Ak57\’s Weblog

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

Posts Tagged ‘Perak

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:

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Written by ak57

February 5, 2009 at 6:40 pm

Posted in AK57 Comics, Local News, Politics

Tagged with , , , ,

Protests in Perak Unheeded

Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin (PAS) was sworn in as Perak Menteri Besar on the 17th of March in Kuala Kangsar. There were a number of protests against this decision by the Sultan, with the general theme being that BN should form the state government.

I do agree with them somewhat in the sense that BN did grab the most seats, whereas the Opposition coalition are not a formal alliance. Ultimately it was up to the Sultan to decide though, and reasonable people should accept his decision.

I did find one protest hilarious enough to write about though:

Nine women NGOs have made an urgent plea for the Sultan of Perak Sultan Azlan Shah to postpone the swearing-in ceremony scheduled tomorrow and to consider instead the option of a minority BN government.

In a hastily called press conference leading to it being held at the coffee house of a hotel here, the group representatives said they were worried and had no confidence that the coalition government of DAP, Parti Keadilan Rakyat and PAS would be able to achieve a stable state government.

The group, naming themselves the Perak Malay Women NGO Meeting, cited the much-publicised bickering of the three parties as a pointer to this assumption which they reached in a meeting on Saturday. The nine organisations are the districts Perak Women and Family Development Council, the (WI) Women Grouping, Gerakwanis Belia 4B, Perak Malaysian Muslim Women Welfare Body, Perak Women Cooperative, members of the Pertubuhan Peladang Kawasan (PPK), Jawatankuasa Kemajuan dan Keselamatan Kampung (JKKK), the Henry Gurney Alumni and the women members of the Gabungan Pelajar Melayu Semenanjung (GPMS).

– quoted from an article published in NST on 16th March 2008 (link)

In case it is not readily apparent, let me list the NGOs named

  1. Perak Women and Family Development Council
  2. The (WI) Women Grouping
  3. Gerakwanis Belia 4B
  4. Perak Malaysian Muslim Women Welfare Body
  5. Perak Women Cooperative
  6. Members of the Pertubuhan Peladang Kawasan (PPK)
  7. Jawatankuasa Kemajuan dan Keselamatan Kampung (JKKK)
  8. The Henry Gurney Alumni
  9. The women members of the Gabungan Pelajar Melayu Semenanjung (GPMS)

Can you see in any of their titles, a reason for their group to name themselves the Perak Malay Women NGO Meeting? The moment I read that I lost all respect for them, because either they are all racially biased organisations (why can’t the Women Cooperative help non-Malays?) or they felt that non-Malays are not relevant in deciding who leads their state government. Maybe by some bizarre coincidence the non-Malay members of these NGOs were too busy to come? 🙂

It wouldn’t surprise me if they were Puteri Umno travelling incognito 😉 No pictures accompanied the article, so I am unable to find the tell-tale sign of the pink tudung…

Written by ak57

March 20, 2008 at 7:13 pm

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)

Written by ak57

March 15, 2008 at 2:13 am

Posted in Local News, Malaysian Elections, Politics

Tagged with , , ,