“What do you mean? It is a democratic process. Do you understand the democratic process? Do you understand the political philosophy of democracy? I’m asking you back. Why are you not asking them (Pakatan Rakyat) [this] when they were talking about party-hopping? When they started everything[?]“
BARISAN Nasional (BN)-installed Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir responding to comments that his government in Perak was not formed through elections. (Source: Zambry appoints three advisors, The Nut Graph, 11 Feb 2009)
“I keep on saying, who triggered this whole episode?… It’s not a question of who’s right or wrong … The wrong side is their side in the first place. And now they try to put the blame on us. They twist everything and tell the public we are the ones who rampas kuasa. But people should ask, who started it?”
Zambry again, during the Bukit Gantang by-election campaign in early April 2009. He argued that the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) enticed the BN’s Bota assemblyperson Datuk Nasarudin Hashim first, before the situation boomeranged and Nasarudin, along with three other elected representatives, left the PR. The resignation of the three from the PR was what triggered the constitutional crisis in Perak. (Source: BN and PAS face off in Perak, The Nut Graph, 1 April 2009)
“It is not wrong and not unconstitutional, and not invalid or illegal. Don’t forget there was an attempt to form a government on 16 Sept last year using the same principle and method, by trying to persuade 30 of our Members of Parliament to cross over. Isn’t that an act that can cause dispute? So, if we consider that such a thing can be done, why not the three assembly[persons] who support the Barisan Nasional[?]“
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, responding to questions about the legality of the crossovers that triggered the Perak crisis. (Source: PM regrets Perak assembly sitting chaos, The Nut Graph, 8 May 2009)
“The Pakatan (Rakyat) assembly[persons] also failed to honour the assembly by shouting and hurling abuse at BN representatives during the sitting … Now the rakyat can see Pakatan’s true colours when they are not in power. Let them judge for themselves.”
Zambry yet again, expressing disappointment with the PR representatives’ antics during the 7 May 2009 state assembly sitting in Ipoh.
He also defended BN-installed speaker Datuk R Ganesan’s call for police to remove Speaker V Sivakumar from his seat. Zambry said under the Standing Orders, the speaker has the right to call in the police when the need arises. (Source: Perak Crisis: MB sad at reps antics, The New Straits Times, 8 May 2009)
“Haven’t the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) state reps and supporters trivialised our political system enough by convening the state assembly sitting under a tree? Now they have created havoc by defying the sultan’s orders, the federal court ruling and police order.”
Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin, blasting the PR’s Perak assemblypersons for bringing “jungle culture” into the 7 May Perak assembly sitting in his blog posting on the same day. He also said the “quality and culture of our political system have been degraded” in the rakyat’s view. (Source: Khairy slams “jungle culture” of PR reps, The Nut Graph, 7 May 2009)
On the same day, however, Aliran president P Ramakrishnan condemned the actions of the Perak Umno state assemblypersons during the chaotic assembly sitting. “What we have witnessed today will condemn us forever for reducing a much-respected institution into the law of the jungle,” he said.
“What is wrong, is wrong. If anyone violates the law, including myself, we have to go back to the legal system and I believe the police and authorities have taken this into consideration. They (police) have to be answerable to me and to the people by making sure what they did was according to the law, and what those arrested did was against the law, that’s all.”
Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, defending the police for their action in Perak on 7 May. (Source: Hisham: Cops did well to protect innocent public, theSun, 8 May 2009)
The police detained 69 people, including five Members of Parliament, five state assemblypersons, and members of the public for gathering “illegally” near the state assembly building. Teratai assemblyperson Jenice Lee, who was arrested at a coffee shop near the state assembly building, said, “I was just sitting down in the coffee shop when they handcuffed me.”
In addition to the Perak arrests, police also arrested 34 people, including five lawyers, between 6 and 7 May. They were arrested for assembling “illegally” outside the Brickfields police station in a candlelight vigil for academic Wong Chin Huat, who was arrested for sedition. The five lawyers were arrested while attempting to provide legal assistance to those detained on 7 May. Both the Bar Council and the MCA have condemned the arrests of the lawyers as undermining the rule of law.