Saturday, February 28, 2009

What's Singh Is King?

Watch the trailer on YouTube by clicking on the image above and watch Snoop Dog and Akshay Kumar by clicking on the second image

The phrase "Singh Is King" made by lawyer-politician Karpal Singh during the parliamentary debates has suddenly become hugely popular. Bollywood movie lovers, of course, know what Karpal Singh was referring to but for those who are completely lost, "Singh is King" - is a 2008 action packed Bollywood movie. It's about a village simpleton, named Happy Singh, who was sent to Australia to bring back a fellow Punjab villager who has become the Don, the head of an Australian underworld. That's not all. the movie ends with a video with American rap star Snoop Dogg.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Shameful thuggish behaviour!

IT'S shameful! We don't have to agree with each other in politics but confrontation is surely not the way. More so, within the Parliament compound and even more shameful, how can the security guards be standing idly when a Member of Parliament - a disabled MP in a wheelchair - is mobbed and confronted by some 22 people, claiming to be Umno Youth members, The Star Online reported. No one is his right mind can condone such thuggish behaviour.

Umno Youth has every right to be angry with Karpal Singh's claim that two live bullets were sent to him by the movement. As a seasoned lawyer, he should know better. He must produce evidence. You don't have to be a first year law student to know that. He also has to watch his offensive language. Umno Youth has given him 24 hours to produce proof. But to harass a lawmaker, who is entering Parliament, to perform his duties is certainly a criminal offence. The police must step in and arrest these hooligans. I think Malaysians who have watched the Bollywood movie "Singh is King" would have realised that Mafia-like characters like the Don and gangsters were not condoned. See Ktemoc and Rocky Bru for their views. How low should our politics sink?

A letter to Malaysian politicians... from Zubedy

A full-page advertisement was published in The Star today on Page 37 by Anas Zubedy who wanted to write a letter to all Malaysian politicians.

Anas, originally from Penang, runs his own training company. His advertisements during all the major celebrations in Malaysia have gained a reputation for the interesting and touching messages.

You can check out his site here and also his blog here, which carries the letter in full as well.

You can also read more about him in this feature (Zubedy for unity) which was published in The Star last Sept 28. As well as this latest interview featured in The Star.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The mark of a wise Sultan

Daulat Tuanku! The Sultan of Selangor has once again demonstrated his qualities as a wise and fair ruler. He has openly expressed his sympathies for Elizabeth Wong, saying he was worried and upset over the intrusion of privacy and private right's with the intention of destroying one's dignity and reputation. Well said. The point is simple - what Elizabeth Wong, a matured adult, wants to do behind closed door is nobody's business. As I said, we picked an elected representative, not a nun. Malaysians have had enough of this kind of gutter politics. If it's the work of a rejected ex-lover, it's equally disgusting. He should be arrested and charged in court soon. He should be brave enough to return home and answer the charges against him instead of running away. Nobody is sure whether it's the work of BN, the results of an internal party feud or simply the stupidity of a former boyfriend. But the allegations and counter allegations is sickening, to put it mildly.
The Sultan has also correctly decided that he would not get involved as he is above politics. In the first place, there was really no need for the MB to ask the Tuanku for a decision. He should keep the Tuanku informed of the developments, that's all.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Let's look at issues rationally

It is not easy to follow the issues of the day in a rational manner. But we should try. In my regular column, On The Beat, in Sunday Star today, I wrote that Malaysians are increasingly caught in political partisanship, and that includes those of us who are not into party politics per se.

At times like this, we need to keep a cool head and not get over-emotional. But I would still consider the person who took and circulated lewd photographs of Selangor state executive councillor and Bukit Lanjan state assemblyman Elizabeth Wong, which caused her downfall, as a scumbag - which is actually a pretty mild word under the circumstances.

Still, Malaysians need to take a step back and stop looking at issues too emotionally. Partisanship and inability to evaluate issues rationally can tear the nation apart.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Elizabeth Wong: The drama continues

Latest: Anwar wants her to reconsider

Anwar Ibrahim has asked Elizabeth Wong to rethink her decision to quit. He wants her to go on leave first and the party will make a decision after that.

Elizabeth Wong, the Selangor executive council member and Bukit Lanjan assembly woman, has quit both positions. She announced this at a press conference at PKR headquarters today.

Her boss in Selangor, the Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, said he would get the Sultan of Selangor's views on Wong’s decision to quit all posts first and has advised her to take leave for a "well-deserved rest".

But the political drama continues and PKR adviser and de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is expected to call a press conference on the issue this afternoon.

