Perak state has 59 state seats. BN won 28 seats, whereas Pakatan Rakyat won 31 seats in the last general election held on 8 Mac 2008, including 6 seats won by PAS, 18 seats won by DAP and 7 seats won by PKR. By having 3 seats more than BN, Pakatan Rakyat was called by His Highness the Sultan of Perak to form the state government.
But having ruled for the last 9 months, Pakatan Rakyat faced the problem of 2 PKR state assembly men who were also appointed as state EXCO members. Another member of the state assembly, who was appointed as Deputy speaker of the assembly from DAP also left the party. These three members of the state assembly who left their party wants to remain as independent but supports BN to form the new state government.
The four Pakatan Rakyat defectors are Datuk Nasarurudin Hashim (Bota) Jamaluddin Mohd.Radzi (Behrang) Mohd.Osman Mohd.Jaitu (Changkat Jering) and Hee Yit Foong (Jelapang) .
With this political turn-about in Pakatan Rakyat coalition, Dato’ Mohammad Nizar, MB of Perak from Pakatan Rakyat seek an audience with His Highness Sultan Azlan Shah to give consent to dissolve the state assembly. But Sultan Azlan Shah decided not give his consent to Pakatan Rakyat Government to dissolve the Perak State assembly. Instead Sultan Azlan Shah asked Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin and his entire state executive council members to step down with immediate effect.
Prior to that, in order to make a fair decision, His Highness Sultan Azlan Shah met personally the 31 assembly members who BN claims has given support to form the state government. Sultan Azlan Shah also met the 3 independent (defected ) members individually and convinced that MB Mohammad Nizar of Pakatan Rakyat had ceased to command the confidence of the majority of the state assembly members.
It is believed that His Royal Highness Sultan Azlan Shah as the ruler of Perak State used his discretion under Article XVIII (2) (b) and provisions XVI(6) of Perak Darul Ridzuan state constitution for not giving consent to the dissolution of assembly and to demand a resignation from Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin.
Article 16 Clause 7 says that the executive council members other than the MB holds the office at the pleasure of the Sultan. Whereas,, the Article 16 Clause 7 says MB must resign if he loses the confidence of the majority. In other words MB cannot be dismissed.
The two provisions in the Perak Darul Ridzuan state constitution refers to the appointment of MB and not the removal of MB if he refuses to resign. But Prof. Dr. Shad Saleem Faruqi, an expert in Malaysian constitution, says that the two above mentioned provisions seemed to contradict, so one had to look beyond the Perak constitution and into the Interpretation Act. The Interpretation Act states that the power to appoint includes the power to remove.
Based on the above mentioned argument and legal perspective,there is no miscarriage of justice. So, it is advisible for MB Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin and his entire state executive council members to step down immediately and pave the way for BN to take over the state government.
Nevertheless,the Pakatan Rakyat government of Perak has filed a suit in the Ipoh High Court to declare the Behrang, Changkat Jering and Jelapang seats vacant based on the purported pre-signed resignation letters. However the three assembly man involved claim that the resignations letters were made under duress.
Hence, the Election Commission cast doubt over the validity of the resignation letters submitted by the speaker.With this, the commission refuse to budge to the speakers request to hold a by election.
According to a political observer , there was a case of nature brought to court for jurisdiction in 1983. That is when Datuk Ong Kee Hui vs Sinyium Anak Mutit was filed ,the court decided that a signed undated resignation letter is not valid.
However,the issue at hand is that the Perak Pakatan Rakyat government has not collapsed due to popular mandate but due to defections. Government formed through a formal process of free and fair elections only could earn respect and allegiance from its citizens. But forming a government through defections is not only unethical but invites defiance from its citizens. Hence,it is argued that Pakatan Rakyat or BN has to seek the rakyat choices in forming the government.
Having said this, the rakyat still expects His Highness Sultan of Perak, being only an expert in Malaysian law but also a ruler of compassionate, to handle this unprecedented political crisis with extreme care and wisdom in order to uphold the basic tenets of democracy.
May the Almighty bless His Highness with wisdom and strength to face this painful happenings in Perak, the silver state.
Meanwhile, the rakyat is watching what is going on in Perak. Rakyat choice always triumph.Rakyat may reject in the next coming general election the party which they presume to be practicing unethical means to form a government.
Are BN or Pakatan Rakyat prepared for it?