KUALA LUMPUR, 6 Feb 2009: The selection of Pangkor state assemblyperson Datuk Dr Zambry Kadir as the new menteri besar of Perak is apt, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said today.
Najib, who is also Perak Barisan Nasional (BN) chairperson, said Dr Zamry had the experience and the qualification in fields related to administration and politics.
“I believe that Zambry will be a menteri besar who can fulfil the hopes of the people in Perak. God willing, the federal government will give its full cooperation to the new Perak state government,” he told reporters after opening the 44th Seacen (South East Asian Central Banks) Governors’ Conference here.
The swearing-in of Dr Zambry, 47, as Perak’s 11th Menteri Besar is scheduled to take place at Istana Iskandariah in Kuala Kangsar this afternoon while that of the state executive council is slated for 10 Feb.
Asked to comment on concern by some parties that the BN government would neglect the non-Malays in Perak, Najib said: “I’ve asked the menteri besar to be sensitive to all races and we will fight for the interests of all races. In fact, I’ll be joining the Chinese community in Ipoh in its Chinese New Year celebration tomorrow night.
“I want to give the assurance that no one among the non-Malays should feel that they are sidelined when the Barisan Nasional takes over the state government in Perak.”
On whether the BN had made a mistake in accepting Behrang assemblyperson Jamaluddin Mat Radzi and Changkat Jering assemblyperson Mohd Osman Jailu, both of whom are facing corruption charges, into the BN, he said they were independent assemblypersons who supported the BN.
“First, I want to explain that they have not joined Umno. It’s wrong to assume that they have. They are independents supporting the BN. The BN will not interfere with the charges against them in court,” he said.
Asked whether by-elections should be held to overcome the political upheaval in Perak, Najib, who is also BN deputy president, said the decision rested with the Sultan of Perak.
Meanwhile, Unity, Culture, Arts and Heritage Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal described the selection of Dr Zambry as apt and timely in view of the latter’s experience in the political arena and the fact that he was a capable young leader.
He said Dr Zamry’s appointment would restore the people’s confidence and mend the political situation in the state. — Bernama