Ak57\’s Weblog

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Discordance in Perak

Frankly speaking, I feel this ‘crisis’ is just being played up by the media. Did anyone seriously think all three parties would break their pact nationwide?

Who Gets To Be Chief?

DAP wins 18 seats, PKR 7 and PAS 6. Logically speaking DAP should get the highest government position of Chief Minister, but the state constitution requires that person to be a Malay Muslim. So it follows that PKR should get that position.

Instead the Sultan picked the PAS candidate.

Naturally DAP, or should I say, Lim Kit Siang was furious and called for a boycott of the swearing-in ceremony. A strong, negative action when instead they should be showing support for the Opposition alliance. I guess it hasn’t hit home yet that the individual Opposition parties need to leave behind their ‘my rights take precedence over yours’ attitude for the sake of unity.

Lim Kit Siang did the right thing and apologised for the outrage caused by his statement and his son instructed the Perak DAP members to attend the ceremony. But at this point it didn’t seem to matter, because the Sultan decided to postpone the ceremony indefinitely.

Isn’t that sad? I feel sorry for both the PAS candidate and PAS as a party – without a swearing-in ceremony their victory seems less celebratory.

How will this go down in history? Perak liberated by the Opposition, but no swearing-in ceremony because DAP made some noise.

I don’t see it as DAP’s fault – yes they could have spared everyone the bad publicity by not calling for a boycott. But ultimately the decision was up to the Sultan. The Star reported that the ceremony had been postponed indefinitely, but NST reported that it had been postponed pending receipt by the palace of a jointly signed statement by the 31 state assemblymen that they agree to Nizar’s appointment as Chief Minister and will work together in a coalition government.

Dividing the Executive Council

This proved to be difficult for me to understand at first. DAP and PAS apparently had an agreement whereby eight of the ten seats be given to DAP, and the remaining two to PKR and PAS. If you compare the DUN seat ratio of 18-6 for DAP-PAS, it would make sense for DAP to have three times the Exco seats compared to PAS. So 6-2 seems fair.

I guess because DAP had no chance of getting the Chief Minister post they wanted more say in the Executive Council. If DAP had their way PKR would only have the lone Exco seat though, hence PKR’s protest that they would not take part in the administration of the Perak government if these allocations were not revised.

One party protests with a boycott of a ceremony, the other with a boycott of the government administration entirely. I tip my hat to the Opposition; they sure know how to make actions speak far, far louder than any words they could muster.

After some negotiations the final Executive Council line-up is:

  • 6 DAP
  • 3 PKR
  • 1 PAS
  • 1 Senator will be PKR, the other unknown

With a DAP chap as First Deputy Minister and a PKR person as Second Deputy Minister. That seems alright to me, though I wonder whether these two deputies get a swearing-in ceremony or not 😉 How do the three parties negotiate anyway? Hmm…

Conflict in Perak

Side note: While I didn’t care much for NST’s frontpage cartoons, first of the crumbling wheel with the DAP, PKR and PAS logos on it, and today’s one with three evil, scruffy looking cats fighting over a fish bowl (again with Opposition party labels); I must say the artist is quite talented. Its exactly the kind of political cartoon style I find in The Economist, a style I like very much but sadly am not good enough to do 😛 Hope NST breaks out of its Opposition-hatred mode soon.

References:

  • NST: DAP throws spanner in Perak govt plan (link)
  • NST: Kit Siang apologises to regent (link)
  • NST: Regent wants written assurance from parties (link) (another, related article)
  • The Star: Swearing in called off (link)
  • Malaysiakini: Deal stitched, all systems go for Perak (link)
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Written by ak57

March 15, 2008 at 2:13 am

Posted in Local News, Malaysian Elections, Politics

Tagged with , , ,

One Response

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  1. […] can remember that the Perak state government had a difficult birth, which I wrote about previously here. Over the months since then I heard rumours of tensions in the coalition government but nothing […]


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