Mayday in Perak Part 4: Quo vadis 1Malaysia?

By Bob Teoh (Sin Chew Daily)

WHERE DO WE go from here after today's fracas at the Perak State Legislative Assembly? Inter alia, the Regent was made to wait six hours in the Royal ante room to the Assembly chambers before he was allowed to make his Royal Address to open the first session of the second term of the 12th Perak State Legislative Assembly. What an indignity to the Royal House of Perak.

What went wrong? It does not really matter. Whichever way one answers the question only serves to raise more doubts. As it is, we now not only have two Mentris Besar but also two Speakers – one elected by the people and the other is not even an assemblyman.

The Kuala Lumpur High Court is scheduled to make its decision known on Monday (11 May) who is the rightful MB – the one from the ruling Barisan Nasional or the one from Pakatan Rakyat. It really doesn't matter what the judge has to say as whatever opinion he comes to, it would surely be challenged to the Court of Appeal and thereafter all the way up the apex court – the Federal Court in Putrajaya.

The Speaker from Pakatan who was disgracefully and physically dragged out by plainclothes police or unidentified personnel from the chambers of the Assembly today, is expected to go to the court to seek a redress. Again, the exercise is futile as this is crass partisan politics where sleeping with jurisprudence would indeed be with odd bedfellows.

In the end, the only answer is that the Perak consitutional crisis has reached a stalemate and the only sensible way to resolve it is through political will. Dissolve the Assembly and hold fresh elections in the state. Let the people decide.

The present constitutional crisis originated from the crossover of three lawmakers from the opposite camp to oust the sitting Mentri Besar. The rest is fait accompli.

On ascending to the premiership a month ago, the PM lost no time in unveiling what he calls "1Malaysia" –fundamentally an innovative initiative of inclusive politics.

But what happened today in Ipoh is not in the spirit of 1Malaysia. Far from it. We now have 2Peraks with 2 MBs and 2Speakers. This can't do. It is a sheer contradiction of terms and not consonant with the PM's 1Malaysia paradigm.

The PM is faced with a tough choice – a Hobson's choice where neither is really a choice. Hang on to Perak at all cost and suffer the continuing wrath of Perakians.Win the battle and lose the war. Or let them choose who they want as their lawmakers. In the process, the PM will undoutedly earn the respect even of his most severe critics even though the Barisan may end up losing in the new polls. There's always another day to pick a fight. And win.

Quo vadis 1Malaysia? The choice is yours, Mr Prime Minister.