Perak Crisis: Royal rebuke for Pakatan reps

(NST) IPOH: After a chaotic morning and an equally confusing and tiring afternoon in the state assembly, Perak Regent Raja Dr Nazrin Shah was finally able to deliver his opening address — five hours after its scheduled time.

But Raja Nazrin, the Raja Muda of Perak, was still not spared this when, upon taking his seat with his wife Raja Puan Besar Tuanku Zara Salim, ousted menteri besar Datuk Seri Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin requested permission to raise an objection on what Nizar termed forceful and illegal means employed by the Barisan Nasional to remove Speaker V. Sivakumar.

Raja Nazrin then asked Nizar and ousted senior exco Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham to approach him. They did their sembah and kissed the regent's hand.

While Raja Nazrin took care to speak to them away from the microphone, his advice, which sounded more like an admonishment, was audible over the public address system.

The Raja Muda told the duo:

"I don't want to get involved in this. I just want to give my speech, so respect my speech, when I am giving it. You understand that? If you want to work with me in future, you have to respect my speech. Understand?

"So go and tell that (to the Pakatan Rakyat state assemblymen who had stood together in front of the royal dais to take their seats)."

Nizar then told the PR state assemblymen to sit so that Raja Nazrin could deliver his opening address for the first meeting of the second session of the 12th state assembly.

However, just before Raja Nazrin could begin speaking, Nizar once again pointed out to the regent that there were unauthorised people present in the state assembly.

He was referring to a group of more than 50 policemen who had been brought in earlier at the request of the BN, over the protests of PR state assemblymen.

Shortly afterwards, the police personnel, who had formed a barricade between the royal dais and the assembly floor to keep Pakatan members from approaching the royalty, left the assembly after Nizar made his request.

In his speech, the regent reminded the state government that the tourism and services sectors in the state could be affected by the uncertain global economic climate and the influenza A (H1N1) outbreak.

"The state government is advised to take proactive measures to tackle the current concerns as well as prepare plans to achieve the Developed Perak 2015 agenda.

"The move by the state government to set up the Perak Economy Council is a good one. I believe that this consultative council, with economists, academics and industry experts as members, will be able to give rise to new ideas in the effort to confront the economic crisis."

Raja Nazrin, who was originally due to give his opening address at 10am, thanked the Federal Government for the RM10.05 billion development allocation under the Ninth Malaysia Plan and RM297 million provided for Perak under the second economic stimulus package.

He said besides encouraging downstream activities and creating spillover effects, the state administration should implement programmes that had already been approved.