Perak, oh Perak

Y’know, I was sort of expecting the Sultan of Perak to announce the dissolution of the Dewan Undangan Negeri, and that we would be seeing snap polls in Perak in the very near future.

So I was suprised when I read that the Sultan decided that Barisan Nasional has enough support to form the Perak state government, and this change would take effect immediately.

It’s a little bit of a deja vu kind of feeling for me right now, considering the fact that Anwar had proposed a change in the Federal Government through the same means that Barisan Nasional has acquired the Perak state government. The proposed 916 that never happened.

I wrote THIS about the time 916 was about to happen:

[I]f I had things my way, I would probably require that all the MPs who wish to defect would have to first relinquish their position in Parliament, and get re-elected by the people under a new flag.

This, unfortunately, is not doable. Basically because the law states that any MP who resigns cannot contest as a candidate in the same constituency for the next 5 years.

I take the assumption that the same law applies in state seats. If I’m wrong, please correct me.

I think this law, plus the fact that we don’t have anti-hopping laws, actually encourage this frog-hopping business that we’re seeing in Perak now. This undermines democracy, and it undermines the importance of the mandate that the representatives received from the people through the ballot box.

The proposal of enacting an anti-hopping law is ding-dong-ing between both BN and PR, depending on the situation each side  is in. If there are defections from BN to PR, the proposal comes from someone on the BN side, and vice versa.

The legitimacy of defections also depends on who’s defecting to whose side.

If I’m a PR rep, and there are defections from BN into PR, it’s a good thing, because PR is good, and at least someone has finally “seen the light”. But if it’s from PR to BN, that person’s a traitor, a good-for-nothing, and his/her position should be nullified.

Believe it or not, the same kind of thinking occurs in those who represent BN.

That’s why I think it’s interesting to see how the reactions towards this coup d’etat are being formed. Those who supported the proposed 916 are now saying that the defectors should get a fresh mandate from the people. Those who opposed the proposed 916 are now saying that it’s perfectly legitimate to defect.

I still think the law, as it stands, encourages power transfers of this manner. The key word here being “power”. Because it feels to me like our politicians are more interested in getting power, rather than serving the people. Which, incidentally, is what they’re supposed to be doing.


10 Comments on “Perak, oh Perak”

  1. anakpakross says:

    why stop at politicians? It all boils down to perceptions isn’t it. Even here, those who perceived that PR is righteous will go to no ends justifying frog jumping when it benefits them. So much double standards. If DSAI can bring much hoped ‘benefits’ then whatever he does is acceptable. If BN ‘must’ be disposed, it is justifiable to do by any means. Everything is acceptable as long as it is agreeble by us, and all else is wrong if it dosen’t suit us. And politicians, lawyers, BN are all crooks. ‘WE’ represent the voice of the ‘rakyat’. Ketuanan rakyat, mahkamah rakyat, all must agree with us. The sultan is also wrong! sigh ..

  2. Hamba Allah says:

    I think, you are wrong. Do something that stupid not thinking about the Malay people. In Perak, Chinese is conquer that decide whatever they wants and that lands from Malay people. So, Sultan’s has authorities to make decision for the best for Perak’s people and also for Malay people. So, don’t blame Sultan if you not accept what your lost.

  3. FND says:

    I believe that the politicians are free to make and change their minds.

    Just like how PKR had tried to induce BN Mps to hop.

    So why is PR so upset?

  4. Drachen says:

    Hopping is legal. Dr M kept it legal because it suited him. AI and the Sultan were just playing by the rules. These same rules can be used against BN.

    Hopping should be stopped or it’ll cause political chaos in the country. What happens if these 4 people decide to hop back to PR? Another change of MB and swearing in?

  5. fnd says:

    but one freedom of association should not be curtailed as well.

    when is hopping legal? when it suits the PR?

  6. for nikki says:

    Hamba Allah,

    Kalau apa yang awak cakap itu benar…. bahawa orang China lah yang control semua ,dapat tanah dan sebagainya ,kenapa ramai orang Melayu yang bantah?? Walaupun dari PAS mereka adalah orang Melayu kan?

