Perak Sultan said to want unity government

(The Malaysian Insider) – Political circles are buzzing with talk that Perak Sultan Azlan Shah has asked Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin to form a unity government amid swirling rumours that deputy state speaker Hee Yit Foong has also turned independent.

If her move is confirmed, the Jelapang assemblywoman joins 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.

Nizar has also delayed a press conference scheduled at 1pm which had given rise to speculation that he would dissolve the state assembly.

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.