Barisan Nasional’s (BN) Saarani Mohamad was sworn in yesterday as the new menteri besar of Perak, the first state to form a government after the 15th general election (GE15) last Saturday.
Saarani, the Kota Tampan assemblyman, took his oath of office before Perak ruler Sultan Nazrin Shah at Istana Iskandariah Kuala Kangsar at 5.30pm.
It was earlier announced that BN and Pakatan Harapan (PH) had agreed to form a unity government in Perak.
No single party or coalition obtained a simple majority in the Perak state election, with Perikatan Nasional (PN) winning 26 seats, PH 24 and BN nine in the 59-member state assembly.
Apart from Perak, two other states – Perlis and Pahang – also held their state elections alongside GE15.
The previous Perak government was a coalition involving BN, Bersatu and PAS.
Saarani, who is Perak BN and Umno chairman, has been the Kota Tampan assemblyman since 2004 and was first appointed as the Perak menteri besar on Dec 10, 2020.
In GE15, Saarani obtained 5,468 votes to beat Mohd Jamil Yahya of PN and Mohd Sabri Abdul Manaf of PH.
He was also the Perak opposition leader from 2018 to 2020.
As the menteri besar in December 2020, he took the unprecedented step of giving an equal allocation of RM200,000 to all the 59 state assemblymen, regardless of whether they were from the government or the opposition.
Saarani said BN opted to form a unity government with PH in Perak as PH had offered BN the oppotunity to lead the state.
Under the BN-PH cooperation, BN would also be given three state executive councillor posts and the post of state assembly speaker, he added.
"This role (as menteri besar) is suitable for me. I accepted it (the offer) as I’m the one who initiated Perak Sejahtera 2030 and I want to continue leading it.
"At 3am on the night of the (GE15) results, Perak Bersatu secretary Zainol Fadzi Paharudin visited me but could not make any decision as his mandate was only to arrange a meeting between me and state Perikatan Nasional (PN) chairman Ahmad Faizal Azumu.
"The three of us met later and I informed them of the PH offer (menteri besar post). So, PN was free to make its offer to me but until yesterday they did not offer anything," he told a news conference after being sworn in.