Monday, February 16, 2009

Perak BN Government with PR Speaker will collapse

Abdullah Ahmad Badawi before he leaves office should persuade the Sultan of Perak to dissolve the Perak State Assembly and to let the Election Commission to hold fresh election to resolve the political stalemate in Perak. The Prime Minister should understand that most quarters are against elected representatives jumping ship as this will not be healthy to democracy in the country.

The Prime Minister has to understand that the political fiasco in Perak does not end by having BN formed the government. Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar and his Cabinet could have been replaced, but, the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly who is from the Pakatan Rakyat is legally still the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly. The Speaker, Sivakumar, has not resigned nor had he been disqualified. He could not be forced to resign unless he loses his seat in the Legislative Assembly. The sultan could not get him to resign because unlike Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar and his Cabinet, the Speaker was not appointed by the sultan, but, in Sivakumar’s case, he was elected by Pakatan Rakyat. Even that, the correctness or the legality of the command of the sultan to force Datuk Mohammad Nizar and his cabinet to resign is doubtful as the matter has to be decided by the courts. This is because the sultan’s prerogative power could be subjected to judicial review by the courts.

The Prime Minister must also understand that the Speaker also could not be removed by a vote of non-confidence as this is not provided by the Perak state Constitution.

The BN Cabinet has to face the Speaker from Pakatan Rakyat and the Prime Minister should be able to anticipate the embarrassment it would cause to the BN government under the PM’s leadership if Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi, Mohd Osman Mohd Jailu and Hii Yit Fong whom the Speaker said had received their resignation will not be allowed by the Speaker to enter the Legislative Assembly or be evicted from the sitting. They had “resigned” and if evicted from the Legislative Assembly, they have to go to court to seek court declarations about their positions in the Legislative Assembly.

The Prime Minister must know that while the Speaker has to play by the book, but, the Speaker will also apply the unwritten rules, tactics and songs played by the BN government all these while in Parliament. There will be nothing BN could do to stop the Speaker not to follow what the BN government did in Parliament to curtail democratic debates in the House. The BN government led by Dr. Zambry will definitely face expulsions or be serious censured for the little mistakes they may make during their debates.

Once expulsion begins, the BN government who excluding the three who had resigned only has 28 to 27 for Pakatan Rakyat will also have no numbers to pass the many bills into law. With that, the government may not be able to operate because financial bills once not passed will force the BN government to run the state without money. To borrow money to run the government without the sanction of the Legislative Assembly may also be illegal and the Dr. Zambry and his Cabinet will be forced to personally pay the debts themselves. They may even face criminal charges, if not careful.

This can definitely force the Perak Legislative Assembly to be dissolved.

What will happen if the Speaker does not want to convene a meeting even though a directive has been issued by the Dr. Zambry, the new MB from BN? Again, nothing much BN could do except to go to court or if this arises, the BN government also has to dissolve the Legislative Assembly. This will then be an embarrassing closing chapter in the political career of Abdullah Ahmad Badawi as a Prime Minister. His leadership to steer the country out of political hands of the palace will be judged in the future. The Prime Minister should understand that his predecessor, Dr. Mahathir Mohammad had wanted to lessen the influence of the palace in the running of the affairs of the country. Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, instead had created uncertainty about this matter in the administration and will set a dangerous precedent in the Malaysian politics that could destabilize the peace and harmony in the country where rioting and street demonstrations will become more prevalent to influence political opinions.

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