Perak Menteri Besar Dissolves state assembly, goes to Sultan for confirmation

Pakatan Rakyat state government has dissolved the state assembly and has gone to seek confirmation from the Sultan …

By Wong Choon Mei, Suara Keadilan Online

Perak Menteri Besar Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin has dissolved the state assembly and has gone to the Palace to get confirmation from the Sultan.

“I am on my way to the palace now to get consent from Tuanku to dissolve the state assembly after the loss of the two KeADILan assemblyman and the uncertainties surrounding the Jelapang assemblywoman,” Nizar said.

“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.”

Under the constitution, the Sultan’s consent must be obtained. However, the Rulers do not normally withhold their consent once the state executive recommends so.

“The situation is deteriorating so fast. We have to act decisively and not let all the rumours and misinformation take control and spread fear,” said KeADILan information chief Tian Chua.

Political skullduggery at its worst

With the odds stacked against them, Pakatan leaders are hoping that the Sultan will stand for fair play and show his displeasure against the underhanded methods displayed in the past two weeks by incoming Umno president, Najib Abdul Razak and his party mates.

The latest unconfirmed news reports making the rounds are that even Bota assemblyman Nasarudin Hashim had been ‘kidnapped’ in a bid to get him to agree to return to Umno.

“We have been trying to soft-land the entire episode, rather than just arbitrarily call for snap election. It has not been easy,” said Tian.

“There were so many issues to explain to the rakyat – from the viewpoint of morality over defections, money politics, the latest disgraceful behaviour of the EC and the non-stop cross-talk from Umno-Barisan Nasional people.”

Even former premier Mahathir Mohamad is wary about the negative feedback the latest rash grab for power may spark and the fallout for his protege Najib Abdul Razak, the incoming Umno president..

“Is Umno so desperate that it cannot wait for the criminal court decision against them before accepting them,” Mahathir wrote in his blog, referring to the Feb 10 corruption trial awaiting the Behrang and Changkat Jering assemblymen.

“If they are accepted now and then found not guilty, the so-called Umno-led government will be accused of influencing the court. True or not does not matter as the public’s perception is such. It will have an effect in the 13th general election.”

Snap election the most popular choice

In an SMS poll run by The Star from Monday to Tuesday, 77.1 percent of respondents believe that the best way out of the Perak impasse was to dissolve the state government and call for fresh state-wide election.

Meanwhile, civil society group Aliran has joined the growing queue calling for snap election.

It also joined in the nationwide condemnation of the Election Commission, which yesterday angered the nation by refusing to fix by-election dates for the Behrang and Changkat Jering state seats.

“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,” said Aliran president P Ramakrishnan.

“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.”

Assemblymen at the centre of the storm

The former assemblymen at the centre of the storm are Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi from Behrang and Mohd Osman Mohd Jailu from Changkat Jering, who were allegedly being enticed by Deputy Premier and incoming Umno president Najib Abdul Razak to defect.

Their pre-signed letters of resignations were accepted by the state Speaker V Sivakumar on Sunday, but the EC refused to abide by his decision and on Tuesday, declared the seats still held by the pair.

Both, who are due to face corruption charges on Feb 10, have been intentionally giving conflicting stories to the press in a bid to avoid being pinned down to a disadvantageous position.

They have declared that they are now Independents, but the Pakatan state government has said it will not recognise them as assemblymen.

“Since they are no longer with the state government, they will not be allowed to attend any exco meetings or enter into the state assembly hall as assemblymen,” said Nizar.