Click here and here for latest online reports.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Sultan of Selangor sad over happenings in Perak

The Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah Alhaj is deeply saddened and disappointed over the disputes relating to the recent appointment of the new Perak state government to the extent of displaying rudeness to the Sultan of Perak, Sultan Azlan Shah.

“Political developments, instances of street demonstrations and disputes between various parties, relating to the recent appointment of the new Perak state government, to the extent of displaying rudeness to the Sultan of Perak, Sultan Azlan Shah, have saddened and disappointed me,” he said this in a special press statement entitled “Affirmation Regarding the Political Turmoil in Perak Darul Ridzuan”, which was released from Istana Alam Shah, here.

Click here for the full story and statement.

I had written in this blog last December about Sultan Sharafuddin. He has certainly demonstrated himself to be more progressive and reform-minded than many Malaysian politicians, who still thrive on trivial issues and to project themselves as communal champions to win votes.

In my interview with his Royal Highness then, the Tuanku made known that he was unhappy with politicians who harp on trivial issues, play up racial issues and more important this is his message - Malaysia belongs to all and this country is built on the contribution of all races. It must be acknowledged, the Tuanku said. He is also concerned with the "quality of our politicians." For a flashback to the earlier interview, click here.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Two by-elections on the same day - April 7

Voters in Bukit Gantang in Perak and Bukit Selambau in Kedah will go to the polls on the same day - April 7. The Election Commission announced Friday that nomination day would be on March 29.

Although one is a parliamentary seat and the other a state seat, both the Barisan Nasional and the Pakatan Rakyat will be out in full force for the battle.

The full story via Star Online, click here.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

All eyes on Pensiangan - another by-election?

Latest: Judgment deferred
The Federal Court today reserved judgment in an appeal by Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah president Tan Sri Joseph Kurup to quash the nullification of his election to the Pensiangan parliamentary seat in the March 8 general election. Full story here.

Another by-election could well be in the offing. The focus is on the Federal Court hearing on the appeal from Pensiangan MP Joseph Kurup, whose parliamentary seat was declared null and void in March last year. He may have won the seat uncontested but his political future is now in the balance. The court has fixed Feb 12 and 13 for the hearing but no immediate decision is expected. Pensiangan is the only seat held by Kurup's PBRS, an interior-based Sabah party. If the decision is upheld by the Federal Court, a by election would have to be called. Yong Teck Lee's SAPP and PKR are said to be keen in contesting the seat. The PBS has also lobbied openly for the seat if a fight is on. Joseph Pairin has claimed that only PBS can win the seat, a remark which Kurup has not taken lightly or kindly. But the question is whether Malaysians can stomach another by-election. There seems to be no end to by-elections in this country.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The drama continues in Perak

Nizar Jamaluddin has insisted on staying put in the MB's official residence with the PM appealing to him to vacate. He reported for work today at the state secretariat only to be turned away. The new MB Zambry Kadir has now found himself in a peculiar situation - he cannot move into the MB's residence. The sticky situation is set to continue until some time. There was more drama in Kedah. The Sultan of Kedah has summoned V.Arumugam to the palace but he is missing. He is believed to have flown off to Chennai. With all these confusion and two impending by-elections, Malaysians must be wondering who's taking charge of the economy at the state and national level. There is just too much politicking in Malaysia.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Two by-elections now

The Kedah MB has just confirmed that V Arumugam of PKR has quit as Exco member and Bukit Selambau assemblyman. This paves the way for a second by-election at the state level, following the by-election for the parliamentary seat of Bukit Gantang which has to be called following the death of PAS MP Roslan Shaharum.

The two by-elections, coming in the wake of the Perak political changeover, will be an interesting test for Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat.

Everyone is feeling the heat, and there is just no let-up in the soaring political temperature in the country. There is even an eclipse of the moon tonight.

Kedah exco man quits following allegations

There are plenty of allegations against Kedah exco member V.Arumugam, whose resignation has been accepted by the Kedah MB. The allegations relating his marital status have even been brought up to the attention of the Kedah palace. PKR officials have confirmed that these allegations were one main reason for Arumugam's decision to quit his exco seat.The pressure is mounting for him to quit his state seat but that would mean a by-election, which even Pakatan Rakyat leaders do not have the appetite at this point. Certainly, not the BN either.Meanwhile, Arumugam continued to be incommunicado to the media and PR officials. Even the Kedah MB told reporters at a press conference that he has been unable to reach him. He is said to be on leave but no one is able to verify it.

