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Saturday, February 7, 2009

What more to say?

Image

If I were in Umno I would do exactly the same. I would use the immense wealth that Umno posses to buy over the prostitutes in Pakatan Rakyat. Anyway, is that not what we want Anwar Ibrahim to do? We want Anwar to form a new federal government by enticing at least 30 Parliamentarians from Barisan Nasional to cross over to the opposition.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Many ask why I have been very silent the last 48 hours. Well, that is because I sudah menyampah. Why scream now? If we want to scream make sure we do it before the ship sinks. Once we are in the water we should save our breath for breathing -- if we can keep our heads above water, that is. If not, then quietly drown and die with some dignity. At least you will be remembered for someone who died in style.

There is a time to talk. There is a time to act. Now is no longer the time to talk. So can all those people who keep sending me messages via SMS about ‘you must do this’ or ‘you must do that’ please stop doing so. You are just wasting your money. I don’t even read them. I just delete them without reading any of them. Stop telling me what I should do. If you feel something should be done, go and do it yourself.

Okay, I am down with a bad flu so I am in a very bad mood today. Even my wife is staying out of my way. I have not been sleeping because every time I do I start coughing violently. This article, for sure, is being written with me in a most foul mood indeed.

In spite of the flu I drove up to Ipoh on Thursday but came home that same night because I had to go to court the following morning (yesterday). I am sure many of you who met me in Ipoh noticed I was not my usual friendly self. Sorry if I appeared sombong but I was feeling real bad on Thusday.

To add to that list of aggravations, I am in the midst of preparing for three court cases next week -- my sedition, criminal defamation and ISA hearings. Yes, I am going to be locked up in three different courts almost the entire week. And chances are, I might be sent back to Kamunting to spend the remaining years of my life under detention if I lose.

I wrote the following pieces in the run-up to Thursday:

Constitutional Monarchy, rule of law and good governance
(5 Feb) (http://mt.m2day.org/2008/content/view/17646/84/)

How to bring a government down (4 Feb) (http://mt.m2day.org/2008/content/view/17609/84/)

If fresh state elections are held in Perak
(4 Feb) (http://mt.m2day.org/2008/content/view/17586/84/)

Santa Claus is coming to town (2 Feb) (http://mt.m2day.org/2008/content/view/17494/84/)

No two ways about it: DISSOLVE the Perak State Assembly (2 Feb) (http://mt.m2day.org/2008/content/view/17494/84/)

Live by the sword, die by the sword (31 Jan) (http://mt.m2day.org/2008/content/view/17434/84/)

I just love this country (27 Jan) (http://mt.m2day.org/2008/content/view/17284/84/)

As you can see, I have already said what I wanted to say. There is nothing more I can add about an event that is already a fait accompli. Nasi sudah jadi bubur, as the Malays would say.

About a week ago, a few of us sat down to discuss the impending collapse of the Perak government. It was suggested we speak to the Pakatan Rakyat leaders, which we did. Our recommendation was that they dissolve the Perak State Assembly and hold fresh state elections while Pakatan Rakyat still has the majority in the Assembly. Once Pakatan Rakyat has lost that majority it will be too late. No way will the Sultan agree to the request to dissolve the Perak State Assembly once you no longer command the majority in the Assembly.

But the Pakatan Rakyat leaders would not listen. They still have things under control, they remarked. We did not think so and we told them this. But who are we to ‘teach grandmothers how to suck eggs’, as Malaysians would say? If we are so smart then how come they, and not us, are the party leaders. We would be sitting in their chairs, instead, if we are cleverer than them. Politicians do not think much of you if you do not hold any party positions. They only respect those who hold positions in political parties and government, not those outside mainstream politics.

Everyone is an expert on hindsight. Only good leaders have foresight. And our leaders lack just that, foresight. They are very clever when it comes to reacting to situations. But they know nothing about pre-empting. Why react, especially when it is too late? You must be able to pre-empt before it is too late to do anything. This is what our leaders lack, the skill to pre-empt.

When the Rulers of Perlis and Terengganu ‘interfered’ in Umno’s choice of Menteri Besar, we hailed them as great Rulers who are full of justice and wisdom. When the Rulers agreed to allow Pakatan Rakyat to form the Perak and Selangor state governments, they are the best Rulers in the world. Whenever things go our way we are full of praise. But as soon as the decision does not favour us they are haprak Rulers.

The Rulers are a disappointment. We are disgusted with our Rulers. Our Rulers sold out to Umno. Malaysia should abolish the Monarchy and turn the country into a Republic. And so on and so forth. That is what is on the lips of many Malaysians. But if the Rulers had favoured the opposition, even though they did so in violation of the law and the Constitution, we will hail the Rulers as amongst the best in the world.

Actually, the Perak and Selangor Rulers were worried that the Pakatan Rakyat state governments of these two states would not last, in particular in Perak, which had a very slim majority. That is why there was a week’s delay in swearing in the Perak and Selangor state governments.

And can you blame the Rulers? DAP had said it will not sit at the same table as PAS, let alone form a coalition government with it, if PAS does not openly and publicly declare it will abandon the Islamic State agenda. PAS, on the other hand, said it shall not openly and publicly declare such a thing. That means DAP and PAS can never form a coalition.

The Rulers of Perak and Selangor then called all the State Assemblymen and women from DAP, PKR and PAS and asked them, one by one, whether they agree to the formation of coalition governments in Perak and Selangor. The coalition can only be formed if all three parties -- DAP, PKR and PAS -- agree to it. Even if just one of the three do not agree, then Pakatan Rakyat will not have enough seats to form the governments in both Perak and Selangor.

The DAP, PKR and PAS State Assemblymen and women indicated their agreement. But this still did not satisfy the Rulers. You can say one thing now, but what is there to prevent you from changing your minds later? So the Rulers asked the DAP, PKR and PAS State Assemblymen and women for both Perak and Selangor to sign letters confirming this agreement. Only then will the Rulers agree to swear in the new state governments.

It was, in a way, a contract of sorts. The Rulers wanted all the DAP, PKR and PAS State Assemblymen and women from Perak and Selangor to sign a contract stating that they agree to the formation of a three-party coalition and that there are no dissenters from amongst the ranks of DAP, PKR and PAS.

Then the fight broke out. DAP, PKR and PAS could not agree on how to share out the EXCO positions, the racial quotas, who should hold the posts of Menteri Besar and Speaker, and so on. In Selangor, some DAP State Assemblymen organised demonstrations. In Perak, they threatened to boycott the swearing-in ceremony. Even the trivial matter of the wearing of the songkok during the swearing-in ceremony became a hot issue and almost brought the coalition down before it could even be formed.

The Perak and Selangor Rulers had their doubts. They doubted whether the DAP-PKR-PAS coalition, now called Pakatan Rakyat, could last. DAP, PKR and PAS had very little in common and were always squabbling over minor issues. And they argued about party and racial quotas just like Barisan Nasional. Pakatan Rakyat is as racist as Barisan Nasional. It appeared like there is very little difference between Pakatan Rakyat and Barisan Nasional.

Nevertheless, the Perak and Selangor Rulers decided to give Pakatan Rakyat a chance. Let Pakatan Rakyat prove that not only it can do a better job but it can also keep the coalition going. If the coalition breaks up, then a decision would have to be made, later, what to do about it. In the meantime, allow Pakatan Rakyat to prove it can last at least one full term until the next general election.

Then we began to hear grumblings. This State Assemblyman was not happy and wanted to resign. That State Assemblywoman was not happy and wanted to resign. Barely one year into the marriage and the marriage appeared to be breaking up. The Indians complained about not having enough Indian quotas. The Chinese grumbled about having the most number of seats but not being able to become Menteri Besar. The Malays grumbled about the ‘Chinese’ government not looking after the Malays.

