BN will not win from Perak defections

Crossovers will hasten party's end

Hence, a snap election would actually be a referendum on whether Perak voters should reinstall or reject an Umno-dominated government.

By Wong Chin Huat in The Nut Graph

EVENTS are moving so fast in Perak that by the time this column is published, the Barisan Nasional (BN) may be in control of the state legislative assembly if there are enough defections to its side from Pakatan Rakyat.

Even though the two Pakatan Rakyat elected representatives who were tipped to cross over to the BN have reportedly tendered their resignations, nothing is certain.

Already, one of the elected representatives, PKR's assemblyperson for Behrang, Jamaluddin Mat Radzi, has denied resigning. If, as stated by Jamaluddin, the resignation was tendered by the party and not by the representatives themselves, it could potentially be contested.

Hence, it is still possible that Jamaluddin and Changkat Jering state representative Mohd Osman Jailu, who have been charged for corruption, could still defect from the Pakatan Rakyat to Umno. The Pakatan Rakyat-BN ratio in the state government would then be a wafer-thin 30:29.

This would mean the defection of just one more Pakatan Rakyat state assemblyperson would put an end to the coalition-run state government. If such a defection occurs, it also means that the BN would have succeeded in reducing the number of Pakatan Rakyat-ruled states from five to four. This could mark the beginning of its revitalisation since its disastrous performance in the 8 March 2008 general election.

My reading, however, runs contrary. If the Perak Pakatan Rakyat government is brought down through defections, this may, in fact, hasten an early demise for the BN and its federal government. On one condition: that a snap poll for Perak — what a majority of democratic governments would opt for in the face of a no-confidence vote — is called by the state government.