Pakatan in turmoil?


After a brief celebration of the defection of Bota Assemblyman from Umno, Nasarudin Hashim, to PKR last month, we now have 2 PKR Assemblymen from Behrang and Changkat Jering (Jamaluddin Mat Radzi and Mohd Osman Jailu) go “missing in action” and supposedly “bought” over by Umno, according to the rife rumors circulating.

In a pre-emptive strike, these 2 assemblymen “resigned” from their seats through a fax to the Perak State Assembly Speaker.  Then they purported no to have resigned but the letters were “undated” letter of resignations signed by them last year after the March General Election.

Today, after the Perak State Assembly Speaker referred to the Election Commission on the “resignations” of these two assemblymen, the EC decided that the “resignations” were not valid and hence, there will be no by-elections (read here).  The reason given was that the 2 assemblymen had written to the Perak State Assembly Speaker claiming that their resignations were invalid.  This EC decision may have gone beyond their jurisdiction and overturned the State Assembly Speaker’s decision.  Tian Chua claims that “in the absence of any court decision or injunction, the duty of the EC is merely to set the dates and hold the by-elections, and not decide on the validity of any resignations.” (read here).  Tommy Thomas has an excellent dissertation on this matter and very readable for the layman (read here).  If you signed a blank cheque, you are liable!

In an immediate reaction, Pakatan Rakyat gave the EC 48-hours to reverse this decision (read here) failing which the Perak State Government will take necessary actions.

As the 2 PKR assemblymen had announced they were not leaving the party and they did not submit any resignations from the party, there is no change in the balance of power in Perak (although it was purported that Jamaluddin has quit the party – read here).  However, in reality, Pakatan Rakyat now holds 30 seats against Barisan Nasional’s 29, a precarious 1 seat majority.  This is because the rumors that these 2 assemblymen had intended to defect seems to hold true since they did not deny it and they are still “missing”.  Even their families do not know their whereabouts.  The Perak State Assembly is about to consider them no longer assemblymen regardless if they joined Umno.  A crisis is about to brew.

So, what then for Perak?  We now come to a possible constitutional crisis.  We have 2 choices.

One, Pakatan Rakyat braves the 1 seat majority to see through their tenure as the valid government of Perak.  Knowing full well that at any time another PR assemblyman defects, PR will be ousted to become the Opposition.

Two, Pakatan Rakyat presents the matter to the Ruler and seeks his consent to dissolve the state parliament and call for a snap election.  A poll being run here shows that 89% of the votes support a State election.

RPK’s opinion is that if a snap election for Perak is held, PR will win by a much bigger majority (at least 40 seats) and feels that Umno does not want any State or by-election to be held at all (read here).  Any election now is a detriment to Umno and BN after two terrible showings at Pematang Pauh and Kuala Terengganu.

The next few days will see more clarity to the manouvering of both PR and BN in more definite terms.  Such a state of limbo is not good for Perak and the Ruler’s wisdom must be sought once again to settle this precarious situation.

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One Comment to “Pakatan in turmoil?”

  1. “Pakatan Rakyat now holds 30 seats against Barisan Nasional’s 29, a precarious 1 seat majority”

    I would think since the two have resigned, they woud not be admitted into Perak Legislative Assembly anymore.

    So it is 30 vs 27, still a very comfortable lead and a wise checkmate on Najib by the Perak State Government.

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