It was all about race and about so-and-so being neglected and not being looked after better. Suddenly it was no longer about the rakyat. It was about your personal interest and position and about the quotas your race is being denied. Pakatan Rakyat was nothing but Barisan Nasional by another name.

What happened in Perak is good. I hope it will teach Pakatan Rakyat that it has to get its act together. The DAP lady’s crossover was triggered by something very trivial and goes to show she is more concerned about herself than about her party or about the rakyat. Everyone got a new Camry except her. So she sulked (merajuk) and left the party. If she had been given a new car she would not have sulked. A mere car brought the Perak government down.

If this is what brought the Perak government down, then it deserves to fall. The Pakatan Rakyat government in Perak used to be a non-Malay majority government. Now, it is an almost entirely Malay government. 27 of the 28 State Assemblymen are from Umno. Even if the three ‘independents’ join the new government it will be 29 Malays against only two Chinese. And there is not a single Indian State Assemblyman/woman in the new government.

What took 52 years of transformation has been destroyed in a mere days. Today, we are back to an entirely Malay government in Perak. And a DAP State Assemblywoman helped achieve this. A Chinese made the restoration of maruah Melayu (Malay dignity) possible. She should be given the next Ma'al Hijrah award and be accorded Bumiputera status.

I can only say that this serves Pakatan Rakyat right. They had it coming. When personal interests and racial issues override everything else, you deserve to fall. And there are many low quality wakil rakyat still in Pakatan Rakyat -- DAP, PKR, as well as PAS. Expect more to cross over. The RM25 million dangled in front of their faces is just too difficult to say no to. After all, not everyone is in politics to serve the rakyat. Many are in it for their personal interests. And RM25 million is an attractive proposition.

Next time, get better candidates. Some of the Pakatan Rakyat wakil rakyat are so low standard I would not even trust them to baby-sit my dog. I would not deny there are some good wakil rakyat in Pakatan Rakyat, some even better than those from Barisan Nasional. But all we need are 30% bad ones to bring the party down, especially when you are barely surviving with a 10% majority in Parliament or the state assemblies.

Okay, Umno bought over our wakil rakyat. So what? If they are not for sale then Umno could not have been able to buy them. It is like prostitution. If there are clients then there will be prostitutes. It is the law of supply and demand. If there are no takers then there can be no givers as well. Simple!

We all know that Umno has tons of money. And RM10 million is nothing to Umno. If the Pakatan Rakyat people are so unprincipled then whom do we blame? Why blame Umno? Blame our people who worship money and pray to the Ringgit. Blame Pakatan Rakyat for fielding low quality people to contest the elections.

You can take the man out of the kampong but you can’t take the kampong out of the man. Low quality people can’t suddenly become high quality just because they are now wakil rakyat. They will still remain low quality and will kowtow to money because they have no maruah (dignity). That is, after all, what prostitutes do. They open their legs for money. And many in Pakatan Rakyat are prostitutes while those who manage prostitutes and called pimps.

If I were in Umno I would do exactly the same. I would use the immense wealth that Umno posses to buy over the prostitutes in Pakatan Rakyat. Anyway, is that not what we want Anwar Ibrahim to do? We want Anwar to form a new federal government by enticing at least 30 Parliamentarians from Barisan Nasional to cross over to the opposition. Najib did in Perak exactly what we want Anwar to do at federal level. So, why the sudden outrage? What if three State Assemblymen in Negerl Sembilan cross over and Pakatan Rakyat gets to form the new Negeri Sembilan state government? Would we still express outrage?

Let’s face it: we lost. Let’s just lick our wounds and learn from this bitter experience. Our leaders were stupid and we paid for this stupidity. We chose poor quality people as candidates. We knew that Umno was trying to buy over our wakil rakyat. We knew they would eventually succeed. But we just stood and watched without launching a pre-emptive strike -- such as dissolving the state assembly when there was time to do so and when we still had the power to do so.

That is the long and short of it. Let us lose like gentlemen. Sure, they did not play fair. The Sultan should not have forced the MB’s resignation or appointed a new MB from Umno when Nizar did not resign. Sure, there are questions of whether it was legal to do what the Sultan did. But he did, fair or otherwise. And the Sultan could not have done so had we been cleverer. We left the door open and they walked in. We should take the blame for that rather than moan and bitch. And, next time, lock all the doors. Thieves are thieves and will always be thieves. But we were sloppy and that allowed the thieves to get in. There is no denying that.

We lost the battle. But we are yet to lose the war. That is the big picture. So focus on the big picture and see how we can eventually win the war. That is more important. And how do we turn defeat into victory? How can we menang dalam kalah? We can turn defeat into victory if our leaders are clever. My only worry is whether they are clever enough to do this. Let us see.

Zaid says governments should not be overturned in private

By Debra Chong

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 7 — The way Datuk Zaid Ibrahim sees it, the constitutional crisis in Perak could have been easily avoided — if only all the political players accepted that Malaysia was a democracy, where political questions should be resolved in the legislature and not behind closed doors in a palace.

The former de facto Law Minister said that instead of beating a path to the istana in Kuala Kangsar, Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat should have tested their support in the state assembly through a show of hands.

"Having a show of support anywhere outside the proper arena is inappropriate. Parliaments all over the world have made it clear: This is how you do it. Just go to chambers and take a vote, '' he said, noting that in a democracy and where there is public interest at stake, it is best to resolve issues in an open forum.

That is why in a democracy the courts are open to the public. So that the common man can be satisfied that the judicial process is fair and open to scrutiny.

"So why, when it comes to overturning a government, you do it in private? Could it be because we have a culture of power? The people don't matter, only the elite matter," he said, upset that there appeared to be a great rush to put a new government in place.

Ultimately, the correct question was not whether the Sultan has the power to dissolve the House or whether he could demand for the resignation of the menteri besar but whether the political parties had sought recourse in the correct forum.

"This is about obtaining the majority confidence in the House," he noted.

Both BN and Pakatan Rakyat have 28 seats each in the state assembly but the three Pakatan Rakyat lawmakers who elected to become independent said that they would support BN.

Sultan Azlan Shah took their support for BN as evidence that Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Nizar Jamaluddin no longer had the confidence of the House. He swore in Datuk Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir as the new MB yesterday but NIzar has refused to accept the decision of the palace.

The decision by Sultan Azlan Shah, a former Lord President, has sparked a firestorm of criticism with even legal experts divided on whether he acted in good faith.

Zaid, who resigned from the Abdullah administration because of lack of support for judicial reforms, said that the simple issue of determining which party held the confidence of the majority had been complicated because certain persons had acted "arbitrarily".

"I don't think this matter can be resolved through the courts. So the people will have to wait. You've got a new government in power. The palace has spoken. It's a fait accompli," he said, adding that the situation in Perak had created a "divisive" tone in the country.

"The purpose is to have a working government. It's not a mathematics game. It is not about the numbers but about stability, '' said Zaid, who stumped for Pakatan Rakyat during the recent Kuala Terengganu by-election.

He noted that some reports suggested that the actions of the Sultan cannot be questioned by the courts.

Still, does that mean that you do not have to explain your actions to the public?, he wondered.

His parting shot was that if some people in Perak felt that the transfer of power was a disguised coup d'etat, then they should speak up louder at the ballot box the next time around because it is clear that "some people aren't listening".

Welcome to Perak, a state with two MBs?

By Adib Zalkapli

IPOH, Feb 7 — Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin appears determined to show up what Pakatan Rakyat contends is an illegitimate Barisan Nasional government that was sworn-in by Sultan Azlan Shah yesterday.

He is also determined to claim as legitimate his administration — today the embattled Nizar, called a traitor and a sore loser by Umno and BN leaders, chaired a meeting of his state executive councillors.

The meeting was held at the official menteri besar's residence next the city's landmark fountained roundabout, a short one-minute drive from Istana Kinta, the Ipoh palace of Sultan Azlan Shah.

