BN mulls options for Perak but DAP wants polls

By Shannon Teoh (Malaysian Insider)
KUALA LUMPUR, MAY 24 — Hoping for an end to the Perak crisis, the prime minister today said that an emergency assembly is an option to end the impasse but the DAP slammed the idea and called for fresh polls.
Datuk Seri Najib Razak said this when asked if such a move could short-circuit plans to appeal to the Federal Court by establishing that Barisan Nasional (BN) is in control.
“That is an option for us but it is not the only way to show majority,” Najib said of an emergency sitting.
“We hope that there is finality although I understand that there is a high probability of an appeal. They have the right and we accept that,” said the Umno president who has been blamed by the opposition for engineering the Perak power grab.
“Forget about it, Najib, impasse will get worse. Only option — hold elections now!” DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang shot back hours later.
After 16 weeks of dispute, the Court of Appeal had on Thursday declared Datuk Seri Zambry Abd Kadir as the rightful mentri besar.
But Pakatan Rakyat (PR) are ready to make a further appeal to the Federal Court to uphold an earlier High Court decision which had ruled in Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin’s favour.
Najib also took a swipe at PR leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim who had questioned the integrity of the judiciary after the Court of Appeal had overruled the High Court.
“He himself tried to establish federal government by defections,” he said, referring to Anwar’s Sept 16 takeover plan.
“So, the judiciary is right in saying it is legal,” Najib concluded.
He also claimed that that several international law experts had supported his view, including Queen’s Counsel Lord Anthony Lester of Herne Hill, who advises the British crown.
But the DAP was not impressed as Lim ridiculed Najib’s idea.
“Let me tell Najib — forget about it, as such an emergency Assembly meeting is no viable option and it could only make the impasse worse, dragging the nearly four-month-old political and constitutional crisis and stalemate indefinitely into the future,” the Ipoh Timur MP said in a statement.
He noted that the protracted political and constitutional crisis and stalemate will stand as the strongest testament debunking Najib’s slogan of “1 Malaysia. People First. Performance Now”.
“What right has anyone to talk about 1 Malaysia when he is incapable of promoting 1 Perak, in fact single-handedly responsible for the political and constitutional impasse in orchestrating the unethical, undemocratic, illegal and unconstitutional power grab since early February?
“Najib should bite the bullet and agree that the only way to end the political and constitutional impasse in Perak is to dissolve Perak State Assembly and return the mandate to Perakians in a state-wide general election so that Malaysians can turn from the Perak stalemate to reunite to face the worst global economic crisis in a century,” Lim said.
He called on Najib to learn the lesson of Michael Martin who became the first House of Commons Speaker for 300 years to resign, even giving up his seat as MP — because had had lost all moral authority to continue in the office in the UK parliamentary expenses scandal.
“There can be no dispute that Datuk Zambry Abdul Kadir has no ‘moral authority’ in the first place to become Perak mentri besar unless he wins the mandate in a general elections.
“No amount of political shenanigans and judicial contortions can give Zambry any moral authority, which can only be found in a new poll in Perak,” he said.
He told Najib to spare the key national institutions in the country from further damage, saying he would be doing even more harm to all the key national institutions in undermining public confidence in their credibility, integrity and legitimacy in his stubborn refusal to hold new state general elections.