Ak57\’s Weblog

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

Uncertain Times in Perak

crisis_perak_gloves_webOnce again Perak seems to be undergoing a crisis, and I am uncertain where it is headed. Frankly speaking I’m confused exactly when it started as I have not been paying close attention to what is going on outside KL/Selangor/USA. This seems to be the chain of events:

1.    Two State Assemblymen (ADUN) – Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi (PKR-Behrang) and Osman Jailu (PKR-Changkat Jering) were involved in some kind of corruption scandal last year. As the charges have yet to be proven, I can’t assume they are guilty.

2.    These men went missing sometime in January/early February and there was speculation that they were going to jump to BN.

3.    A BN ADUN, Nasarudin Hashim (UMNO – Bota), joined PKR on January 25th. His action was looked upon as a victory by PKR.

4.    On February 1st the Perak State Assembly Speaker, V.Sivakumar, anonymously received two resignation letters signed by Jamaluddin and Osman. He declared the Behrang and Changkat Jering seats vacant and informed the Election Commission (EC) the next day to hold by-elections.

5.    On February 2nd the EC was informed of the resignations, but Jamaluddin and Osman publicly disputed the authenticity of the resignation letters. They claimed that they were still PKR ADUNs, and the letters given to the Speaker had been signed by them after the March 8th elections and were held by PKR Perak.

6.    PKR Headquarters stated that the two men remained PKR members but were no longer holding their seats and that the resignation was indeed valid.

7.    The Election Commission issued a statement that they would not recognise the validity of the resignation letters so no by-elections would be held.

8.    On February 3rd, Perak DAP Chief Ngeh Koo Ham, V.Sivakumar and Lim Kit Siang reacted strongly against the EC’s decision. The EC was given an ultimatum of 48 hours to review their decision, failing which Pakatan Rakyat would call for the resignation of the EC Chief.

9.    On the same day, Jamaluddin and Osman declared that they had left PKR and become Independents.

10.    On February 4th, Nasarudin Hashim rejoined UMNO.

11.    Hee Yit Fong (DAP – Jelapang) who had been showing indications that she too might leave DAP, finally announced her decision to become an Independent.

12.    After the three defections, Pakatan Rakyat holds 28 seats (DAP – 17, PAS – 6, PKR – 5) against BN’s 28 (UMNO – 27, MCA – 1).

13.    With all the recent developments going on, the Chief Minister of Perak, Mohd. Nizar (PAS) requested the Sultan of Perak to dissolve the State Assembly and have state wide elections.

14.    Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak holds a press conference to announce that the three Independents were ‘BN friendly’ and that BN now had the numbers to form the Perak state government.

Was it bound to happen?

I hope we 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 substantial.

When the two ADUNs ‘went missing’ and PKR was reported as saying they were concerned that these two had jumped to BN, I thought that reaction was very extreme. There’s some secret information not being released. Maybe the corruption charges were valid and these two were in danger of losing their seats after the trial, paving the way for BN to take over.

The September 16th takeover did not happen. The strategy that Pakatan might be pursuing now is getting politicians to jump one at a time, or holding by-elections and pumping all their resources into them. A by-election win every few months would slowly inspire confidence in BN’s supporters that Pakatan really does have the support of the nation.

Compromised values

With the looming defections of these two politicans, Pakatan was in danger of losing the Perak government. So what action did they take? They ‘resigned’ the two, using the rather underhanded tactic of the pre-signed undated letters. I expect this kind of nonsense from PKR, but I find DAP’s support of it alarming. Are they so eager to hang on to the state that they compromise their own values?

I am actually happy that the EC rejected the request for by-elections, though they should have passed the decision to the courts. Delaying the by-election order until the courts confirm the resignations would have been ideal and proper.

I genuinely hope the courts throw out the suit by Pakatan regarding these letters if they file one. No voter can believe a resignation letter when the person resigning publicly declares the same day that they had not resigned. We should not validate such nonsense.

The Speaker stated that he received the letters anonymously and did not mention any action on his part to verify it. Instead he said he had absolute authority on this matter. Isn’t that scary, knowing that the Speaker can choose to ‘resign’ any member of the State Assembly?

All Pakatan has done is demonstrate that they are not afraid to usurp the individual’s right to choose to resign if the party stands to gain. They are not practicing democracy, but dictatorship.

I can understand their desperation though. BN was going to gain control of the state, and losing control of the state would be a big blow to the credibility of Pakatan Rakyat’s capability to run a coalition government.

On the one hand you have BN enticing ADUNs to join their side so they can steal control of the state government. You have a BN ADUN who betrays his party to join PKR, then betrays PKR to rejoin UMNO. He has been a betrayer twice – what kind of pedigree would a BN government have?

On the other hand you have the existing State government using documents to force their members to resign. That seemed to be the only tool at their disposal. I can’t think of anything myself – the defection of Hee Yit Fong and betrayal by Nasarudin was totally unexpected.

I am glad that the Perak Chief Minister appealed to the Sultan for state-wide elections. No request to ‘wait for the Court’s decision first’ or some other delay tactic.

This is the kind of maturity we want in our leaders.

Let us hope the Sultan allows the request for state-wide elections. That is the best way to resolve this crisis and show the nation which government the people of Perak want.

References:

Malaysiakini

Opposition leaders slam EC’s decision (link)
PKR yet to receive quit letters from duo (link)
DAP state rep Hee quits party (link)
PKR’s newest rep returns to UMNO (link)
Pakatan mulls snap polls in Perak (link)
Perak govt collapses – BN claims power (link)

NST

Defection drama in Perak (link)
PR won’t dissolve Perak state assembly, calls for by-elections (link)
They’ve quit, says Speaker (link)
PKR outcasts regard themselves as independent assemblymen (link)

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Written by ak57

February 5, 2009 at 6:40 pm

Posted in AK57 Comics, Local News, Politics

Tagged with , , , ,

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