Earlier this week, Sultan Azlan Shah asked for Nizar's resignation, to which the latter refused. The Ruler then declared the menteri besar's post vacant and promptly swore in Umno's Datuk Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir as the new menteri besar.

Today's meeting is in line with Nizar's contention that he had not been sacked as MB, as PR leaders contend a state Ruler does not have the power to dismiss because such powers lie only with the state legislature through a vote of no confidence.

It is also meant to shore up his arguments in what is now a roiling constitutional debate, and will likely be part of his legal case when the political impasse ends up in the courts, in a situation which is looking likely.

Nizar has now turned the official menteri besar's residence into his "seat of government," with party supporters guarding the compound while policemen watch on from outside.

So far, neither the new state government nor the police have indicated they intend to forcefully evict him.

At a press conference after the meeting, Nizar announced several policies that his administration had approved, including the extension of leasehold industrial land from 30 or 60 years to 99 years, in an attempt to boost investors' confidence in the state.

When asked how the outcome of today's meeting would be implemented without the cooperation of the state secretariat, Nizar said the issue does not arise as all the government agencies have to adhere to the decision made by the government.

Yesterday, when Nizar was at the state secretariat, he found his office emptied out and his files missing. He was then escorted out by the state secretary and policemen.

At today's press conference, Nizar explained that it was not necessary for the menteri besar to meet the Ruler every time before an executive council meeting.

"It is just by convention, but it is okay not to meet before the meeting," said Nizar.

He added his administration was still legitimate, and he would continue to report to work until a decision is made by the courts, as he plans to file a suit to challenge the newly appointed government on Tuesday.

"I always turn up to office very early, so we'll see who will be there first," he quipped.

NAJIB 'FAIL' TO TURN UP FOR CHINESE NEW YEAR OPEN HOUSE AT KG SIMEE AS PROMISED

To the surprise of the rakyat at Perak, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Tun Razak fail to turn up to face the already 'angry' crowd at Kampong Simee where a Chinese New Year Open House celebration was scheduled and which Datuk Seri Najib had promised to attend yesterday.

It was officiated by the 'dubious' UMNO-led Barisan Nasional Mentri Besar Datuk Zambry Abdul Hamid, who stated that he is the leader for all the races in Perak, but fail to realise that his government does not have even a single Indian representative although Perak has almost 10% of the population comprising the Indian community.

To the shame, the Chinese community is only represented by 2 lawmakers, one a 'frog' Assemblywoman who has no integrity and dignity, while the other is from MCA. The Chinese community comprise of almost more that 30% of the population in Perak.

With this in mind, if the Barisan Nasional is really serious that they want to serve all the races, it would be wise full for them to call for a SNAP STATE ELECTIONS, so that the Perak rakyat can vote a new and able government into power.

Sources in the ground have indicated that if a State election were to be held now, Barisan Nasional will face a disastrous defeat due to their misdeed in wresting the State government using the Palace and the 'frogs'.
news n picture courtesy of theStar

Najib as PM – with his infamous pre-100 days, no need for first 100 days

New Prime Ministers have dazzled the people with bold promises and pledges of a new beginning in their first 100 days in office.

Both the two previous Prime Ministers, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, took full advantage of the power and magic of their first 100 days in office, leveraging them into stunning general election victories in their first year in office – the unprecedented sweep of 91% parliamentary seats for Abdullah in the 2004 general election and the resounding victory for Mahathir in the 1982 general election.

For Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who will be the sixth Prime Minister after the Umno general assembly next month, his first 100 days would be overshadowed by his infamous pre-100 days, and featuring high on his pre-100 days list is undoubtedly the disgraceful and outrageous grab for Perak power, completely in disregard of the proper constitutional process and respect for the people’s mandate in the 2008 general election.

Malaysia has in the past 24 hours become an international laughing stock because of the constitutional crisis in Perak producing two Mentris Besar – the Pakatan Rakyat Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin who has never vacated office, and the usurper UMNO Mentri Besar Datuk Dr. Zambry Abdul Kadir.

In orchestrating the coup de’tat in Perak with the illegal and unconstitutional grab for power, when Nizar is still the legitimate, effective and functioning Mentri Besar, Najib has caused great harm and damage to the system of democracy, the monarchy and the rule of law in Malaysia.

Unlike his five predecessors, Najib will be assuming the mantle of Prime Minister with the greatest public doubts about his credibility and legitimacy, with so many serious and unanswered allegations hounding him to the highest office in Putrajaya.

Now he has piled up for himself another infamy – the trampling of the constitutional process and democratic rights of the people of Perak with the illegal and unconstitutional grab for power resulting in Perak becoming a state with two Mentris Besar.

In doing so, Najib has aligned himself against democracy, national integrity, constitutional propriety and the will of the people of Perak.

There is nothing he could do in his first 100 days as Prime Minister which could mitigate the grave wrongs he had committed against democracy, national integrity and public confidence in the system of governance in Malaysia in his pre-100 days as Prime Minister – particularly his disgraceful role as the subverter of democracy in Perak

Rayuan rakyat kepada Sultan

Che'GuBard pernah menulis beberapa kali mengenai sejarah hubungan rakyat dengan raja Melayu. Sekurang kurangnya tercatat dalam sejarah bagaimana rakyat sanggup berkorban demi mempertahankan kedaulatan raja Melayu.

Ketika Sir Mac Michael datang untuk memdapatkan tandatangan Raja - raja Melayu dia telah turun dengan perbagai ugutan. Antaranya ialah tindakan boleh diambil ke atas Raja - Raja Melayu jika tidak hendak turunkan tandatangan dengan mendedahkan 'jenayah' ada Raja - raja Melayu yang bekerjasama dengan Jepun. Mungkin kerana perbagai ugutan dan tipu daya hampir keseluruhan Raja - raja Melayu menurunkan tandatangan mempersetujui Malayan Union dan dengan sendirinya menghakis kedaulatan Raja - raja Melayu.

Namun menyedari hakikat itu rakyat tanpa mengira latar belakang bangkit. Cadangan Malayan Union di tolak. PUTERA AMCJA sebuah organisasi massa menggabungkan semua penduduk Tanah Melayu tanpa kira bangsa dan latar telah mencadangkan "Perlembagaan Rakyat" menggantikan Malayan Union. Malangnya kerana pada ketika itu oleh kerana mood AMCJA terlalu kuat maka British akur dengan mood Umno.....

Institusi Istana yang menyedari mereka tidak keseorangan dan rakyat bangkit bersama mereka akhirnya bersama menentang dan sehingga kini kedaulatan terpelihara. Jika tidak institusi beraja akan duduk di muzium sahaja.

Namun ada juga kekadang rakyat terkeliru khususnya apabila krisis perlembagaan bagaimana Umno mengelirukan rakyat merampas kedaulatan raja....ketika itu istitusi raja diragut sedikit kedaulatan tanpa rakyat bangkit.

Di Terengganu apabila Raja di hina (termasuk menggelar Sultan dengan perkataan 'natang)- dalam isu pemilihan Menteri Besar. Rakyat bangkit membela maruah.

Perhimpunan BERSIH berbaju Kuning menyaksikan kejayaan gerakan rakyat menyatukan semua bangsa dan keturunan sekali lagi berpuluh ribu melaungkan DAULAT TUANKU di depan istana negara.

Rakyat dan Istana ada recam sejarah....rakyat bangkit mempertahankan raja berdaulat.

Perkembangan terbaru di Perak sekali lagi menguji hubungan raja dan rakyat.

Kepada seluruh rakyat anak Perak mahupun sesiapa yang prihatin sila hantar masej jelas kepada Sultan Perak.

email :
pejsultan@sultan.perak.gov.my
fax : 05 2410676
Tel : 05 2533524

Dato Ambiga's letter of clarification to The Star dated 6th Feb 2009

ImageRe : Article at page N10 entitled “Bar : Don’t Challenge Sultan’s Decision”

I was shocked to see your headline for the story at page N10 that read “Bar: Don’t Challenge Sultan’s Decision”.

