Osman Sapian has tendered his resignation, 11 months after being sworn in as the first non-Umno menteri besar of Johor.
Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad confirmed the Bersatu member's resignation this evening.
He said Osman submitted his letter to him when the pair met in Putrajaya yesterday, which Osman's aide had claimed was over the 9th Malaysia-Singapore Leaders' Retreat.
“The Johor menteri besar has resigned yesterday in a letter to me (and he will) send a letter to the Johor sultan,” Mahathir said in a press conference in Parliament today.
When pressed on the reason behind Osman’s resignation, he declined to answer.
“We are not going to say why he has stepped down but he has stepped down.
“There was a reason given. He wanted to step down and we accepted,” Mahathir said.
He was then asked to clarify the process Osman went through to resign from his position.
“He had an audience with Duli Yang Maha Mulia Mahathir Mohamad,” Mahathir said jokingly, eliciting laughter from the reporters.
The prime minister explained that Osman had two letters with him when they met last night, one directed to the premier and the other to Johor ruler Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar.
However, Osman has yet to hand the letter to the Johor ruler as he is out of the country, he said.
Mahathir said they already have three to four candidates to fill the Johor menteri besar position.
He added that, in line with the Pakatan Harapan agreement, the next menteri besar will be from Bersatu.
In the meantime, he said, they might appoint an acting menteri besar.
There had been much talk about Osman stepping down as Johor menteri besar in the past few days, though his aide had initially downplayed the speculation.
The resignation of the menteri besar came amid tension between Putrajaya and the Johor palace.