Perak government valid until Sultan decides on matter, says don

(The Star) Pakatan Rakyat is still in power in Perak until the Sultan decides on the next course of action.

Thus, both Pakatan and Barisan Nasional should hold their horses and not jump the gun despite party-hopping by certain assemblymen which has shaken the seat balance in the state.

Law professor Dr Shad Saleem Faruqi said the current government was still valid as the Sultan had not announced whether the State Legislative Assembly would be dissolved or not.

He said that even if the assembly was dissolved, the current Mentri Besar’s government would still remain as a caretaker government unless the Sultan decided that he wanted another person to be the caretaker.

“It is up to the Sultan to decide whether to accept the Mentri Besar’s advice and dissolve the assembly or to form another government.

“In the meantime, the Perak government is still the government and until a new Mentri Besar is appointed, the current Mentri Besar is still in power,” he said yesterday.

The Sultan, he said, had a heavy task when making a decision.

“He has to bear in mind that the palace’s reputation is at stake should defectors be rewarded with the possibility of being king-makers.

“It will be a bad precedent if a government is formed by relying on support by defectors.

“Party-hopping is a despicable activity no matter which party does it. Not only does it bring shame to the political process, it is also a bad way to form a government,” he added.

Dr Shad said the assembly should be dissolved and fresh elections held as the people should decide who they want instead of letting defectors decide.

“I say with sadness that if a new government is appointed without a dissolution, the new government will win the battle but in the long run, will lose the war as the people will not forgive or forget.

“A government that comes to power by wheeling and dealing leaves a bad taste in the mouth. The democratic thing to do is to go back to the people,” he added.

On speculation that a unity government may be formed, Dr Shad said that such governments were only formed in times of crisis or war, which was not the situation in Perak.