I had never spoken those words as you can see from the body of the story and it gives a totally wrong impression.

I would like you to immediately publish a clarification both on your website as well as in tomorrow’s edition of The Star in these terms:-

“It had been reported on 6 February 2009 at page 10 as follows: “Bar: Don’t Challenge Sultan’s Decision”. It has been brought to our attention that these words were never uttered by Dato’ Ambiga Sreenevasan, the President of the Malaysian Bar and the headline gives a completely wrong impression of what was in fact said. We regret the error. We have received a further clarification from the President of the Malaysian Bar as follows:-

“I write to further clarify my statement that the prerogative of the Sultan cannot be challenged in Court. I had explained that in the view of some lawyers, this is a non-justiciable issue. Thus, although our view and the view of many is that the State Assembly ought to have in these circumstances been dissolved, but because the prerogative lies entirely with the Ruler who exercised it after going through a process of ascertaining the wishes of the majority, challenging it would be difficult. However in the Pairin case in Sabah such a discretion of a Governor (not a Ruler) was held to be justiciable. I stated that we are presently in unchartered territory. Different legal interpretations are always possible. The Bar would never take the position that one should not exercise the fundamental right to seek legal redress on any issue.”

Thank you.

Yours faithfully


Dato’ Ambiga Sreenevasan
President
Malaysian Bar

Pakatan Rakyat Cabar Keabsahan Pelantikan Dr. Zambry Kadir

Pimpinan Pakatan Rakyat menyatakan rasa kesal terhadap tindakan biadap rampasan kuasa di Perak termasuk layanan terhadap YAB Dato’ Seri Ir Hj Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin, Menteri Besar Perak di mana semua barangan telah dirampas dari pejabat beliau. Kami mengutuk sekeras-kerasnya tindakan tersebut.

Kami akan memfailkan satu saman bagi mencabar keabsahan perlantikan Menteri Besar yang baru dari Barisan Nasional. Panel peguam sedang mengkaji tindakan ini. Kami masih berpendirian bahawa YAB Dato’ Seri Ir Hj Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin masih lagi Menteri Besar Perak yang sah.
Pada ketika ini pelbagai reaksi sedang ditunjukkan oleh rakyat sebagai reaksi spontan kepada krisis di Perak ini. Reaksi tersebut adalah untuk meluahkan rasa tidak puas hati terhadap penyalahgunaan kuasa oleh Barisan Nasional. Kami menggesa kepada semua agar bertindak secara aman dan tertib. Kami merayu agar pihak polis bertugas secara profesional dan tidak menimbulkan sebarang provokasi atau huru hara.
YB Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim
Ketua Pembangkang / Ketua Umum Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR)
YB Lim Kit Siang
Ketua Ahli Parlimen Democratic Action Party (DAP)
YB Ustaz Nasharuddin Mat Isa
Timbalan Presiden Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS)

Business as usual for dispossessed Perak exco

'Tuanku, you've disappointed us'

'He has now agreed to swear in a new Perak government with tainted reps and party-hoppers. Does he really believe these people have principles?'


On A constitutional crisis caused by the sultan

Maniam Sankar: I wonder what the Perak Sultan was thinking and so soon after his recent anniversary speech when he said that the palace should be impartial.

He has now agreed to swear in a new Perak government with tainted reps and party-hoppers. Does he really believe these people have principles? And that they represent their voters?

Your Highness, you have disappointed us.

Collin Michael Nunis: It is very sad to see the competent Perak government overthrown by undemocratic means.

Given that Pakatan is very confident that it would win by a bigger margin in a snap election, how would it sound like if the Perak Pakatan assembly persons resign en masse to push for an election?

This seems to be the only legal and ethical measure that should be taken.

Peter Yew: My personal observation is that Najib had no choice because he knows that if he allows a fresh election to be called, BN will suffer a heavier loss than on March 8, 2008.

This will certainly discredit his leadership having lost both the Permatang Pauh and Kuala Terengganu by-elections. He cannot afford a political career fumble at this time.

However, I believe that snatching a victory in this manner is counter-productive as it has angered many people who believe that the only way to resolve the deadlock is via a fresh election to get the people's mandate.

Many voters in Perak are angry that they have no say in which coalition should form the next state government.

The manner the electoral process is being disregarded does not give confidence to investors nor help the BN wrest back control of the other PR controlled states.

Junid: The Perak assembly is in a unique position of 28 PR vs 28 BN reps. The three 'independents' are mere frogs/mercenaries whose master is the highest bidder.

Furthermore, the status of these three independents as members of the house is questionable and is the subject matter of a court case.

To me it is a case of a ‘hung’ house and the rightful thing to do is to go back to the electorate for a decision.

I was shocked that a request for the dissolution of the house was not given to the leader of the government of Perak. In my view this is an injustice and an act of partisanship on the part of the ruler.

Perhaps he has forgotten his book on the constitutional monarchy, or was it, was so eloquently put by Rais Yatim, an academic exercise?

Rolando: A quick glance at the sequence of events leading to the ruler’s refusal to allow a dissolution of the state assembly to pave the way for a re-election and the ‘urgency’ to swear in a new state government does not speak much of our democratic process.

The ‘instruction and deadline’ given to vacate the Perak State Secretariat and for the assembly persons to return their car keys by 5pm is an arrogant and disrespectful act towards the people’s representatives, to say the least.

In comparison to even poorly run companies, employers are compelled by law to follow a due process before sacking their employees.

Apart from which, they also have a recourse in the form of an Industrial Court if justice is not seen to be done.

By the same token, if there necessitates a change of government in Perak, can we not conduct this in a civil manner and in accordance to the state constitution?

Surely we need not always appear to exercise highhandedness and instill fear to achieve our objectives.

White Shadow: As a learned former Lord President, His Royal Highness must be legally and technically correct to conclude that the PR state government no longer enjoys the majority support of the state assembly persons.

However, as the ruler of Perak, His Royal Highness must recognise the wishes of his people who, on March 8, 2008 had voted in 31 PR state assembly persons to form the state government through democratic means.

That, is without any doubt, the wish of the Perak people. No one person or procedure or political manoeuvre is going to deny this democratic act of the people.

Hence, His Royal Highness should take cognisance of his subjects’ wishes and do the right and noble thing - dissolve the state assembly to pave the way for fresh elections. Let the people of Perak decide again.

However, if His Royal Highness for all his wisdom allows BN to form the next state government, he must be aware of the following possibilities:

1. With such a small majority, if say, three BN assembly persons switch their allegiance to PR, is His Royal Highness going to ask PR to form the state government again?

2. If the two independent assembly persons are found guilty of the corruption charges against them, their seats will be declared vacant, thus by-elections will be called.

And we all know who will win in the by-elections. So will His Royal Highness again ask PR to form the new government?

Hence, to be seen as fair, His Royal Highness must act fairly and let his subjects decide through the democratic process by dissolving the state assembly.

S Ahmad: The decision of HRH Sultan Azlan Shah 'to step into the gallery' may have compromised the rule of law.

There appears to be a confusion as to the role of the sultan and matters which are rightly the prerogative of the judiciary. Thus the separation of powers doctrine may have been compromised.

A monarch, albeit a legally trained person, should not take the law into his own hands and must hand the matter to the judiciary, which is the body to interpret the constitution once there is an impasse.

In the meantime, the status quo must remain until the courts clear the legal impasse or if, at the request of the Pakatan MB, the state assembly is dissolved by the monarch for fresh elections to ensue. I would think that this is Malaysian Constitutional Law 101.

In the Malaysian system of constitutional supremacy and parliamentary democracy, the rulers do not have extraordinary powers beyond what has been prescribed under the written constitution.

