My condolences to the family of Roslan Shaharum. His passing on was very unexpected. Many have said it to be ‘divine intervention’, considering the political climate that looms over Perak at the moment.
Perak is now in such a state that just when you think you know what’s going on, the next minute you’re not quite so sure. And emotions are definitely running wild.
Take for example THIS:
“In the old days, what did we do to those who committed treason?” Khairy [Jamaluddin] asked the crowd at the Jalan Sultan Abdul Jalil field here.
The crowd replied “kill him!” as they waved banners with the words “Nizar Penderhaka Melayu Moden (Nizar is the modern day Malay traitor)” but Khairy instead said that “we only ask that they be banished,” referring to Nizar and other PR leaders who have supported his decision.
This is nothing short of fanning the fire. I think this is what is referred to as mengapi-apikan perasaan. The end result wouldn’t be nice. And politicians, or anyone of influence, would be well-advised to stop egging the people on, like what Khairy has been seen doing. It can’t be good for ANYONE.
It is in this state of uncertainty and swirl of anger that a next by-election will be carried out.
I hope Barisan Nasional will refrain from banging on the derhaka issue. And I hope Pakatan Rakyat will control their supporters from pelting more stones at cars of royalty/dignitaries/anyone.
Let’s at least TRY to keep it clean.
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.
Following the “resignation letters” that the Perak state assembly speaker received from two PKR state assemblymen, it seems that a drama has unfolded.
First, the letters are being disputed. Both state assemblymen are denying that they have resigned.
However, the speaker had already declared their seats vacant, and had already submitted an official letter to the EC, and by-elections are supposed to happen within 60 days.
Then the EC decides that it cannot call for by-elections, because the “validity of the resignation letters” are under doubt. They announce that the two seats will still be held by the duo
The two PKR state assemblymen then say that they have been “kicked out” from PKR, since the letters were only supposed to be handed in if and when they decide to leave the party. Now they claim that they are independent state assemblymen.
The Perak state assembly speaker then says that he has “absolute authority” when it comes to announcing the vacancy of the state seats. If this is the case, then the EC have overstepped their boundaries in announcing that they cannot accept the resignation letters.
Now, with the Pakatan Rakyat only having such a slim majority, and chances of “defection” at a high, the Perak MB is considering calling for snap polls.
If this is not drama, I don’t know what is.
As for myself, I don’t think that the EC has the authority to decide whether or not the resignation letters are valid. This should be under the purview of the speaker, and if he has already officially announced both seats vacant, the EC should carry out the by-elections.
But since both state assemblymen are denying their resignation, they should bring this matter up with the speaker, or if they dispute the legality of the letters, they should bring the matter to court. And it should be decided by either the courts, or the speaker, whether or not to stay the by-elections while they fix up this mess.
I am, of course, not saying that I’m right. I just think that systems are put in so that messes like this don’t happen. If the EC can do what it did, despite receiving an official letter from the speaker, then why should the resignation letters be given to the speaker in the first place? Might as well just give it to the EC. There must be some kind of flow here, and that’s the problem. The flow has gone nuts.
However, if I’m wrong, and the EC really does have such an authority, I’d like to be corrected.
Updated: Read Haris Ibrahim’s post HERE for more details pertaining this issue about the EC’s authority. Read also the first comment on that post by Shamsul Yunos.
About snap polls. There are so many ways to look at it. It could be a chance for Barisan Nasional to “redeem themselves”. It could also be a way for Pakatan Rakyat to “weed out” potential defectors. And if the trend of how the by-elections were going about, it might also benefit the people of Perak to the extent that there would be more money flowing in, and more development promises.
However, with the economic climate the way it is now, is it really all that wise to be spending so much money, time and attention on snap polls, when all this money, time and attention could be put to better use, like taking care of the entire country?
I don’t know.
Unstable governments don’t attract investors. Perhaps it would be good for Perak in the long haul, assuming that the results for this potential election will give either side a larger majority to work with. Minus potential defectors, which would throw the state government, whichever state it is, into another frenzy.
It’s a drama in Perak. If I were a Perakian (if there is such a word), I’d be worried right about now.
9.10pm: According EC official tally: PAS (32,393 votes), BN (29,969), Independent (191) with two more boxes to be tallied.
From Malaysian Insider:
9.05pm: After 141 of 144 boxes counted, BN 29,862 votes, Pas 32,225, Ind 190. Majority 2,363.
From The StarOnline:
Result after votes from 140 of the 143 streams have been tallied:
* Datuk Wan Ahmad Farid Salleh (BN) – 29,530 votes;
* Mohd Abdul Wahid Endut (PAS) – 31,912 votes;
* Independent candidate Azharuddin Mamat – 190 votes.
From Anil Netto:
2105: Pas leads by 2,424 in the official tally, with two boxes left. It’s impossible for the BN to catch up.
From Haris Ibrahim:
The team at the PAS IT centre has reported that the tallying process has stopped as PAS has declared victory based on unofficial reports that PAS has won by a majority of 2,616.
The numbers on the various sources don’t really tally. Probably the numbers were taken at different points during the count, as it is still on-going. But generally, it appears that PAS has won the KT seat!
Great news for me!
Good night people.
Today is the day that Kuala Terengganu voters will be going out to cast their vote for the second time within the time-frame of one year.
During the last elections, the Barisan candidate won by a slim majority of 600+. I say slim, considering that the total number of registered voters amount to more than 80,ooo. That makes out to only a 0.7% majority. Stats can be found HERE.
I don’t do political analysis very well, and not being there only adds to my incompetency of writing much about what I think it’s going to turn out like.
Simply said, I have no idea what the results tonight will turn out to be like.
Is the so-called “Chinese swing” as important as some make it out to be? Will the so-called “Malay votes” be split 50-50?
I’ll be waiting up tonight to catch the final results before ending my day. And though I have no idea what the general vibe is like all the way back in Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia, I’m hoping to see PAS win the seat this time, and with a higher majority than just 0.7%.