Dr. Zambry Abd. Kadir was formally sworn in as the new Menteri Besar (MB) of Perak by the Sultan of Perak, marking an end (or will it be the beginning of) a period of political turmoil and uncertainty, and the acrimonious protest by Pakataan Rakyat (PR) party members that followed outside the royal palace in Kuala Kangsar soon after Friday prayers, Feb 6, 2009. Of course, the riot police was at hand doing what they know best.........shooting tear gas.
Never has Malaysians witness such an uproar over the appointment of an MB, and where the people believed that the Sultan had erred in his decision not to dissolve the state assembly, thus forbidding a fresh election. The least that could happen was to allow the state assembly to sit to table a motion of no confidence in the MB, thus legitimising his ouster. This has been the most simplistic argument being talked about by the ordinary people, or are they wrong in their arguments?
The people of Perak are now heavily divided in the Sultan's decision, and the kampung folks who are the voters are even more confused. Even the legal and academic fraternity are divided, rightly or wrongly, but the fact remains that PR is now no longer the state government. Certainly, the events surrounding the final take over of the Perak government by the BN will be prominently recorded in the annals of Perak; just like the early history of the Malay Sultanate that are filled with intrigues of power grabbing among powerful rulers and noblemen. In the days of old, it was the kris, sword and spears that will determine who actually rules. But today, it is the rakyat that decides; not individual politicians.
I am not privy to any part of the decision making process that had resulted in the Sultan to make the decision that he did. To the minds of the ordinary rakyat who may not have an intimate understanding of the state constitution, may have wanted a snap election to be held. Their reasoning is simple; that both the BN and PR have equal number of seats in the state assembly. The three defectors i.e. two from PR and one from DAP, who had opted to remain Independent, has no legitimacy to be associated with the BN, although they had pledged their allegiance to the BN. Being Independents, they can swing allegiance to either party and there is nothing to stop them from doing so. Or is the BN assuming that the Independents are a political party that is being recognised as a component party of the BN?
With a razor slim majority in the state assembly, Zambry Abd Kadir cannot be comfortable in his new exulted post. A 'counter leap frog' is probable, and there is no guarantee that the defectors will not do it again.
Will their allegiance letter (if any) to the BN be claimed to be a legitimate document that will hinder them from leap frogging? Or are they disallowed to resign their position as assemblyman, on their own free will from now on? What if the two (Jamaluddin and Mohd Osman) who are facing a corruption charge be found guilty and sentenced? Will this not qualify them? And in the worse case scenario, what if someone decides to 're-kidnap' them?
The Sultan may be correct in his decision though the arguments against it are numerous. The BN's strategy of a 'coup de grace' and declaring the three defectors being their legitimate supporters are questionable issues that shall long remain in argument by most. It is hard to say that governing Perak will be smooth from now on. Certainly, events over the last few days has created a wide rift between the two main parties, and any reconciliatory efforts at this stage may not work.
Only time will heal, and the final count down will be the 13th general election scheduled in the next 3 years from now.
CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION
Posted at 12.45 am on Feb 7, 2009