The BN government must be made accountable for the subversion of the rule of law in the Perak crisis. To this end, it means that the BN government has subverted the federal constitution.

Unfortunately as a government in power, it has control of the police and the ISA which the BN under Mahathir has used excessively will not be used against themselves.

Forward-looking And Calm: Many people in Perak do not support the BN's move to form the government through crossovers. However, as much as I am against party hopping, the Perak sultan is wise and right. Let this be a lesson to PR.

It is PR's fault after all that they do not screen their candidates for elected office properly resulting in these crossovers. Many Perakians strongly believe that some money must have changed hands.

However, it is the majority of the other Perak assembly persons that will form the government. The Perak sultan is following this rule. And it is not the fault of the sultan. PR has lost its assembly persons as they were not screened properly in the first place. The fault lies with PR.

The lesson is that even if PR could get more than a two-thirds majority at the federal level and at the state level in the future, can PR keep their elected reps when money is flashed at them?

The lesson that PR must learn from this is that Anwar should stop enticing BN reps to crossover. Govern well in other states. We do not know - maybe more PR asssembly persons may be tempted by money to cross over, and other PR state governments may collapse too.

Many voters are fuming at these BN tactics and if PR continues with good governance, transparency, and corrupt-free ideals and adminstrations, they will form the next federal government and many more state governments will fall to PR.

BN may win now but they will lose big in the future. But can PR keep their elected reps and ensure they are not enticed by money? We hope by then, PR will have solid measures to screen their candidates.

Malaysians should not despair and look forward to the future. We hope more wise, honest, responsible, people-loving, corrupt-free and compassionate Malaysians will come forward to serve the country.

Daniel Chong: Your Highness, I am a Perakian since birth. By allowing defections to facilitate the forming of a new state government, you have actually encouraged party-hopping and betrayal of trust.

My argument is that the Supreme Court decision based on the federal constitution is erroneous. The judges who decided these earlier cases on defection did not take into consideration the people's interests.

Freedom of association and disassociation in the federal constitution should be read widely. The question is whether this article applies to elected representatives. One has to look at behind the words of the article before deciding the cases.

If that actually applies to elected reps, then why should the rakyat vote? The government of the day might as well scrap all future elections and place anybody they find suitable in Parliament and the state assemblies.

Your Highness, tomorrow if there is a crossover from Barisan Nasional to Pakatan, will you change the government again? Are you encouraging other states’ reps to defect by not allowing a snap election?

Your Royal Highness, once upon a time you were a fair and wise judge. Today you should continue practising the same wisdom and fairness for the sake of your people.

Sultan cannot 'sack' an MB

To me, an honest assembly person who has internal problems with his or her respective party can decide to quit the party. But if he or she decides to become independent and support one side, then something is terribly wrong.

Especially with no particular good reason except to cite infighting within their former party. That the worst cliche ever for an assembly person who 'jumps'. In this case, the action of Sapp from Sabah which quit BN but did not support either BN or the opposition is much better and honorable to me.

BN cannot form the Perak government yet as the case of the pre-signed resignation letters and the EC's position has been brought to court. The status quo of the present state government and those state assembly persons have to be maintained until a decision has been made by the courts.

That can take time to resolve like in the Semangat 46 defectors’ case in 1992: Because the status quo remains, the menteri besar of Perak can ask for the dissolution of the state government from the sultan as it is in his power to do so and hold a snap election.

BN will have to try to overturn the High Court’s decision in the Semangat 46 defectors’ case in 1992 in order to block such a snap election.

If the sultan agrees to a new BN government while the case is still in court, it is an awkward situation because though the sultan cannot be sued for performing his official functions, for me it still feels like the sultan has premeditated the court.

Worse, if the courts rules in favour of two state assembly persons even though a precedent has been set, it still feels like the sultan had indirectly influenced the case concerned. The name of the sultan may be tarnished.

This also brings to mind whether the show of support by these 28 BN plus three ‘independent’ state assembly persons outside of the state legislature can be considered as proof that the current MB has lost the confidence of the majority of the house.

In Sarawak’s first chief minister Stephen Kalong Ningkan's case, the term 'confidence' and 'support' were distinguished [1966] 2 MLJ 187, [1967] 1 MLJ 46. Harley AG Chief Justice held that 'confidence' was a term of art, and the existence of confidence was to be tested on the floor of the legislature.

However in the case of Datuk Amir Kahar v Tun Mohamed Said Keruak [1994] 3 MLJ 737, the judge made no distinction between 'confidence' and 'support' and held that;

‘.... Once a chief minister, in fact, knows that he has lost the confidence of a majority of the members of the assembly, he should not wait for a vote of no confidence to be formally tabled in the assembly but should immediately take the honourable way out by tendering the resignation of his cabinet...’

As it is now, the sultan have agreed to a power transfer and has direct Nizar to resign. If Nizar disagrees, the sultan, as said in his statement, will consider the MB’s seat as vacant.

With respect to the sultan, I do not think that His Royal Highness has the power to consider such a thing because this would mean that the sultan can indirectly 'sack' an MB, something unheard of before.

The only option open after the sultan has directed the MB to resign is that Nizar resigns as ordered, or a vote of no confidence is made towards the MB at the next state legislature's sitting.

If none of the above happens, then an impasse or constitutional crisis is afoot as per the case Ningkan in 1966.

As Nizar has decided not to resign, this case is eerily similar to the Sarawak case in 1966. Ningkan had then refused to resign after being told to do so by the Yang Dipertua Negeri Sarawak. He goes further by not calling a sitting of the state legislature so a vote of no- confidence could be made against him.

The federal government’s attempt to dismiss Ningkan via the governor was held unlawful by the High Court in Stephen Kalong Ningkan v. Tun Abg Haji Openg & Tawi Sli [1966] 2 MLJ 187.

The federal government then declared an emergency in Sarawak and introduce to the state via parliament the power for the governor to summon a meeting of the state legislature without the advice of the chief minister. A vote of no-confidence was then passed against Ningkan.

He challenged it all the way to the Privy Council but lost. Would a similar thing happen in Perak? It could. Precedent wise, this is the only legal way out for Perak in the event of a constitutional crisis.

Today, a new MB may be installed by the Sultan of Perak. Constitutionally speaking, I do not think that such installation is valid. Its either that Nizar resigns or calls for an assembly sitting so that a vote of no-confidence could be declared. Neither of which are likely to happen. It is a stalemate.

The defection scenario was, in fact, started by Umno who wanted to form a coalition government with PAS after the 12th general election. It was then fueled further by Anwar Ibrahim's statement of taking over the federal government by Sept 16, 2008. I have to reluctantly agree with Taib Mahmud when he said ‘You reap what you sow’.

I was saddened with the the decision by the PR coalition to hold a rally in Ipoh last night. They are making it easier for the federal government to declare an emergency, not only in Perak but for the whole country. History has shown the extent to which BN will go to retain and take power.

PKR has to take heed of what has transpired and weed out all members whose loyalty are doubtful. Please do note that most of the Malay members in PKR were from Umno and their loyalty is in doubt especially those who did not join PKR after the 1998 aftermath but only joined recently.

As to the Sultan, I hope HRH would agree to postpone the installation of the new MB until Nizar agrees to resign. Past legal precedents have shown that HRH may have erred in considering the MB’s seat vacant.

It will tarnish HRH’s good standing among Malaysians as a legal expert if a new MB is sworn in. I urge HRH to please consider.

Again, it seems that the good name of the sultan is currently in the hands of Nizar. I urge Nizar to resign gracefully. It won’t do politically to go against the wishes of HRH for this will only inflame the Perakians and divide them further.

Such an action may be construed as being disloyal and this will surely effect other PR government in other states. We can still fight another day...

Congratulations UMNO

We sat awestruck as we watched the news unfold before our eyes.

