Sunday March 9, 2008
New Kedah MB sworn in (updated)
By EMBUN MAJID
ALOR STAR: State PAS Commissioner Azizan Abdul Razak was sworn in as the ninth Kedah Mentri Besar at 3.30pm Sunday.
Azizan, 68, took his oath before Sultan Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah at Wisma Darul Aman at 3.40pm Sunday, witnessed by royalty and dignitaries.
Outgoing MB Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid, triumphant assemblymen from PAS and PKR and Barisan representatives, who will play the unaccustomed role as members of the opposition here, witnessed the ceremony.
Azizan, a graduate of Al-Azhar University who holds a Master's degree in Philosophy of Law from Kent University, will lead a coalition government between his party, PKR and an Independent.
The opposition swept 22 of the 36 state seats, with PAS winning 16, PKR winning four, and DAP and Independent winning one each.
Azizan, who retained his Sungai Limau seat, told a press conference later that he would announce the new state executive council line-up soon.
“We are discussing the allocation of seats with PKR. There will be 11 exco members including myself as MB,” he added.
He said Independent candidate V. Arumugam, who won the Bukit Selambau seat against an MIC candidate, would be invited to join the exco to represent the Indian community.
A PKR contestant had defeated the MIC’s other candidate in Lunas.
On the PAS’ election manifesto, Azizan said the party would try to implement as many of the 15-point agenda pledged which include reviewing the perks of the MB and exco members, and setting up religious institutions.
“There are some that we will give priority to. I need to study the manifesto again to see which will be implemented first,” he said, adding the coalition government would try to fulfil the needs of Chinese and Indians voters who backed the opposition.
On the Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER) project in Kedah, Azizan said the new government would review its implementation.
“We will also review the Yan Petroleum Industrial Zone project and the increase of quit rent. We will give rebates to those who paid the new quit rent rates,” he assured.
Azizan said the new government would review projects planned by the previous government.
Asked if his state government would have similar policies to that of the Kelantan PAS Government, Azizan said: “We will use the Kelantan PAS government as a model but we will be different.”
On the State Secretary’s position currently being held by Datuk Wira Syed Unan Mashri Syed Abdullah, who is also private secretary to the Sultan, Azizan said he did not see the need to make any change.
On the Sultan’s 50th Golden Jubilee Celebrations this July, the new MB said all events planned would proceed as scheduled.
“However the expenses for the celebration will be reviewed,” he added.