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Selangor, Kedah, Penang next?


Najib announced the BN was ready to form government in Perak (file pic)

AFTER the state of political turmoil in Perak, following Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s press conference where he said that the Barisan Nasional (BN) is ready to form government in the state, rumours are swirling on the possible fall of other states.

We’ll first look at Perak — whether there will be even more defections in the coming days. Then look at the situation in Selangor, Kedah and Penang.

Perak

Political analyst Wong Chin Huat said there would likely be more defections in Perak as the BN would want to balance out its overwhelming Malay majority in the state assembly.

Wong noted that of the 31 seats held by BN, 29 representatives were Malay and only two were Chinese, adding that such a government was not representative of the demographics of the state.

Wong said all eyes are now set on the Sultan of Perak’s decision on whether to allow a snap election as requested by the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) government. The Perak Ruler’s decision would set a precedent for the entire nation, he added.

Selangor

Political analyst Khoo Kay Peng is confident that the Perak scenario is not likely to repeat itself in Selangor.

“There is a bigger majority in the Pakatan Rakyat government there, so it’s unlikely to happen,” he said. “In any event, if the BN were able to engineer a defection, it’s not a long-term gain for the BN, as they will have to face the people in the next election. Then they will suffer.”

PR holds 36 of the 56 state seats (PAS has eight, DAP 13, and Parti Keadilan Rakyat 15). BN has 20 seats.

Commenting on the disclosure by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi that there were talks between Umno and PAS to form a state government after the March 8, 2008 general election, Khoo said that he has not seen anything yet that would indicate this would lead to anything concrete.

PAS political analyst Asmawi Mohamad said that Perak was a special case. The composition in Perak was loose from the start — it was not one of the states that PR was really interested in taking over, hence the selection of candidates was very lax, he said.

“I will say that the PR candidates in Selangor are more principled, they wouldn’t switch camps easily,” he said. “However, I am a bit worried about Kedah, but if there is a weak link in that government, it would be in the PKR, not in the PAS component.”

Kedah

In the northern state of Kedah, the PAS-led Pakatan Rakyat government currently has 22 seats to the BN’s 14. Although this looks like a comfortable majority, the reality is that the BN needs only five defections to obtain a simple majority.

Even if five assemblypersons choose to leave their parties to become independents, BN could still form a minority government after reaching agreements with the five.

After independent V Arumugam of Bukit Selambau joined PKR following last year’s election, PKR has five state assemblypersons. PAS has 16 while DAP has one.

“Kedah’s situation is very different from Perak,” Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir, the MP for Jerlun, told The Edge Financial Daily. “Kedah is a PAS-led government.” He added that if there were defections they would most probably come from PKR.

“It’s hard to understand what PKR actually stands for besides being an Anwar Ibrahim party,” Mukhriz said. “DAP is a non-issue in Kedah and PAS (members) never seem likely to abandon theirs, hence PKR is the likeliest.”

Signs that there have been attempts at gaining defections were also confirmed on Tuesday when Kedah exco Arumugam alleged that he was offered RM5 million to cross over to BN.

According to news website Malaysiakini.com, Bakar Arang’s Tan Wei Shu and Kulim’s Lim Soo Nee, both of PKR, have also been approached to jump ship. Lim said he was contacted twice by different individuals between March and April last year.

PKR’s other assemblypersons are Tan Joo [email protected] Chow Kang (Sidam) and Mohd Razhi Salleh (Lunas), who is also an executive councillor.

Penang

Penang is the least likely of the five Pakatan Rakyat-led states to face a similar fate as Perak as the PR coalition has a two-thirds majority in the state (29 vs BN’s 11).

PR’s majority in Penang comprises DAP with 19 seats, PKR with nine and PAS with one.

DAP’s Bukit Bendera parliamentarian Liew Chin Tong said there is no possibility of a swing in Penang because PR has a solid 18-seat majority.

Political analyst Khoo concurred that Penang was unlikely to see a change in government as it would require 10 representatives to defect and that’s a tall order.

“The Penang state government would be the very last PR state to fall should that happen at all,” Khoo said. “It looks rock solid for the moment.”


This analysis first appeared on 5 Feb 2009 in The Edge Financial Daily under the title Are other Pakatan states in danger?. Used with permission.

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14 Responses to “Selangor, Kedah, Penang next?”

  1. syauqi_x says:

    Aha, you missed one Pakatan-held state, Kelantan, led by none other than the Tok Guru himself.

    Did you miss unintentionally, or is it because Kelantan is a gone case for Umno?

    It’s a PAS-held state, as Mukhriz pointed out.

    PAS people, InsyaAllah, won’t be bought by worldly wealth.

    For their aim is much, much higher.

    That much I can tell you.

  2. Andrew I says:

    Here’s a conspiracy theory to consider:

    Anwar has been going on and on about such a scenario albeit vice versa. Knowing that such a task is next to impossible, a lot of people must have been wondering why he continues to rattle on about it. Does he wish to look like an idiot?