Congratulations UMNO

  • for making it very clear to the World that you wholeheartedly endorse people with Corruption Charges. (We suspect that the two would be absolved of their alleged crimes later)

  • for publically showing the world that you can and are more than willing to resort to such underhanded cheap and childish tricks to stay in power

  • for telling the People of Malaysia that when you are desperate enough, you will do anything to save face, regain power. And for now, it looks like you are desperate enough to do even more.

  • for telling Malaysia that you always had the power to speedily develop the nation for the past 51 years, but deliberately and wilfully withheld it from the citizens unless you needed to entice them to vote for you. Even then, it's only a promise. No enticement has ever materialized.

  • for benefiting your own. The real citizens are still in dire conditions.

  • for reinforcing what “Ketuanan Melayu” really means to you. No one else had fully understood it before yesterday.

  • for giving this opportunity for Mahathir to shout from the sidelines exposing what he himself has committed during his regime.

  • for showing the world that you assume the Democratic title, but are not different from the days of “Democratic Kampuchea” during the days of the Khmer Rouge or “Democratic Vietnam” during Ho Chi Minh's days. Come clean. Call yourself Republic of Malaysia, like Indonesia, Taiwan of Singapore.

  • for telling the world that you do not understand the word “Autocratic”.

  • for announcing to the world the kind of government procedures which Malaysians and the rest of the world can expect when Najib sits on the throne in March.

  • for showing the World that you actually Worship the Chinese God of Money.

- ex-citizen of Malaysian

Ku Li: Why Nizar is still the MB

(The Star) Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin is still the Perak Mentri Besar until he resigns of his own accord, or is removed by a vote of no-confidence in a formal sitting of the State Assembly, said Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah.

“Only the answer of the assembly counts, regardless how many sworn statements, defections, press conferences and declarations, or what forms of advertisement, display, inducement or force you bring to bear on the question,” he said in a statement yesterday.

“The Constitution makes no provision for his removal by any other means, including by petitions or instructions from any other authority,” he added.

He also said that a legitimate constitutional government draws all its authority from the consent of the people and only from that consent. The people consent because it is their government formed according to their constitution, whose leader is chosen through free and fair elections.

“To formally test the mandate of the current government, the question must either be put to the people through state elections, or to assemblymen through a formal vote in the Dewan,” said Tengku Razaleigh.

He said to remove and install governments in any other way was to violate the Constitution, erode the rule of law and run the risk of forming an illegal government.

Will Najib flatter to deceive?


Royally-appointed Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Dr Zambry Abd Kadir shakes hands with the public at the Chinese New Year celebration at the Kampung Simee Gerakan service centre in Ipoh today. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 7 — Every new prime minister flatters to deceive.

For the first 100 days, they speak the language of reform and behave like healers, promising to nurse back to health the damaged psyche of the nation and its hollowed-out institutions.

They penetrate the cynicism and reignite hope in the most cynical of Malaysians. For a while, many become believers, believing that this time the talk has substance; that this time the man at the top really wants a better Malaysia.

And then they disappoint. It was the case with Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. It certainly was the case with Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. Will Datuk Seri Najib Razak follow this same path of hope and despair like his predecessors?

Will he also roll out a grand sounding 100-day plan, spliced with slogans (work with me, don’t work for me) and then recoil at the first sight of his party faithful baring their conservative spine?

His supporters say that he should not be judged by the track records of Dr Mahathir or Abdullah, pointing out that Najib truly understands that the country he will lead will be the most polarised and divided in history.

They also note that Najib is aware that he will not have the luxury of the benefit of doubt, the same benefit of doubt Abdullah was given in March 2004 by many Malaysians who had grown disillusioned with Umno/Barisan Nasional during the Mahathir years.

Many of them would have voted for the Opposition in 2004 had it not been for the promise of change by Abdullah.

The change did not materialise and the postponed swing took place on March 8, knocking the wind out of BN and sealing Abdullah’s retirement plans.

Malaysians are not likely to be as charitable with Najib as they were with Abdullah. They have grown weary of prophets bearing false promises.

So Najib will start his premiership from a disadvantaged position, with more baggage than any other new leader and without the huge dose of benefit of doubt which voters are traditionally willing to give any new leader.

Yet, his supporters say that he is not sitting around with his heads in his hands.

During a closed-door meeting with Perak Umno leaders in the run up to the political crisis, Najib told them that he had ideas how to rejuvenate the party and country and will unveil them once he takes over as president of Umno and prime minister.

He has also been meeting politicians, Malay grassroots organisations, corporate captains to mine them for ideas to capture the imagination of Malaysians.

A word of caution: He and his team should study how Dr Mahathir and Abdullah flattered to deceive. And avoid taking Malaysians down this road, once again.

When Dr Mahathir became prime minister in 1981, there was considerable unease over what type of leader he would be. Would he wear his Malay ultra stripes on his sleeve? Would he act like a dictator and trample on all dissent?

There was a reason for this disquiet among Malaysians. As the Minister of Education, he tolerated no nonsense and put down student demonstrations in universities. He was also responsible for legislation which regulated foreign investments and equities in Malaysia.

He surprised many with a war against corruption and a revamp of the civil service, marked by the Bersih, Cekap and Amanah campaign. Civil servants had to wear name tags and clock-in for work while senior government officials had to declare their assets.

But there was always more form than substance in this more “liberal’’ phase of the Mahathir years. He did not empower the courts; was suspicious of the media and tired of having to subject his ideas and vision to scrutiny by his Cabinet colleagues and others.

He concentrated more power in his hands as he was challenged inside and outside Umno. Historians and political pundits argue that while he was successfully in turning Malaysia from agrarian society to one of top trading nations in the world, his era marked the death of the country’s vibrant institutions and the beginning of the culture of excesses.

The sacking of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in 1998 followed by the loss of Terengganu in the general election a year later was probably the low point of the Mahathir administration. There were fears that the green tide of Pas would sweep across Peninsular Malaysia in the next polls because of residual anger among Malays against Dr Mahathir and growing pull of Islam here.

The tide did not come in 2004 because Dr Mahathir had left the scene. His successor, Abdullah, promised a sea change. He pledged to create a First World Parliament, restore the independence of the judiciary, tackle corruption, improve the police force and revamp the public delivery system.

Let us just say that he did not walk the talk. He will leave office in March with a mixed report card and the disappointment of many Malaysians.

His supporters say that he:

a) Meant well but did not have the support of Umno.

b) Was making progress and would have completed his reform agenda in the second term.

c) Underestimated the resistance from the Malay ground.

d) Was one man fighting against inertia and apathy.

Left out from that list is the simple fact that Abdullah may not have had the political will to make Malaysia a better place. He became a prisoner of what Umno wanted, and not what the country needed.

His 100-day programme became like an iron ball around his ankle, a constant reminder of his failings and of his limitations.

Will Najib suffer the same fate?

Yes, if he and his team focus on grandiose objectives. Yes, if he believes that he has to pander to what Umno wants.

Yes, if his vision of one Malaysia remains a hollow political slogan. Yes, if he does not move quickly to assure Malaysians that despite all that has been said and written about him; that despite the failings of those before him, he holds some promise.

A good start would be to adopt some of the views his brother, Datuk Nazir Razak, put out in the public domain this week.

Not adopt it as part of his lexicon but put it into practice — restructure the economy and relook the New Economic Policy.

Next stop: the Cabinet. Najib can only win over doubters if he makes substantial change to the Cabinet. A tweak here and there may have bought Abdullah some time but Najib will not have that luxury.

Today’s Cabinet invites despair and hopelessness. He may need to go beyond the confines of party politics to find the suitable men and women to serve in the Cabinet.

The point is this: Dr Mahathir and Abdullah have used up the Malaysian quotient for slogans, nice-sounding promises and pie-in-the sky ideas.

They know that every new prime minister flatters to deceive.

