BN set to form Perak govt as Sultan defers decision on dissolution

(The Malaysian Insider) – A Barisan Nasional (BN) government in Perak is looking all but certain after a PKR state assemblyman defected back to Umno while three independents pledged their support for the coalition.

Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin also failed to secure consent from Sultan Azlan Shah to dissolve the state assembly in his last ditch attempt to have fresh polls and head off BN's attempt to seize power.

“The decision is now with the Sultan,” Nizar told reporters after an audience with Sultan Azlan Shah.

At a press conference in Putrajaya earlier, Deputy Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced to reporters that Jamaludin Mohd Radzi, Osman Jailu and Hee Yit Foong would back a BN government while Datuk Nasarudin Hashim, who had just two weeks earlier defected to PKR, would rejoin Umno.

“BN now has the majority to form the next government. We will seek an audience with the Perak Sultan.

“BN has 28 seats now, which is equal with Pakatan Rakyat, but we have three exxtra who are friendly to Umno and BN,” Najib said

He added that the three independent lawmakers had also informed the Sultan in a letter sent yesterday that they had quit their parties.

All four assemblymen appeared at the press conference with Najib.

Jamaluddin, Osman and Hee had earlier turned independent while Nasarudin had defected to PKR less than two weeks ago.

“The situation in the state is critical. I have to make sacrifices,” Nasarudin said when asked why he had decided to rejoin Umno.

The other three did not speak to reporters.

With their defections, it is looking likely that BN will get to form the state government.

More PKR lawmakers are also expected to defect to BN.

Najib said BN representatives would meet the Sultan as soon as possible to seek his consent to form the next state government.

With the defections to BN, the Pakatan Rakyat will only have 28 seats to Barisan Nasional’s 31 in the 59-seat assembly.

Nizar is now resting PR’s hopes on the Sultan in the hope that consent will still be granted for fresh polls.

The PR alliance of PKR, Pas and DAP are confident of winning fresh polls with a bigger mandate.

But with a four seat majority, and more defections likely, the Sultan looks likely to accept BN’s offer to form the next government.