Showdown May 7: Speaker asks Sultan to defer Perak sitting

By Wong Choon Mei, Suara Keadilan

Fearing heated disputes and out-of-control situations, Perak assembly Speaker V Sivakumar has written to the Sultan, requesting him to postpone Thursday’s crucial sitting of the state legislature, where Pakatan Rakyat Menteri Besar Nizar Jamaluddin’s PAS party and other coalition leaders are planning a massive show of support for him.

“I have requested the Tuanku Sultan to consider putting off the Perak assembly sitting to a date to be fixed by the Sultan,” Sivakumar said in a statement issued on Monday. The letter was delivered to the Palace at about 11 am.

Sivakumar also said the deferment was necessary as the courts had yet to decide who the legitimate Perak Menteri Besar should be – Nizar or Umno-BN’s Zambry Kadir.

“I am also worried that there will be heated arguments which will get out of control on that day. To preserve and protect the dignity of the assembly, I beg Tuanku to postpone the sitting,” Sivakumar said.

Showdown on May 7

A huge crowd is expected at the Perak Darul Ridwan Building on Thursday, May 7, as Malaysians, not just Perakians, gather to show their displeasure for the unpopular Zambry and his Umno-BN line-up.

Zambry had tried to ban the press from covering the event, where his party is expected to flout state laws in a bid to cling to power. But his move was foiled when Sivakumar, invoking his rights as Speaker, overturned the decision.

Even so, Zambry has been tapping into the federal apparatus, instigating the police and state secretariat to restrict access to the building to only Umno-friendly parties.

Northwestern Perak state slipped into a dramatic political crisis after Prime Minister Najib Razak convinced Sultan Azlan to appoint an Umno-BN line-up led by Zambry as the new state government, although Nizar had advised dissolving the legislature and returning the mandate to the people to choose the leadership that they wanted. However, the Ruler opted to side with Najib, ignoring the wishes of his subjects.

Meanwhile, Pakatan Menteri Besar Nizar Jamaluddin’s lawsuit challenging the legitimacy of Zambry’s appointment is slated to be heard on Tuesday and Wednesday.

However, few Malaysians expect him to get a fair hearing, given the slew of controversial decisions handed out by the Federal Court in recent weeks that many believed were aimed at keeping Najib in power in Perak.

How many of you believe that Nizar can get a fair hearing?

Nizar’s PAS party is already planning to mobilise supporters for prayers on Thursday at the Istihad Mosque in Manjoi, Ipoh, at 5 am.

“We will pray that God soften the hearts of those arrogant enough to steal the rights of the Perak people to self determination,” said Mohamad Sabu, head of the party’s mobilizing committee.

“With this prayer, we urge that BN dissolve the state assembly and pave the way for a state election so that the people of Perak can rightfully determine who their leaders should be.”

Mat stressed that the gathering would be a peaceful one, graced by party president Hadi Awang. Other Pakatan Rakyat leaders will join Hadi.

Nonetheless, Zambry can be expected to unleash harsh measures to put down the gathering. Already he has tried to shift the blame for several controversial decisions made – including the disappointing auction of 16 Toyota Camrys purchased by the Pakatan – onto his arch rivals.

On Sunday, Zambry also lodged a police report against Titi Serong assemblyman Khalil Idham for saying that he had proof that a bomoh had been brought into legislative hall to cast a spell against Sivakumar and Nizar.

Said Zambry: “This is an evil move to make the people angry with me and the state Barisan government. This cannot be allowed to continue and it is my responsibility to stop it.”