SCENES OF POLICE BRUTALITY ON MALAY PROTESTERS AT KUALA KANGSAR


Watch this video to experience the police brutality against Malay protesters at Kuala Kangsar, Perak yesterday in their plight to get their Perak Sultan to reverse his decision in swearing-in a dubious Mentri Besar instead of dissolving Perak State Assembly and having a fresh State elections to resolve the present crisis.


The time has come for Malaysians to demand an explanation from the Royal Malaysian Police Force, why they seem to support 'criminals in power' when the POOR RAKYAT pays their wages?

LIVE: Perak Speaker moves to convene urgent sitting

vsivakumar

Perak State Assembly Speaker V Sivakumar reveals his latest move Photo by Amiruddin

By Anil Netto

Selangor, Kedah, Penang next?

The Nut Graph
by Chan Kok Leong, John Lim & Chua Sue-Ann

AFTER the state of political turmoil in Perak, following Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's press conference where he said that the Barisan Nasional (BN) is ready to form government in the state, rumours are swirling on the possible fall of other states.

We'll first look at Perak — whether there will be even more defections in the coming days. Then look at the situation in Selangor, Kedah and Penang.

Perak

Political analyst Wong Chin Huat said there would likely be more defections in Perak as the BN would want to balance out its overwhelming Malay majority in the state assembly.

Wong noted that of the 31 seats held by BN, 29 representatives were Malay and only two were Chinese, adding that such a government was not representative of the demographics of the state.

Wong said all eyes are now set on the Sultan of Perak's decision on whether to allow a snap election as requested by the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) government. The Perak Ruler's decision would set a precedent for the entire nation, he added.

Selangor

Political analyst Khoo Kay Peng is confident that the Perak scenario is not likely to repeat itself in Selangor.

"There is a bigger majority in the Pakatan Rakyat government there, so it's unlikely to happen," he said. "In any event, if the BN were able to engineer a defection, it's not a long-term gain for the BN, as they will have to face the people in the next election. Then they will suffer."

PR holds 36 of the 56 state seats (PAS has eight, DAP 13, and Parti Keadilan Rakyat 15). BN has 20 seats.

Commenting on the disclosure by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi that there were talks between Umno and PAS to form a state government after the March 8, 2008 general election, Khoo said that he has not seen anything yet that would indicate this would lead to anything concrete.

PAS political analyst Asmawi Mohamad said that Perak was a special case. The composition in Perak was loose from the start — it was not one of the states that PR was really interested in taking over, hence the selection of candidates was very lax, he said.

"I will say that the PR candidates in Selangor are more principled, they wouldn't switch camps easily," he said. "However, I am a bit worried about Kedah, but if there is a weak link in that government, it would be in the PKR, not in the PAS component."

Kedah

In the northern state of Kedah, the PAS-led Pakatan Rakyat government currently has 22 seats to the BN's 14. Although this looks like a comfortable majority, the reality is that the BN needs only five defections to obtain a simple majority.

Even if five assemblypersons choose to leave their parties to become independents, BN could still form a minority government after reaching agreements with the five.

After independent V Arumugam of Bukit Selambau joined PKR following last year's election, PKR has five state assemblypersons. PAS has 16 while DAP has one.

"Kedah's situation is very different from Perak," Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir, the MP for Jerlun, told The Edge Financial Daily. "Kedah is a PAS-led government." He added that if there were defections they would most probably come from PKR.

"It's hard to understand what PKR actually stands for besides being an Anwar Ibrahim party," Mukhriz said. "DAP is a non-issue in Kedah and PAS (members) never seem likely to abandon theirs, hence PKR is the likeliest."

Signs that there have been attempts at gaining defections were also confirmed on Tuesday when Kedah exco Arumugam alleged that he was offered RM5 million to cross over to BN.

According to news website Malaysiakini.com, Bakar Arang's Tan Wei Shu and Kulim's Lim Soo Nee, both of PKR, have also been approached to jump ship. Lim said he was contacted twice by different individuals between March and April last year.

PKR's other assemblypersons are Tan Joo Long@Tan Chow Kang (Sidam) and Mohd Razhi Salleh (Lunas), who is also an executive councillor.

Penang

Penang is the least likely of the five Pakatan Rakyat-led states to face a similar fate as Perak as the PR coalition has a two-thirds majority in the state (29 vs BN's 11).

PR's majority in Penang comprises DAP with 19 seats, PKR with nine and PAS with one.

DAP's Bukit Bendera parliamentarian Liew Chin Tong said there is no possibility of a swing in Penang because PR has a solid 18-seat majority.

Political analyst Khoo concurred that Penang was unlikely to see a change in government as it would require 10 representatives to defect and that's a tall order.

"The Penang state government would be the very last PR state to fall should that happen at all," Khoo said. "It looks rock solid for the moment."

This analysis first appeared on 5 Feb 2009 in The Edge Financial Daily under the title Are other Pakatan states in danger?. Used with permission.

Sokongan Rakyat Perak Ke Atas Kepimpinan Dato Seri Nizar

Rakyat Perak telahpun membuktikan bahawa mereka tidak bersetuju dan tidak mengiktiraf pembentukan sebuah kerajaan negeri selain dari yang dipimpin oleh Dato’ Seri Nizar. Manipulasi BN yang digerakkan dari luar oleh Dato Najib disanggah keras kerana cuba mencampuri urusan rakyat Negeri Perak. Saya mengucapkan syabas kepada seluruh rakyat Perak kerana tetap kekal istiqamah bersama Pakatan Rakyat. Percayalah dengan sokongan yang melintasi garis sempadan perkauman, Perubahan yang kita janjikan pasti terlaksana.

Seperti yang dijangka media massa yang dikawal Umno-BN akan sedaya upaya memesongkan rakyat dari maklumat yang benar. Gambaran buruk sedemikan rupa cuba dipaparkan kononnya pendokong Pakatan Rakyat menderhaka kepada Paduka Sri Sultan Perak. Lupakah mereka kepada krisis Perlembagaan 1983 dan1993? Bagaimana Raja-Raja Melayu diaibkan oleh Umno? Ingatkah tatkala berlakunya krisis pelantikan MB Terengganu seusai PRU12 Mac 2008 lepas, bagaimana YDP Agong dicemuh dengan kata kesat oleh mereka?

Sedangkan apa yang dituntut oleh Kerajaan Negeri Perak pimpinan Dato Seri Nizar dan juga Pakatan Rakyat senantiasa berlandaskan sistem Raja Berperlembagaan dan amalan Demokrasi Berparlimen. Kita tuntas menegaskan sebarang perubahan baik diperingkat negeri mahupun pusat mestilah dilakukan melalui Dewan Rakyat ataupun Dewan Undangan Negeri. Bukannya melalui politik konspirasi yang membelakangkan hasrat Rakyat.

Jelaslah sekarang ini segala perubahan yang kononnya diwar-warkan oleh Umno-BN hanya lah kosmetik semata. Kepada mereka yang berharap Umno-BN akan melakukan perubahan, jangkaan mereka ternyata meleset dulu, kini dan selamanya.

ANWAR IBRAHIM

MB Nizar umum empat dasar penting

kemaskini 2:26pm Menteri besar Pakatan Rakyat di Perak, yang enggan mengiktiraf kerajaan baru BN, terus bertugas seperti biasa dengan mesyuarat exco negeri dengan mengambil beberapa keputusan penting.

Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin mempengerusikan mesyuarat itu bersama semua tujuh orang exco di kediaman rasmi menteri besar sejak pagi tadi.