    Hardly. It’s called the power of suggestion. Look at the payoff: Anti-BN sentiment at an all time high. The best part is he didn’t have to lift a finger. They did it all by themselves. My pawn for your king.

    As the spider said to the fly, come into my parlour.

  3. Maozi says:

    Although Penang has a comfortable majority, let’s not forget that BN somehow managed to get 20 out of 25 PBS Aduns to jump last time in Sabah.

    Hate to admit it, when it comes to foul play, you can bet BN is the expert.

  4. Thum says:

    I agree with syauqi_x.

    PAS does stand for a higher order.

    Though I may not agree with the fanaticism displayed by the extremist faction in PAS, I do agree that they are the least corruptible.

    That’s why I would vote for PAS anytime even though I’m non-Muslim.

  5. Tennou Heika says:

    Yes, you missed Kelantan.

    I was just about to write, when suddenly syauqi_x beat me to the post first.

  6. Ahmad Said says:

    How about the BN states, e.g., Negri Sembilan?

  7. Umm Adzka says:

    After Perak, any Adun who is thinking of defection should think twice (if not more). It looks to me that four defections in Kedah will give a minor majority to BN but the “frogs” will face the wrath of the voters …

    “Wet market traders for example are reportedly refusing to sell her (Hee’s) parents vegetables.” source: Malaysiakini

    That really is a good one … actions speak louder than words … let’s boycott all these people as well as their families and relatives to convey the message directly to them that they are damned and that they have the public’s wrath!

    Meanwhile, continue writing too! We must convey the message in all available and possible means … let the world know and see how devastated we are.

  8. greg says:

    This is such an embarrassing joke of Malaysian politics: “frog politics”. While politicians are jumping around we the people are taken for granted and as fools! Bolehland strikes again with its essentials of frog politics authored and orchestrated by Najib.

  9. Alex says:

    None of those states you mention will fall. Selangor and Penang will be nigh impossible to break, and would involve a lot (AND I MEAN A LOT) of money.

    Kedah’s majority lies with PAS, and judging by how PAS ruled Kelantan, it’s a safe bet nothing will happen there. They are not easily to be corrupted with the dirty money BN throws to them.

    I would bet my every last dollar the Perak “faux pas” BN govt will not last long … by the end of this year, it will again collapse and PR will take it back. Najib dug his own grave here, and BN will be buried completely in the next election.

    I would love to see about your predictions on the BN states, especially Negeri Sembilan and Pahang … is there a possibility they will fall like Perak?

  10. Anson says:

    After what happened in Perak, I think all PR states must learn how to STOP TALKING AND START WORKING. It’s time to move on before we lose another state.

  11. kip says:

    PR better buck up and plug all the loopholes. May the force be with you this time.

    Would somebody take down the picture of the Would-Be PM’s smile? It is hard on the stomach.

  12. Gregory Sokial says:

    Perak has fallen to the BN. BRILLIANT!

    And we should ALL be thankful to His Royal Highness for this. Honestly. BRILLIANT MOVE, YOUR MAJESTY. Thank you.

    I very much wish that Kedah, Selangor and P Pinang, for that matter, will fall to the BN. Provided they fall the same way that Perak fell to the BN.

    Now, I can already hear the chorus of condemnation about my comment. I would actually be VERY glad if I get a few thousand or even a million of condemnation for this comment. I will still say “BRILLIANT move!” to the Royal Highnesses to these states.

    WHY, you idiot, you may ask.

    Sorry, no can tell you now. I will wait for Kedah and Selangor to fall to BN, THEN I tell you. Keep guessing.

    BRILLIANT! BRILLIANT MOVE YOUR MAJESTY.

  13. buana kirana says:

    Another fall of a Pakatan Rakyat state government will trigger another big wave across the country and of course the demise of Barisan Nasional in 13GE.

    The uproar in Perak is so intense like we’ve never seen before. MCA tacitly agrees with Najib’s expediency to consolidate his position in Umno.

    We can foresee that BN’s doomsday isn’t that far away.

  14. D Lim says:

    I hail from Perak, the slow moving and sleepy state which stopped growing when tin mining stopped. I find it interesting that the big drama should start from this sleepy slow moving state.

    I spoke to my family and friends. I told them, “No need to get angry, curse and throw stones.” Use your ballot power at the next election. We are masters of our destinies and we get what we voted for. Now you know what you got, make sure you look carefully the next time.

    It will be interesting to see what happens at the next election! As for the former DAP member, my prediction is she has to get ready to pack her bags come the next elections. She will never be forgiven.

    It is unfortunate that none of the defecting members explained their defections. They owe it to their constituencies to do so.

    The new MB will have a lot of convincing to do to change generations of negative perceptions of BN. Can he do so without changing the the whole system and civil structure in the country which in the past few generations have deteriorated beyond recognition? We now live in perpetual fear of being robbed and killed, of having to tolerate bad behaviour from civil servants and police who treat us with arrogance (never mind if your taxes pay their salaries). I speak from first-hand experience! All the best … the show goes on!


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