Despite the Kuala Lumpur High Court’s decision today to recognise Nizar Jamaluddin as the rightful menteri besar, the shameful event of illegal power grab is far from over. From the Prime Minister Najib Razak’s initial reaction, the BN is like to challenge the decision, wisely or otherwise. The coalition might even call for an emergency sitting to cast a vote of no confidence against the menteri besar.
However, the decision will now put the legality of 7 May state assembly sitting under a microscope. It is possible that the appointment of MIC R. Ganesan as the new speaker is also not legal. Without being a legitimate menteri besar, can Zambry force through a vote of no confidence against the speaker and replace him with one of his own people? Is DAP Sivakumar still the rightful speaker?
Next, is Zambry’s government illegal too? Can Zambry be charged under the Criminal Procedure Code for impersonating the menteri besar, occupying his office and enjoying his perks and power?
This court ruling has a vast implication on BN. I have shared this view with a few friends that BN is likely going to face both moral and psychological deficit if it chooses to push ahead with the power grab. Morally, it is very difficult for the coalition to justify accepting the support of three tainted ‘independent’ assemblymen as the bulwark of its government. The legs supporting this new administration are too shaky and unreliable.
It will also be morally wrong to continue insisting that the coalition has a majority to rule if it is obvious that the power grab was not acceptable to the voters. A better decision would be to cut losses and return the right to choose a government back to the people.
Continuous power jostling is going to hurt the BN’s chances in the next general election. With its access to resources at the federal level, the BN can similarly establish a shadow state administration to serve the people.
Najib has repeated his pledge to listen to the people. The voice of dissatisfaction and disapproval of the BN’s power grab is loud and clear. This is the voice Najib cannot pretend to miss and yet preach about change and being a good listener. It is disappointing to note that both MCA and MIC, instead of being agents of change, were actively participating in the power grab.
It is almost impossible for Zambry to continue acting out his role as a menteri besar after the high court ruled in favour of his opponent, Nizar Jamaluddin. He will not enjoy the respect and acceptance of the people until he returns the mandate to choose a new government to the voters. They are the ones who will ultimately decide the fate of both Zambry and Nizar.
BN’s reluctance of going back to get a fresh mandate does not augur well for the once mighty coalition. What does it has to lose if the Perak BN is so confident that they are supported by the majority? Why must they be afraid of the minority voices?
It is time to prove whose will is greater, the people or the politicians.
The ball is now in the palace’s court. The monarchy must not fail the people again. They must demonstrate that the monarchy is truly above politics by respecting the court’s decision and to allow Nizar to dissolve the state assembly and pave way for fresh elections in the state. By refusing to do so, the continuing of power jostling in the state assembly will only make the political quagmire worse.
Someone must own up to the mistake. We hope some sense will prevail at the palace tomorrow.