Three Barisan Nasional state assemblymen are said to be in line for the Perak Mentri Besar’s post should Barisan succeed in forming the government there.
They are Wan Mohd Khairil Anuar Wan Ahmad (Bukit Chandan), Datuk Zambri Kadir (Pangkor) and Datuk Ramly Zahari (Manong).
Wan Mohd Khairil Anuar is a first-term state assemblyman who beat Zulkifly Ibrahim of PKR by 1,694 votes in last March’s general election.
Zambri won his seat with a thumping majority of 5,785 and is the current unofficial opposition chief in the State Assembly.
Ramly, meanwhile, is among the more well-known faces in Perak and also the state Umno secretary.
However, sources said there was also a strong possibility that whoever was chosen would only be an interim Mentri Besar as the “real intended candidate” was actually a Member of Parliament.
Two MPs who have been mentioned as strong contenders are Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (Bagan Datoh) and Deputy Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Hamzah Zainuddin (Larut).
Zahid, according to the sources, is the “darling” of Perak Umno and said to have a very good relationship with the palace. Hamzah also enjoys a very good relationship with the palace.
Sources said the leadership has already explored the possibility of calling for a by-election to enable one of the two MPs to take over within a year.
“This will require a state assemblyman to willingly vacate his seat. The leadership is looking at Pengkalan Hulu as that is the safest seat for Barisan,” they said.
The state assemblyman for Pengkalan Hulu is former Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Tajol Rosli Ghazali.
Tajol Rosli recently stated that he was willing to vacate his seat to enable a by-election to be held just to prove that Barisan was still the people’s choice.