JOHOR BAHRU, March 15 — Machap assemblyman Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi was sworn in as the 19th Menteri Besar of Johor today following Barisan Nasional’s victory in the state election on Saturday.
Onn, 44, took his oath of office before the Sultan of Johor Sultan Ibrahim Almarhum Sultan Iskandar at the Balai Mengadap (Audience Hall) of Istana Bukit Serene here.
Also at the ceremony were the Tunku Mahkota of Johor Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim and Johor BN chairman Datuk Hasni Mohammad.
Photographs of the swearing-in ceremony were uploaded on Sultan Ibrahim’s Facebook account.
In the state polls, Onn Hafiz, 44, defeated Azlisham Azahar from Perikatan Nasional (PN), R. Sangaran (MUDA) and Datuk Dr Sharuddin Md Salleh (Pejuang) with a 6,543-vote majority.
Onn Hafiz, who is the great-grandson of UMNO founder and former president Datuk Onn Jaafar, was Johor Tourism, Youth and Sports Committee chairman until the state legislative assembly was dissolved on Jan 22.
An accounting degree holder from the University of Hertfordshire in the United Kingdom, he was also Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein’s political secretary from 2013 until 2018.
Onn Hafiz’s appointment came as a surprise as throughout the recent election campaign, only Hasni’s name was mentioned by BN as the Johor Menteri Besar candidate.
Yesterday, Hasni, who is also Johor BN chairman, suggested that the BN leadership choose a younger leader to lead Johor, saying that the support and position of youths were important in the development of Johor.
Hasni was appointed Menteri Besar on Feb 28, 2020.
Hasni is the third Menteri Besar to be appointed since the 14th general election in 2018 after the late Datuk Osman Sapian and Datuk Dr Sahruddin Jamal.
In Saturday’s elections, BN won with more than a two-thirds majority, taking 40 out of the 56 seats contested.
Earlier, the official car carrying Sultan Ibrahim was seen arriving at Istana Bukit Serene at about 2.50 pm.
Newsmen, after obtaining information of a possible swearing-in ceremony, began gathering at the palace grounds at noon.