PAS MP for Bukit Gantang dies

It looks like another by-election will have to be called in Perak. The PAS MP for Bukit Gantang, Roslan Shaharum (picture), died of a heart attack on Monday morning. According to The Star Online, the 50-year-old had sent his car to a car-wash near his home in Changkat Lallang near here when he complained of chest pains.

Roslan borrowed a bicycle from one of the carwash workers to go to the nearest pharmacy. His body was found at a slip road by passersby at 11:15am, Batu Gajah OCPD ACP Najib Mohamad said. For the full report, click here.

In the last general election, Roslan polled 20,015 votes to beat the Barisan candidate, Abdul Azim Mohd Zabidi from Umno by a majority of 1,566 votes. Azim had 18,449 votes while independent M Morgan had 872 votes.

PKR assemblyman missing in Kedah?

Latest: The media is waiting for V.Arumugam to announce his decision to quit as an exco member but is said to be staying on as a state assemblyman following various allegations against his personal life.

Trouble is brewing in Kedah. the word is that Bukit Selambau assemblyman V.Arumugam (picture) is missing. Reporters have been trying to locate him to confirm speculation that he may want to quit. No one is certain whether he wants to quit as assemblyman or quit from the PKR to join another opposition party. Malaysiakini has quoted sources as saying that he plans to quit his seat to pave the way for a by-election soon. Is this a pre-emptive move? Other versions have it that the PKR has a resignation letter dated Feb 20 with the party.

In the March 2008 election, Arumugam had stood as an independent against the MIC's K Subramaniam. Arumugam polled 13,225 votes against Subramaniam's 10,863 votes to win by a majority of 2,362 votes.

He subsequently joined PKR and was made an Exco member.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Blame game in Pakatan starts

Latest: Penang PKR slams Karpal Singh

DAP lawyer Karpal Singh (left) has blamed Anwar Ibrahim for creating the party-hopping culture and causing trouble in Pakatan Rakyat. He also asked Anwar Ibrahim to step down as PR de facto leader and to stop creating trouble. Strong words indeed but that's Karpal Singh for you. He is consistent in his stand, even if it means offending his fellow PR leaders. He is against the setting up of an Islamic state and he spoke up when DAP and PKR leaders have started to compromise their stand by keeping a deafening silence.

After all, there is the possibility of winning in the next elections and nobody wants to ruin anything, even if it means compromising their political principles. But Karpal Singh seems to be the odd man out again. He remembers the Sept 16 scam and massive frog hunting exercise from Sabah, Sarawak to Taiwan when many chose to forget or ignore it.

A war of words have erupted following Karpal Singh's statement and the word is that PKR leaders are busy writing their press statements to whack Karpal Singh. Politics in Malaysia is always exciting and unpredictable.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

A tale of two MBs in Perak

Newly sworn in Perak MB Zambri Kadir started off his duties today by attending the CNY gathering (above) at Kampung Simee. On his mind must be the need to win the hearts and minds of the non-Malays. He promised he would be an MB of all races. Obviously he is aware that the BN state government now has only one Chinese state assemblyman and no representative from the Indian community. Appointed roles would need to be made to resolve this uneasy situation. It is an unhealthy political situation. He must also tackle the issue of land titles which is a matter of concern among the Chinese, especially the farmers. These are people who export our fruits overseas and yet they toil on illegal land despite the push for agriculture. The tropical fish industry is another revenue earner for the state but the breeders faces the same predicament. It was on the agenda of the Pakatan Rakyat government. Zambri needs to do better if he is serious about winning over their support. Talk is cheap. Please help these people because Malaysia needs them, not just Perak. It is not about race but about fairness. It is about the economy. It is about people who earn an honest living. So, please help them.

On the other side, Nizar Jamaluddin has refused to accept the fact that his government has collapsed. He still regard himself as the MB and held an "exco" meeting (above) where they passed three policies. The PAS leader has also refused to move out of the official MB residence. That is also another sticky situation. Nizar would now have to focus on the court battles ahead but it doubtful whether this defiant act can last. Soon, he has to accept the fact that he is now the Opposition Leader. He has to move on eventually.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Standoff between police and crowd outside palace

News alert: Dr Zambry sworn in as MB, Syed Hamid warns of action against those out to create trouble and commit treason against Malay Rulers.
News alert: Zahid Hamidi: Protestors kicked my car, threw objects
News alert: Nizar refuses to resign as MB, won't vacate official residence

Breaking news - Police has fired two rounds of tear gas at a group of Pakatan Rakyat supporters armed with stones and bottles who tried to force their way into the Istana Iskandariah palace ground in Kuala Kangsar. A large crowd, which the Malaysian Insider estimated to be 10,000, had gathered outside the palace after Friday prayers at Masjid Ubudiah. More to follow. Reporters outside the palace said the situation has turned chaotic. More to come.

