Saturday, February 21, 2009

Q & A about the Perak suspensions.


This is an interview between Sin Chew Daily and DAP state secretary for Perak, Nga Kor Ming.

Q: If the state assembly meeting is to be convened, will Pakatan table a non-confidence motion against Zambry?

Nga: According to the state constitution, the Speaker has the right to decide the seating of state assemblymen. When the state assembly meeting is convened, the Speaker will instruct BN's state assemblymen to sit at the opposition side and Nizar will still be seated at the menteri besar seat.

Based on the seating arrangement, Pakatan will still be the ruling party while BN is the opposition. Therefore there is no need to table any no-confidence motion against Zambry and no votes need to be cast to decide who should be the menteri besar.

As Pakatan does not recognise BN as the legitimate state government, a possible consequence is that the state budget and any other motion tabled by BN will not be passed. Even if they want to replace the Speaker, the Speaker has the power to overrule the motion.

Q: If menteri besar Zambry and the six executive councillors defy the Speaker's decision and attend the state assembly meeting, what will happen to them?

Nga: If they force their way into the state assembly meeting, it will be seen as an act of non-conformity to the law and open defiance of the Perak state assembly speaker's decision.

The Speaker can exercise the power given to the committee of special privileges to initiate the next course of actions, including summoning Zambri and his people for another hearing and serving them with even harsher punishments such as freezing their salaries and allowances.

Q: Will they be ordered to leave the meeting?

Nga: No, but they have lost their rights to vote on any motion tabled in the meeting. Any of the motions they table will also not be accepted.

Q: Is banning the seven from the state assembly meeting a strategy for Pakatan to turn the tide?

Nga: I wouldn't say we are sure to win, but this is a strategy that we can adopt. We do things based on the laws and everything is done within the confines of the Constitution. If democracy has its day in Perak, no political parties could hijack the right of the rakyat to pursue happiness.

Q: What kind of counteraction will BN take?

Nga: They may declare a state of emergency in Perak. Besides, they may also file a lawsuit in the court to challenge the power of the Speaker.

But if they do so, they will be seen as in contempt of the state assembly, and will be summoned by the Speaker to attend a hearing.

Q: If a snap election is called, what will happen if BN and Pakatan control almost equal number of seats again?

Nga: Currently Pakatan has only 28 seats, considered a government with very slim majority, which is not persuasive enough. But if fresh elections are called, a clear victor will be produced. In the worst case scenario, it's 30 to 29.

As such, Pakatan earnestly hopes to dissolve the state assembly and requests the public to give Pakatan an opportunity to form a stronger state government with two-thirds majority. Even if any assemblyman defects again, the state administration will not be threatened, and the state government can map out any economic development masterplan for the state.

Q:: How big is Pakatan's chance in the fresh state elections?

Nga: Polls show that more than 80% of non-Malays support Pakatan. Non-Malays make up 51% of the state's total population.

As for the Malay community, after the BN takeover, Pakatan's support level among the Malays has been steadily rising. Pakatan's support level among the Malays stood at about 43% after last year's general elections, and should be slightly above 50% by now.

If Pakatan could garner more than half of the Malay votes, coupled with the support from the majority of non-Malays in the state, to secure two-thirds majority is not something impossible.

Q: How is Pakatan's candidate line-up in the coming state elections?

Nga: After the recent takeover by BN, Pakatan will field the original 28 state assemblymen in the coming state elections, as they have served only a portion of their tenure. They need to seek renewed mandate from the people with their performances in the past ten months.

If Pakatan wins the election, Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin will still be the menteri besar. As for the constituencies of the three defecting assemblymen--Jelapang, Changkat Jering and Behrang, we will field suitable candidates in the elections.

Q: Is Pakatan concerned that BN will continue to woo away Pakatan assemblymen?

Nga: I have full confidence towards the 28 Pakatan state assemblymen. BN continues to try to woo Pakatan assemblymen even after they have recaptured the state administration. Fortunately our assemblymen are firm and unwavering in their stands.

Q: Is the Speaker being protected now?

Nga: To be frank, we are concerned about his safety, and have arranged for volunteers to provide full protection.

I can't tell you where he is now, but can assure you he is now at a safe location.

Q: Are you worried that the Speaker will also hop over to BN?

Nga: Even if the Speaker defects now, he cannot change the situation. A decision that has been announced by the Speaker can never be retracted.

1 comment:

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