Sultan calls Najib, Nizar to the palace

By Adib Zalkapli, The Malaysian Insider

Perak's Sultan Azlan Shah has summoned Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin and Perak Barisan Nasional chief Datuk Seri Najib Razak to the Istana Kinta in efforts to solve the state's political impasse with rival coalitions claiming power to the state government.

Both leaders are on the way to the palace now, officials said.

Nizar's Pakatan Rakyat government has said it will file 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 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.

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

Najib is scheduled to chair the state Umno meeting at noon to brief Perak party leaders on the outcome of the meeting with the Sultan.