Nizar escorted out of office

The political temperature is getting hotter in Perak. Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin and the other Pakatan Rakyat state exco members were escorted out of his state secretariat office, which has been emptied, at 10.15am by the Ipoh OCPD. His press conference was also stopped. Nizar and the PR elected representatives have said they would boycott the swearing in ceremony of Dr Zambri Kadir as MB this afternoon. The matter is expected to go to the courts. But the biggest casualty would be the rakyat - both sides would be preoccupied with power struggle in the state and certainly the economy would not be on the minds of these politicians. Perak has already lost its shine long ago with many of its young people preferring to seek employment in Kuala Lumpur. Ipoh is virtually a dead town and certainly the attention it gets now is something the people do not need. Dr Zambri biggest job would be to win the hearts and minds of Perakians, many of whom are upset with the collapse of the PR government. He needs to start introducing populist measures, which would be regarded as fair to all races. Dr Zambri needs to remind himself that the old Umno methods would not be accepted or even tolerated.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Zambri Kadir - the new Perak MB

News alert: Nizar to stay away from swearing in ceremony of Zambri.

The new Perak MB Datuk Dr Zambri Kadir (pix) has a tough job ahead of him. He faces a strong, if not, hostile opposition which has just lost the state government. On the ground, it would not be wrong to say that there are many ang
ry voters who are upset with the defeat of the Pakatan Rakyat state government. Dr Zambri, a young but experienced politician, knows the challenges ahead of him. He must be seen to be fair and open.

He must give the other races a fair deal, particularly in the allocation of exco seats. The days of non-Malays getting junior, if not, inconsequential portfolios, are over. Dr Zambri, a former housing developer and an economist, also has to grapple with the issue of land titles. Whether they are new villagers or traditional kampung folks, the people should be given their fair due.

More importantly, the Pangkor state assemblyman knows that he has less than four years to prove BN's worth or in the next general election, the state would go back to Pakatan again. The Pakatan would surely remind the voters in the next round that their victory was snatched away from them.

Stop the political frogs, end party hopping

News flash: PM: Zambri Kadir, the Pangkor Assemblyman, to be sworn in as MB tomorrow

News flash: Police and FRU have taken over the State Secretariat building, state secretary asked state exco members and staff to leave.

There should be no place for political frogs. Malaysians must tell our politicians they cannot accept such unprincipled politicians. It does not matter whether they are from BN, PKR, DAP or PAS but there should be laws to stop such unethical politicians. There has to be consistency, however, when we push for such legislation. There cannot be a right to a wrong. If a BN elected representative joins Pakatan Rakyat, it is still wrong. It cannot be right. We cannot justify it simply because of our political emotions.

It should be the same when a Pakatan Rakyat elected representative defects to the BN. Many of us choose to forget the Pakatan Rakyat's attempt to capture the federal government after the March 8 polls. Despite the BN being democratically elected to lead the federal government, the PR went on a frog-hunting trip. In fact, Tian Chua even said the collapse of the BN federal government was inevitable and a foregone conclusion. He even went on a trip to Taiwan, together with a few top leaders, to get BN MPs to defect. Not many people seemed ready to condemn such actions.

Even Yong Teck Lee and his SAPP MPs pulled out of the BN despite being voted on BN tickets. Their actions then were cheered by PR leaders and supporters, regarding it as a prelude to Sept 16. The defections were then justified purportedly on moral grounds and political righteousness. It's time for a law to stop party hopping.

BN to form Perak govt, no fresh polls

It's confirmed. There would be no fresh elections as demanded by the Pakatan Rakyat. The Sultan of Perak has not consented to the proposed polls, according to Bernama. The Perak MB and the state exco members have also been told to resign from their positions as preparations are being made for the new BN exco line up including a new MB to be sworn in soon. If Nizar fails to do so, his position would be considered as vacant. The political temperature in Perak is however getting hot. Anwar Ibrahim is meeting Nizar and a gathering would be held in protest against the collapse of the PR government. The IGP has issued a warning against the gathering while sources said the police have cancelled the leave of its top brass to maintain the security in the state.

