Najib brings BN’s 31 to back case for government

UPDATED 12.50pm

By Adib Zalkapli and Lee Wei Lian (The Malaysian Insider)

IPOH, Feb 5 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak has brought along the 28 Barisan Nasional state legislators and the three independents backing the coalition to see Sultan Azlan Shah to make his case for a new government.

Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin has also been summoned to the palace.

Both leaders are now at the palace, officials said.

In what is looking to be the final hours of the PR state government, Nizar could be asked by the Sultan to make way for a BN government.

Nizar's Pakatan Rakyat government has filed a suit to declare three state seats vacant after their representatives turned independent. The three — from Behrang, Changkat Jering and Jelapang — have thrown their support behind BN, which also accepted back the Bota assemblyman who had defected earlier.

Pakatan Rakyat hopes this move will force the Perak Sultan to accede to a request to dissolve the 59-seat assembly and pave the way for snap polls.

Earlier, Najib was granted an audience with Sultan Azlan Shah this morning a day after he declared BN has enough support to form the state government.

Najib was seen entering Istana Kinta here around 10am accompanied by Bagan Datok MP Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi and other BN officials.

The cheerful-looking Najib and the state Umno deputy chief Zahid left the palace about 30 minutes later.

When met later Najib said that he had informed the Ruler that BN has the majority in the state assembly and intent to form the new state government.

He added that the Sultan had expressed his wish to meet all 31 BN supporters in the assembly before the decision on the new state government can be made.

"We will respect whatever decision made by the Sultan as it is his discretion," Najib told reporters at the state Umno building.

The deputy prime minister, who is also the Perak BN chairman, announced yesterday the coalition now enjoys the support of 28 of its assemblymen and three independents in the legislative assembly with 59 members.

The state BN's success in toppling the PR government would give legitimacy to Najib's leadership as he is slated to take over the premiership by the end of March, after suffering a blow with the defeat in the Kuala Terengganu by-election.