Ku Li says BN faces public scorn over dubious crossovers

By Neville Spykerman, The Malaysian Insider

Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah said a large section of the public will be angry if the Perak Ruler does not dissolve the state assembly and invites Barisan Nasional to form the state government on the basis of dubious crossovers.

Writing in his blog, the Gua Musang Umno MP cautioned that taking control of Perak without getting the mandate of the people will spell disaster for BN in the next general election.

"Our taking control without resorting to elections would cement the enmity of the very people we should be trying to win back.

"Come the next general election, they are going to reject both our state and parliamentary candidates with greater vehemence, and not just in Perak."

The former finance minister said contests in a democracy are not a fight for survival where anything goes but a competition to serve and BN must reform to improve its ability to serve with distinction.

He said this was a long-term goal which required immediate focus, adding that BN did not need questionable victories which he described as distractions but needed to upgrade itself to win elections again, fair and square.

Tengku Razaleigh said this was the only sustainable way for BN to win back the public.

He said Umno was in critical condition because of ethical failures and its biggest challenge was tackling corruption at every level.

"We are under close public scrutiny and unless we implement radical reforms and are seen to be doing so, we are finished politically come next elections".

However, he said, BN was embroiled in "winning back" Perak with the crossover of who he described as low-calibre individuals.

"The two assemblymen whose allegiance we have suddenly gained are under investigation for corruption, while the Bota assemblyman's justification for his record-breaking 10-day double-hop is an insult to the public's intelligence and nauseating in its insincerity."

He said this open abuse, for personal gain, is what caused people to hate Umno.

Tengku Razaleigh also lashed out at the circumstances surrounding the defections.

"The mysterious disappearances, sudden reversals, and weak explanations, show ample signs of illegal inducement.

"No matter what the truth of the matter, let us not fool ourselves. People will not believe that these crossovers were honest. This mistrust will taint any government formed on the back of these crossovers."

He said the celebrations over the Perak takeover were premature because the defections may or may not topple the state government.

"The Constitution and the role of the Ruler in such crises must be respected because defections are not a basis for the formation of a government. Elections are."

He said the Constitution spells out a formal process for the formation of a government and the Ruler is sworn to uphold and protect this constitutional process.

"The menteri besar has sought the Ruler's consent for the dissolution of the State Legislative Assembly. The decision now rests with the Ruler."