Najib to meet the press soon

News Alert: MB Nizar summoned to Istana Kinta
: Anwar to meet Nizar, plans gathering
: Sultan Azlan Shah does not consent to dissolution
: Perak MB told to quit immediately

The Deputy Prime Minister, who has been granted an audience by the Sultan of Perak, is scheduled to call a press conference at 12.30pm. The word outside the palace is that the BN is ready to form the new government. The BN has the numbers and the media believed that there could be a few more defections. The names of one or two PKR assemblymen have been mentioned. The Malaysian Insider reported that Najib has left the palace and has started a meeting with the Perak Umno leaders.
Meanwhile, the Pakatan Rakyat has started the process of challenging the EC decision through legal channels. The DAP, it is understood, has also sent the undated resignation letter of Jelapang assemblyman Hee Yit Foong to the Speaker. But this could be an academic exercise if the BN officially takes over the state government in the coming hours. The collapse of the Pakatan Rakyat government is certainly a boost to Umno but its leaders would have to deal with the fact that public opinion, particularly in Perak, is not favourable. Party hopping is unethical and these defectors have been regarded as unprincipled people. Anwar Ibrahim is also on the firing line with criticism against him for encouraging party hopping. His silence has also been an issue among Pakatan Rakyat supporters.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A game that Anwar Ibrahim lost

At Putrajaya, Najib, in his capacity as BN chief in Perak, announced that the Barisan is ready to form the government now that it has the necessary numbers to command the majority. From left are Nasaruddin, Hee, Osman and Jamaluddin. - Starpix

It was a high stakes game that Anwar Ibrahim started and he has ended up losing the Perak state government. There can be no justification for elected representatives to defect to another party. It does not matter what parties they are from. Unfortunately there are no laws to prevent such party defections.

With the exception of DAP's Karpal Singh, not many Pakatan Rakyat seemed to favour such laws as they believed that there could be BN elected representatives who would join them. The possibilities of greater power blinded their judgement and ethical positions. Tian Chua, for example, went on record to justify party hopping. Another PAS leader justified on religious moral grounds that it was acceptable for BN men to cross over to Pakatan.

The PKR tried luring BN representatives to join the party and even set a Sept 16 deadline of forming the next federal government. It failed but many people believed it would take place. In the end, it was just a sham. Then the Pakatan Rakyat tried to woo BN men in Penang, Negri and last week, the Bota state assemblymen. The floodgates, so to speak, were opened.

A dangerous political game was played out and in the end, when the BN decided to come in, they walked away with a prized state. There is now talk that the same game would be played in Negri Sembilan by both sides. The bottom line is there would no dissolution of the Perak state assembly and a new Mentri Besar would be sworn in with speculation of more defections from PKR.

Nizar to meet Sultan of Perak

The MB of Perak has been granted an audience by the Sultan of Perak at 5pm. Mohd Nizar is likely to request that the state assembly be dissolved and fresh elections be held but with three PKR and one DAP assemblymen now joining BN, the game is as good as over. Perak BN leaders would probably seek an audience with the Sultan and asked that they be given the right to take over the state government.

Bota Assemblyman also missing now?

Breaking news: Perak assemblymen Jalamuluddin Radzi, Osman Mohd Jailu, Nasarudin Hashim and Hee Yit Foong at DPM's Office now.

The word in Perak now is that Bota state assemblyman Nasarudin Hashim has also gone "missing" with speculations that he could be returning to Umno. Last week, he had announced his decision to quit Umno to join PKR. But with the Perak state government on the verge of collapsing, the Bota assemblyman could well be changing his decision. According to the Malaysian Insider, the Perak MB said that he had unconfirmed reports that Nasarudin has been "abducted" with Nasarudin's wife claiming he had been taken by Umno leaders to meet DPM Najib Tun Razak in Putrajaya. The political drama seems to be getting more bizarre with each passing hour.

Fast and furious in Perak - Part Two

At Putrajaya, Deputy Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak has called for a press conference. The two former PKR state assemblymen Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi and Mohd Osman Mohd Jailu are expected to be present. They are also expected to rejoin Umno. In Ipoh, the Perak DAP has denied that Jelapang assemblyman Hee Yit Foong has quit the party as reported by the media.

Fast and furious in Perak

Hee Yit Foong's service centre in Jelapang remains closed, adding more fuel to talk of her leaving the ruling coalition.

It's fast and furious in Perak.The stage is set for a showdown in Perak. The two PKR state assemblymen - Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi and Mohd Osman Mohd Jailu - have declared themselves as independents. Malaysiakini quoted DAP assemblywoman Hee Yit Foong as confirming that she has quit the party to be an independent too. If that is true, then the Perak state government has collapsed.

