Perak must not fail

Crisis is now a coup

Another principle to understand during the current public confusion is this: a menteri besar can only be removed by a vote of no-confidence in the assembly. The Ruler has only the power to hire but not to fire.

By Wong Chin Huat, The Nut Graph

A FAILED state is a state losing its ability to govern and exercise authority. Text-book examples include Sudan, Somalia, Zimbabwe, Iraq and Afghanistan, countries that we would never compare Malaysia to.

The Fund for Peace, a US think tank, listed 12 indicators of state vulnerability.

Unfortunately, one of the state-vulnerability indicators, "criminalisation and/or delegitimisation of the state", is now emerging in the state of Perak. The resistance by certain elites to political representation, accountability and transparency, has led to widespread loss of popular confidence in the state's institutions and processes.

If police violence and political persecution are inflicted there on citizens defending democracy, then another indicator of state failure, "widespread violation of human rights", sets in.

Technically, Perak will never be a failed state because it is part of the federation of Malaysia and not a sovereign state. However, that is no comfort so long as there is a part of the Malaysian federal state that has failed.

This situation should not have happened in the first place. This year is not only the silver jubilee of Sultan Azlan Shah's reign, but also the golden jubilee of elected state government in Malaysia's second-oldest sultanate.