Thursday, February 5, 2009

BN Takes Back Perak

Barisan Nasional yesterday claimed to have wrested back opposition-held Perak state, as a triumphant Deputy Premier Najib Razak paraded the four politicians whose defections increased BN seats in the state assembly.

The Pakatan Rakyat (PR) government reeled in shock as it made frantic last-minute attempts to stop the possible loss of one of the five states that it won in last March's general election.

'I would like to inform that Perak BN now has the majority to form the state government. I will meet the Sultan to inform His Majesty officially,' Datuk Seri Najib said at a press conference after a day of high drama.

The BN and PR now have 28 seats each, with three independent assemblymen who have pledged support to the BN. The fourth defector was the same politician who left BN to join PR just last week.

The final decision on how things will shape up from here lies with Sultan Azlan Shah who will meet Mr Najib today, an aide to the Deputy Premier told The Straits Times.

The ruler holds the sole prerogative whether to accept a new government or to dissolve the state assembly for fresh elections.

Perak chief minister Nizar Jamaluddin made a beeline for the palace yesterday to persuade the Sultan to allow snap polls, which the PR stands a good chance of winning.

'It is now up to Tuanku (his highness),' he told reporters after the meeting.

It is unlikely that the Sultan will insist on retaining the PR government, but analysts suggest that there is nothing to stop him from suggesting a unity government. This may, however, not be acceptable to BN.

BN yesterday went through last-minute wrangling to secure the defectors, while the PR scrambled to dissolve the assembly before the government was toppled.

Rumours kept Malaysians on tenterhooks as word trickled out that the two Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) assemblymen who went 'missing' had resigned from the party. They are Mr Osman Jailu and Mr Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi. 

Source: The Straits Time

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