Hee has continued to be mssing from state meetings while her service centre has remained closed. The MB, Mohammad Nizar, scheduled a press conference at 1pm, but postponed it. The press conference was said to be his decision to announce his plans to dissolve the state assembly but he would need the consent of the Sultan of Perak.

The Pakatan Rakyat state government should now call for an emergency state assembly meeting. Today, the New Straits Times quoted Speaker V. Sivakumar as saying the two ex PKR duo would be barred from attending. The newspaper quoted him as saying that he had the power to declare the seat vacant and he stood by his decision despite being overruled by the Election Commission.

The MB has little choice, at this stage, but to convene the special sitting to show he still has the support of the majority of the elected representatives. If he wishes to call for fresh elections, the MB has to get the approval of the Sultan of Perak. The MB alone cannot decide on that, that is clearly stipulated under the state constitution. But given the situation now, the Perak opposition leader Tajol Rosli can ask for the right to form the new state government.

For Hee, her source of unhappiness is with the state DAP leadership. Despite being more senior than her DAP colleagues, she was by-passed for key state government positions including the state executive councillor post. Hee also has difficulties with certain national DAP leaders, according to talk. Internal party squabbles and personal ambitions appears to have taken a toll on the Perak state government which is on the verge of collapse. The talk is that a few more Pakatan Rakyat assemblymen would also declare themselves as independents.

Check Star Online for more updates.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Options running out for Perak government

The Perak state government has suffered a major setback following the decision of the Elections Commission. The EC has maintained that there would be no by-elections and that the two - Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi and Mohd Osman Mohd Jailu - are still the assemblymen for Behrang and Changkat Jering respectively, The Star Online reported.

The Perak state government can still challenge the decision in court but it would be a major legal hurdle as there are enough court precedents to rule against the validity of the undated resignation letters presented to the Speaker earlier.

But as the court process takes place, should the Pakatan state government file a case, it is already on the brink of collapsing. With the latest developments, the BN is just short of one assemblyman from forming the new government.

Jamaluddin has already quit the PKR, saying he would not be joining any other political party and would remain an independent member.

There has been talk that the remaining PR elected representatives may quit en masse to force by-elections but it may not be a wise move. The law now stipulates that any MP or state assemblyman who quits his seat would be banned from contesting in the elections for five years.

The ruling was made when Datuk Shahrir Samad quit his Johor Baru parliamentary seat to contest in a by-election as an independent in 1988. He won with a 12,613 vote majority and the laws were subsequently amended.

Now that Jamaludin has made clear his stand, all eyes are on Changkat Jering assemblyman Osman Jailu. If Osman also becomes an independent, the situation in the House becomes too close to call.

The MB may have no choice but to convene an emergency state assembly meeting to prove he still enjoys the support of the majority. In short, he would need to show he has the numbers - even if it is only a majority of one.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Perak intrigue gets murkier and more dramatic

LATEST: No show by Jamaluddin and Osman

Jamaluddin Mat Radzi, who was scheduled to call a press conference at the KLIA at 4pm failed to show up. Osman Mohd Jailu, whose PC was to be at Shah Alam, also did not appear. Both sent representatives who say the two assemblymen had been on medical leave. The drama continues...

The plot in Perak is becoming more dramatic. Perak MB Mohammad Nizar was granted an audience with the Sultan at Istana Kinta this morning but left 25 minutes later without speaking to the media. Check updates at Star Online here.

The talk is that Umno leaders are also seeking an audience. The likelihood is that the two state exco members - Jamaluddin Mat Radzi and Osman Mohd Jailu - would be announcing this evening that they have decided to part ways with PKR but would remained as state assemblymen.

It is almost certain they would declare themselves to be independents. They are certain to argue that the undated resignation letters would have little impact as new letters to supercede these letters would have been filed. In any case, Malaysia does not have anti-hopping laws and the freedom of association is guaranteed under the federal constitution.

Go and asked Joseph Pairin whose PBS state assemblymen defected to BN and he lost the state government. Anwar Ibrahim is probably well versed too. There are enough court precedents to favour the duo. In the end, if the BN has the numbers, the Perak state government under Pakatan could collapse and there would be no fresh state elections. There is the question of law and also the Sultan needs to give his consent. At this point, the scenario is murky with merely plenty of rumours and speculations. But the story of the Perak drama is simple - it's about selfish political ambitions and party squabbles in the PKR, DAP and Umno.