Date: Mon, 18 May 2009 08:26:35 -0700 (PDT)
Local: Mon, May 18 2009 11:26 pm
Subject: Suicide: BN leans towards fresh polls in Perak
Will BN dare to take a gamble when they know they will surely lose? ;-
BN leans towards fresh polls in Perak
KUALA LUMPUR, May 18 — The consensus that emerged today among Barisan
Nasional (BN) leaders is that even if the court of appeal rules in its
favour this Thursday, it will still ask the Sultan of Perak to
dissolve the state assembly to pave the way for fresh polls.
The Malaysian Insider understands that the Perak constitutional crisis
was a major item on the agenda at today’s supreme council meeting of
the ruling coalition.
The rationale for such a move is that the ruling coalition stands to
lose more credibility and that perception that it is the villain in
the Perak power grab would only grow.
A number of BN leaders told The Malaysian Insider that the Pakatan
Rakyat (PR) had been effective in painting BN as the usurpers of
However, a time frame for elections has not been decided.
The BN supreme council is likely to meet again after Thursday’s court
Perak’s constitutional crisis is now before the court of appeal as
Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir has filed an appeal against the High
Court ruling that Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin is the rightful mentri
With no clear end to the deadlock in sight, both BN and PR have
appeared amenable to cooperating to find a solution to the impasse.
But PR, led by opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, is
insisting that a fresh election must be part of the equation, a
condition that BN has been reluctant to agree to.
At a press conference today, Datuk Seri Najib Razak had indicated that
any talks with PR over the Perak crisis would only happen after
Thursday’s court decision.
Even if the court of appeal decides in favour of Zambry, the ruling
coalition is still stuck with the dilemma of having to rely on the
backing of three defectors to remain in power.
Currently, both BN and PR have an equal number of seats in the state
assembly, with the three BN-friendly independents tilting in its
But two of the three assemblymen still face corruption charges, while
the third, the former DAP lawmaker Hee Yit Foong, has been vilified to
such an extent that she does not risk showing up at her own
The reason for BN’s softening position is also likely due to a growing
feeling among some of its leaders that it may want to cut its losses
or risk having the anti-BN feeling grow further.
Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad recently suggested that
it was a foregone conclusion that BN would lose fresh polls.
Some BN lawmakers in Perak are also said to be keen on convening an
emergency sitting of the state assembly to finally gauge once and for
all the support it needs to legitimately run the state government.
But there is a growing consensus that such an administration will
continue to be beset with controversy and legal challenges from PR.