Umno’s Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah warns that the people will be angry if the Perak state assembly is not dissolved for the people to elect a new government.
In his blog (razaleigh.com) today, Razaleigh said defections cannot be the basis for the formation of a government.
“Governments are formed after citizens have expressed their choice through free and fair elections. Our Constitution specifies a formal process for the formation of a government. The Ruler is sworn to uphold and protect this constitutional process,” he said.
The former finance minister and former Umno vice-president said ethical failures “are the core of our political problems and Umno is in critical condition”.
“Our biggest challenge, both as a party and as the ruling party, is to tackle corruption at every level. We are under close public scrutiny in addressing this problem. Unless we implement radical reforms and are seen to be doing so, we are finished politically come next election.
“Instead, we are now seen to be ‘winning back’ Perak with the crossover of exactly the kind of low-calibre individuals, as one commentator put it, who we should shun,” he said.
Razaleigh said the circumstances of the defections, complete with mysterious disappearances, sudden reversals, and implausible explanations, showed ample signs of illegal inducement. “No matter what the truth of the matter, let us not fool ourselves. People will not believe that these crossovers were honest and the mistrust will taint any government formed on the back of crossovers.
“Elections are the sole source of the government’s authority in a democratic society,” he stressed.
Razaleigh added that if the Ruler decides not to accede to the mentri besar’s request for the dissolution of the state assembly and “Barisan Nasional (BN) is invited to form a state government on the basis of defections, what more dubious ones, I think it would anger a large section of the Malaysian public”.
He said Umno’s taking control without resorting to elections would cement the enmity of the very people it should be trying to win back at the next general election.
“Come next general election, they are likely to reject both our state and parliamentary candidates with greater vehemence, and not just in Perak. BN should reform to improve its ability to serve with distinction. This is a long-term project that requires immediate focus. We do not need the distraction of transient, shaky victories when our task is to upgrade ourselves to win elections again, fair and square.
“The is the only sustainable way to win the public back to BN,” he said.
What others say:
/>> Aliran president P. Ramakrishnan
If the majority of three was insufficient to guarantee the stability of the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) state government, how could the same majority of three ensure the stability for BN government?
This uncertainty caused by a slim majority will continue to haunt and hound whoever is in charge of the state government henceforth. The present impasse can only be settled by referring this grave matter to the people. Let them decide who should govern the state, let them choose their government through the democratic process.
/>>Nutgraph columnist and political analyst Wong Chin Huat
A snap poll is the best way to end the existing instability and allow the new government to get on with business. A snap poll called in this circumstance is almost certain to return a stronger government, whether it is Pakatan Rakyat or the BN. Going for flash elections would therefore kill the incentive for more defections.
Perak power grab showcases Umno’s core problem – ethical failure