Ak57\’s Weblog

Thoughts and opinions on Malaysian news, its people and its culture

Crisis in Perlis

This is a dull skippable post, no analysis or comic – just for record keeping purposes.

Confusion reigns over the appointment of the new menteri besar  for Perlis with the palace announcing one name while Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi reveals another version.

Earlier today, it was reported that Shahidan Kassim had failed to retain the post which he has held since 1995.

Raja Perlis Syed Sirajuddin’s private secretary Moh Adib Zakaria said that his highness had appointed Dr Md Isa Sabu as menteri besar instead.

Moh Adib said Article 39 (2) of the state constitution states that the Raja can appoint whoever he feels has the trust of the members to be menteri besar.

Md Isa is the state assemblyperson for Bintong.

Later, Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said he has given Shahidan his appointment letter.

“I gave the letter to Shahidan who is the Barisan Nasional (BN) Perlis liaison committee chairperson who won (in the elections).

“The letter has to be presented to his highness the Raja Perlis so that he (Shahidan) will be appointed menteri besar and form the state government,” he was quoted as saying by Bernama.

– quoted from an article published in Malaysiakini on 14th March 2008 (link)

I found this crisis to be more interesting than what was going on in Perak, because instead of political party infighting, this was a case of Sultan versus BN; a battle usually lost by the Sultan(s). Nice to see the law empowering the Sultan in this scenario 🙂

Shahidan’s response? To have a gathering in Putrajaya with his supporters on the 14th of March, possibly to intercept the PM during Friday prayers (only Najib came).

“If there is anybody else who has been appointed, then it means that the person is not from BN… If he is not in support of the (recommendation of) prime minister, then he is not BN.

“How can the person be from BN if the person does not support his (Abdullah’s) choice?” he said.

While the choice of MB is the prerogative of the Sultan, Shahidan said he will oppose whoever is appointed MB in his place.

“Whoever is swore in other than me, I am of the view he is not from BN, and I will oppose him,” said Shahidan.

– quoted from the same Malaysiakini article

Unfortunately for Shahidan, 10 of the 15 Perlis State Assemblymen went to the Sultan and recommended that Md Isa was the better choice. Even the PM went to meet the Sultan on the 15th of March, after which he accepted the choice of Md Isa. Shahidan tried one last time to save his job by seeing the PM the next day, but it came to naught.

As expected, Shahidan did not come for the swearing-in ceremony on the 17th of March. One victory for the Sultanate, now on record!


  • Malaysiakini: Perlis MB Confusion (link)
  • NST: Majority of Perlis reps back me, claims Md Isa (link)
  • NST: Call to close ranks and support Md Isa (link)
  • NST: Isa’s swearing-in goes smoothly but Shahidan stays away (link)

Written by ak57

March 20, 2008 at 6:55 pm

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