Nizar to meet Sultan soon, claims BN has ‘abducted’ its assemblyman

UPDATED 3.40pm

By Adib Zalkapli and Shannon Teoh, The Malaysian Insider

Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin has obtained an appointment to meet Sultan Azlan Shah at 4pm today in a bid to head off attempts by the opposition Barisan Nasional to form a new state government.

Nizar will seek the Sultan's consent to dissolve the state assembly amid swirling rumours more Pakatan Rakyat assemblymen are defecting to BN, on top of the three who have turned independent.

The menteri besar told reporters at 3pm that he would be seeking an audience with the Sultan to dissolve the state assembly.

He also said that Bota assemblyman Datuk Nasharudin Hashim, who had defected to PKR from Umno less than two weeks ago, has now gone missing, adding that he had heard unconfirmed reports that the lawmaker had been "abducted".

The MB added that he had been informed by the assemblyman's wife that her husband was taken by Umno assemblymen Datuk Ahmad Pakeh Adam and Datuk Hamdi Abu Bakar to Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's house in Kuala Lumpur.

Nizar’s announcement that he would seek an audience with the Sultan also comes amid news that the DAP's Hee Yit Foong had just quit her party.

"I am on my way to the palace now to get consent from Tuanku to dissolve the state assembly after the loss of two PKR assemblyman and the uncertainties surrounding the Jelapang assemblywoman.

"Even though we have governed well and done good work there have been attempts to rob the right of the people who have chosen a Pakatan Rakyat government," he said.

Nizar added that if BN were to accept the two PKR men into their fold, it would reflect a government weak in morals.

BN is expected to make an announcement this afternoon that Nasharudin has defected back to Umno and that it is offering to form a new state government in Perak.

Najib has called for a press conference in Putrajaya today at 4pm, and speculation is rife that he will be making the announcement on behalf of BN.

A number of senior BN assemblymen are already making their way to Putrajaya.

It is not clear when BN officials will seek an audience with the Sultan.

Earlier, political circles were buzzing with talk that Sultan Azlan Shah had asked Nizar to form a unity government.

Hee's exit from DAP means she now joins the two PKR state assemblymen who have declared themselves independent and makes Nizar's administration a minority government. The Pakatan Rakyat government now holds 29 seats to Barisan Nasional's 27 in the 59-seat assembly.

If Nasharudin rejoins Umno, BN's representation will go up to 28. If the three independents back BN, the coalition will then have a three-seat majority.

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

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

The BN coalition is hoping, however, to be able to secure the support of the three renegade PR lawmakers who have now turned independent to form the government.

With their backing, BN will hope to attract even more PR lawmakers to defect.

Constitutional experts have said calling for snap polls is the only way out of the Silver State's political quagmire with the Election Commission refusing to call for by-elections in Behrang and Changkat Jering.

The Pakatan Rakyat government has already given the Election Commission 48 hours from yesterday to reverse its decision.

Social pressure group Aliran has added its voice to objecting the Election Commission's decision, saying it has no inherent powers to decide whether a vacancy has occurred in a constituency.

"Legally there exist no doubts as to the vacancies of these two seats but there are clearly doubts as to why the Election Commission chose to take this decision which is without doubt ultra vires," Aliran president P. Ramakrisnan said in a statement.

He lamented that the decision will perpetuate the problem of party hopping plaguing Perak, saying the razor-thin majority will ensure "the uncertainties of governance will continue to exist to the detriment of the people and their welfare".

"Aliran would also like to appeal to His Royal Highness, the Sultan of Perak, in all humility, to kindly consent to the dissolution of the state assembly as a way to overcome this deadlock," Ramakrishnan said.