The way out for Perak crisis
The Court of Appeal has ruled that Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir is the rightful menteri besar of Perak.
Even as BN has won a legal match, the Perak crisis is far from being over.
While Nizar and his administrative team will not be able to go back to work, at least in the near future, in accepting the verdict. However, the state government led by Zambry, the winning side in the Appeal Court’s verdict, is not going to see things moving smoothly in their favour either.
In legal terms, Pakatan’s Nizar Jamaluddin can always appeal to the Federal Court, and proceed with his legal Long March until all legal avenues have been exhausted.
Politically, Pakatan does have the opportunity. They can boycott the state assembly sittings, boycott the state government, and launch civil campaigns to unseat the BN state government.
Zambry’s menteri besar position will remain as precarious as ever.
Moreover, where public consensus is concerned, BN is the underdog. Perakians generally feel that the best solution to redress the current deadlock is not by way of court verdicts, but the ballot papers. Perakians should have the final say in deciding who should run the state administration.
Boosted by the support of popular consensus, Pakatan can continue applying pressure to get the state assembly dissolved.
BN and the Perak Sultan alike will feel such a pressure!
If BN refuses to succumb to popular demands, it may still hold on to the state administration for a while, but the frustration towards BN will continue to brew and explode in the long run.
As such, the consequences should deal a severe blow to the reforms and One Malaysia vision of prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
Najib has said BN will eventually have to face the voters’ judgement.
While you may shun the consequences momentarily, you are not going to be spared from them forever.
The winning chances in Perak as well as the possible backlash nationwide come the next general elections should all be within Najib’s consideration.
Therefore, to resolve the crisis in Perak and to tame the wrath of the people there, Najib’s administration should have the political wisdom to act outside the confines of laws, and patch up the hole in either of the following two ways.
1. Let Zambry propose to the Sultan to dissolve the state assemby to pave way for fresh state elections in a show of BN’s confidence as well as its response to popular demands.
If BN manages to claim victory in most of the Malay-dominated constituencies in the fresh elections, there are still chances for it to retain its rein of government.
After all, such a move will serve to consolidate further the legitimacy and acceptance of its state government.
2. “Encourage” the three defecting state assemblymen, namely Hee Yit Foong, Osman and Jamaluddin to resign to pave way for by-elections.
BN may lose the predominantly Chinese Jelapang state seat, but has reasonable chances in the other two Malay-majority constituencies.
Of course, having won in its appeal, the probability for BN to take the initiative to create by-elections may seem pretty low. But for the sake of the party’s long-term prosperity and image, this is not an impossible bet at all. (By TAY TIAN YAN/Translated by DOMINIC LOH/Sin Chew Daily)