    50 tahun sudah berlalu. Mengapa masih kira bangsa ini bangsa itu? Amerika sudah lantik orang hitam sebagai president. Ya, orang hitam yang mereka bantai, pijak, gantung di atas pokok dahulu. Bila agak nya orang bukan Melayu Malaysia bolih diterima sebagai warga negara?. Siapa kah musuh yang sebenar? Orang yang membela orang Melayu dengan retoric tetapi mendapat kontrak lumayan untuk keluarga sendiri? Tengok lah pemimpin2 sekarang. Bandingkan keadaan mereka dengan orang kampung. Apa beza nya? Siapa yang pakai kereta mewah, tinggal di bangalo besar. Dengan tekad , tekun usaha, kerajinan semua orang (tak kira bangsa) bolih maju. Tiada niat apa yang saya cakap disini cuma harap saudara sedar dunia tidak akan tunggu kita. The world is moving fast. We have to get our act together, stay united , everyone have a share in Malaysia. Enough of racial discrimination. We have our differences, yes cultural and others but lets forge ahead as a united front , a team. We sink or swim together. I see no other way,do you? Best wishes.

  7. Drachen says:

    Yes, Hamba Allah. If I, a Chinese Malaysian, can lend a helping hand to the Palestinians in Gaza, why can’t a Malay Malaysian do the same for a Chinese Malaysian in Perak?

  8. huichek says:

    well Michelle, party hopping is not something we Malaysian can condone with..but consider the fact that this is the only way for the opposition to take over the government, we can’t have a say..however, BN is inducing the hop by offering $$$ which stoops lower than the opposition themselves..BN has access to huge amount of money ,at the Federal level, and this is at their this fair to begin with??DSAI stated that he has the number, and party hopping from BN to PR will happen, based only in words of they even have the money to cause the defection? Face the fact, we are now torn between two bad apples,might as well choose the one which we feel is good for us..BN is one hell of a rotten apple..and I don’t think we can have them at the helm anymore..their days are numbered…
    and yeah, for the person above me ‘nikki’, America is the place where DEMOCRACY dominates, their people have more power than the ruler..but in Malaysia, as long as BN is still holding the power, we won’t c OBAMA here ( in this case maybe the pendatang they are referring to)…sad fact, but we have to live with it..

  9. devin says:

    Hey Michelle, my girlfriend is a Malaysian. Can anyone here give me some links that explain what the BN party is all about? Is it more liberal oriented or right wing? From my understanding it is a coalition of parties but I can’t get any feeling whether it is more left of centre or right of centre. Or are these terms even applicable? Why were the people so disenchanted as to ask for a mandate of change in 2008? Great blog by the way!
    Thanks Devin.

    Any readers out there who’d be able to help Devin out in providing some links?

  10. Gadfly says:

    I will try to answer Devin’s question. In Malaysia, nowadays we hardly use these political terms of right-wing, left-wing, left of centre or right of centre.In the fifties or sixties,we still have these terms used by those left-wingers or lefties. The left means socialism and/or communism. However, partly due to govermnent’s effort, left was almost always associated with communism. The leftist movement in fact was quite a mixed lot. Someone who was merely a liberal could be seen as ‘communist-sympathisers’ when the person could just have empathy for the weak and the underclass.

    What do we mean by left or right? I was rather surprised to hear one day a German saying that engineers are right-wingers because they are a conservative lot and tend to support the status quo.
    So, we need to clarify these terms.

    We talk here more of a government is pro-people or anti-people. Off-hand I can think of the link to Farish Noor.

    Devin ask why are the people so disenchanted. I think this has very much to do with categorisation. When a baby is born in Malaysia, immediately his or her fate is closely intertwined with the categories of bumi or non-bumi. If you classify people in certain ways, you will get certain problems. If you classify them in another way, you will get different set of problems. I do not really know in the minds of the framers of such categories, what do they think of what is to be human. Low level of abstraction of the Being of human tends to give rise to serious problems of predejudice and discrimination.

    You may get a feeling of what I mean by categorisation by watching this short clip of ‘A class divided’.

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