Dalam sidang medianya tengah hari tadi, beliau mengumumkan empat keputusan penting yang dicapai dalam mesyuarat khas exco tersebut:

bullet button tajak pajakan untuk perindustrian akan ditukar status kepada pegangan bebas selama 99 tahun untuk merangsang pelaburan ke negeri tersebut,

bullet buttonmenghidupkan semula lapangan terbang Ipoh untuk pesawat tambang murah bagi menggalakkan pelaburan,

bullet button kerajaan negeri memperuntukkan RM1 juta kepada warga tua yang meninggal dunia, dan

bullet button seramai 342 anggota majlis pihak berkuasa tempatan bawah kerajaan Pakatan Rakyat - sebelum ditumbangkan oleh BN minggu ini - akan terus menjalankan tugas mereka.

Mohammad Nizar menambah, minit mesyuarat yang mengandungi keputusan-keputusan besar itu akan dihantar kepada jabatan-jabatan kerajaan untuk dilaksanakan.

Katanya, beliau akan mengekalkan jawatannya sekarang sehingga mahkamah memutuskan sebaliknya.

Seperti pagi semalam, tambahnya, beliau akan terus ke pejabat rasminya di bangunan setiausaha kerajaan negeri pada Selasa depan.
Tindakan yang sama akan diambil oleh barisan exco tiga parti utama kerajaan campuran itu.

Beliau juga berkata, satu permohonan akan difailkan di mahkamah pada Selasa depan untuk mencabar kesahihan pelantikan menteri besar BN Datuk Dr Zambry Abd Kadir semalam.

Lebih 100 orang penyokong PAS termasuk anggota Unit Amal parti itu berada di kediaman tersebut yang kelihatan seperti biasa.

Mereka bagaimanapun tidak dapat menyembunyikan rasa kecewa terhadap apa yang menimpa pada Mohammad Nizar dan kerajaan pimpinannya.

Dr Zambry mengangkat sumpah di Kuala Kangsar semalam di tengah-tengah kekecohan akibat bantahan ribuan penyokong Pakatan Rakyat - tidak jauh dari Istana Iskandariah, tempat berlangsungnya majlis tersebut.

Sementara itu, perkembangan berkaitan di negeri tersebut, antaranya:

bullet buttonAngkatan Muda PKR Ipoh Barat membuat aduan polis sebagai tindak balas terhadap laporan Pemuda Umno berhubung akuan berkanun ketua bahagiannya Fauzi Mamat yang mendakwa timbalan perdana menteri cuba menyogok RM50 juta dalam usaha menumbangkan kerajaan Pakatan di Perak.

Datuk Seri Najib Razak didakwa berbuat demikian di kediaman rasminya di Putrajaya tidak lama selepas pilihanraya umum tahun lepas.

bullet buttonSembilan yang ditangkap polis dalam perhimpunan besar depan Masjid Ubudiah, Kuala Kangsar semalam bagi membantah pelantikan Dr Zambry ditahan reman sehingga esok.

Protest and tear gas rock royal town

Pas doesn’t recognise Perak BN government

KOTA BAHARU, Feb 6 — PAS will not recognise the new Perak state government helmed by the Barisan Nasional (BN), said Pas spiritual leader Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat.

He said he firmly believed that a snap state election should be held to give the people of Perak a chance to choose which government they wanted. Nik Abdul Aziz, who is also the Kelantan Menteri Besar, said Pas believed the latest development in Perak was being masterminded by a certain party.

“I hope it does not spread to the other states including Kelantan. If you want to form the government, it must be chosen by the people,” he said when delivering his weekly lecture, here today.

The BN today formally took over the administration of the Perak state government from the Pakatan Rakyat when the Assemblyman for Pangkor, Datuk Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir was sworn in as the new Perak Menteri Besar.

Meanwhile, when met at his residence in Pulau Melaka, here, Nik Abdul Aziz said he did not want to comment on the move by former Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin who planned to file a suit against the Sultan of Perak, Sultan Azlan Shah, on Tuesday.

However yesterday, the Kelantan Menteri Besar had said that he respected the decision of Sultan Azlan Shah not to dissolve the Perak State Legislative Assembly and asking Mohammad Nizar to resign as the Perak Menteri Besar. — Bernama

Nizar says he is still MB, as clashes mark Zambry’s swearing-in

By Adib Zalkapli, Lee Wei Lian and Neville Spykerman

The scenes of heavy riot police presence in Kuala Kangsar will not quickly be erased from the collective memories of residents, as post-Friday prayer period became surreal. – Pictures by Choo Choy May

KUALA KANGSAR, Feb 6 — Perak’s political impasse remains unsolved after Datuk Zambry Abdul Kadir was sworn-in as the new menteri besar by Sultan Azlan Shah amid violent clashes between police and thousands of Pakatan Rakyat (PR) supporters outside the palace here.

Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin is still refusing to resign, as he maintains he is still the legitimate menteri besar.

His supporters are now in control of the official menteri besar’s residence in Ipoh while hundreds of riot police stand guard outside the state secretariat building nearby.

National PR leaders have pledged their full support behind Nizar, and a protracted legal battle looms because Nizar’s administration is planning to challenge the Sultan’s decision in court.

They maintain that only a state assembly could pass a vote of no confidence against a sitting MB, and compel his resignation.

Its families out here on the streets protesting the apppointment of a new menteri besar, as fathers, mothers and children line up to let the federal government know exactly how they feel.

The state ruler, they say, should have listened to the advice of the MB, as stated in the constitution to dissolve the state assembly and pave the way for fresh polls.

At the heart of what is now a major constitutional crisis is the defection of four state assemblymen in support of BN.

PR leaders claim three of the lawmakers’ seats had been declared vacant by the state Speaker and as such should not have been counted as part of any BN majority.

Earlier this afternoon, Zambry was sworn-in as the new Perak menteri besar by Sultan Azlan Shah, soon after police fired tear gas and charged at more than 5,000 Pakatan Rakyat (PR) supporters outside Istana Iskandariah here.

There was little joy on the streets of this royal town after riot police broke up the large crowd of protesters marching towards the palace after Friday prayers to show their support for Nizar, the man whom they feel is still the legitimate menteri besar.

Riot police charged at the crowd and at one point a pitched battle was being fought between the two sides.

No genie will come out of this smoke as police release tear gas upon protestors in Kuala Kangsar as the constitutional impasse reaches new lows.

The police fired round after round of tear gas, injuring scores including a ten-year-old boy who fainted, as a convoy of vehicles carrying Barisan Nasional (BN) leaders including deputy Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak, were trying to enter the palace grounds.

Most of the crowd eventually dispersed all over the picturesque Bukit Chandan, where the palace and Ubudiah mosque are located in this royal town, after riot police continued charging at them for half an hour.

The situation remained tense outside the palace as the swearing-in ceremony was taking place, with several hundred protesters refusing to budge. Many others stayed inside the mosque.

The crowd had earlier joined Nizar for prayers at the Ubudiah mosque while preparations were ongoing for the swearing-in of Zambry.

There was a standoff between riot police and supporters, amid chants of “Reformasi” and “Allahuakbar”. After failing to heed orders to disperse, police charged the crowd, some of whom ran back to the mosque to seek refuge. Some protestors were seen throwing bottles and other objects at the police.

Tie me up, hold me down. Police personnel secure handcuffs around a caught protestor up in Perak today. A price for democratic expression.

After the swearing-in, several hundred protesters jeered at vehicles ferrying dignatories leaving the mosque.

They also chanted and sang songs deriding Najib’s association with a murder case involving his former associate, suggesting this will be a constant theme as the deputy president prepares to take power next month as prime minister.

Earlier today Pakatan Rakyat continued its futile bid to overturn the decision of Sultan Azlan Shah.

State Assembly Speaker V Sivakumar sent a letter to no avail to the Ruler by 3pm to ask for an emergency sitting of the state legislature, and for a postponement of the swearing-in ceremony.

This morning, Nizar was escorted out of his office by Ipoh OCPD Azisman Alias, while other Pakatan Rakyat state executive councillors were also asked to leave their offices.

Sri Lanka media caught in the crossfire - 05 Feb 2009