held in November 2021, Barisan Nasional (BN) won 21 of the total 28 seats in the state assembly and gained sole control of the state government.

After the 14th general election, however, BN joined former rival Pakatan Harapan and two Borneo coalitions to form the federal government.

A message had also gone viral on WhatsApp thanking Sulaiman for leading the state.

Members of the media had gathered for three hours at the chief minister’s office at Seri Negara today as Sulaiman chaired a state government meeting.

However, they were told that Sulaiman did not want to meet the press.

This is not the first time rumours that Sulaiman would be replaced had surfaced.

In November 2021, after the state election, Rauf had been accused of trying to lobby top party leaders to be named for the chief minister’s post. He was also absent when Sulaiman was sworn in.

Rauf later denied talk of any turmoil in the newly formed state government, saying Sulaiman had the backing of all Umno division chiefs. Rauf was also made executive councillor for industry, investment and entrepreneurial development.

In December, Sulaiman denied speculation that he would be resigning from the post the following month. This followed a media report that he would be resigning on Jan 3 to make way for Rauf.

Rauf then claimed that certain quarters were trying to drive a wedge between him and Sulaiman by spreading malicious rumours about their relationship.

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