Prime Minister Najib Razak told Perak folk today to accept that Barisan Nasional’s (BN) takeover of the state government earlier this year was done according to the law.
“I hope the people will accept that the due process of law has taken place in Perak; from the formation of the government and then back to the process in court."
“We will not do anything against the provisions of the law. We will follow the rules."
“The starting point was then they stole one of our ADUNs. So, they played the game actually, it was not us,” he said.
Najib's attempt to justify the Perak power grab casts doubt over his ability to understand the change this country needs and his ability to deliver it through his leadership in UMNO.
Perak power grab may have been endorsed by the courts but this does not mean that the process cannot be subjected to a full scrutiny by those who are well-versed with the constitutional process.
At best, the court's verdict is inconclusive. There were legal opinions which suggested that the court may have erred by ruling against the legality of the duly elected chief minister and assembly speaker. Some have questioned the use of public institutions e.g. the police, the state secretariat etc. to interfere with the legislature.
Another glaring flaw in Najib's assertion is the opinion of voters of the three constituencies where their elected representative had defected. Did the assemblymen seek a conclusive agreement from the voters? No. These voters would have welcomed the idea of being able to vote on their assemblymen's decision to defect.
Hence, should Perakians accept the BN government in Perak as legal? Najib should hold a referendum (direct state elections) if he wants to find out.
What is legal may not be moral and democratic e.g. the ISA, the OSA, the NEP, the Printing and Publication Act etc.
In the case of Perak, what is legal may not be democratic. The BN government is not a popularly elected government.
On who started the defection game is not the main issue now. It could have been Anwar and PR but it was BN which stole the government from the people.
It does not take a wrong to justify another. Najib was quick to ask his partner, MCA, to be moral in the party's next course of action. It is an advice for himself to ponder too.
Rhetoric apart, Najib should do better than this. This is why I have called for the people to measure the sincerity of politicians to initiative and implement change. Is Najib sincere enough to walk his talk?
The best way to prove is to call for a fresh state general election in Perak.