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Friday, May 8, 2009

From Umno : a voice of dissent over Perak fiasco

KUALA LUMPUR, May 8 2009 — By Syed Jaymal Zahiid

An Umno leader, who is a former state assemblyman in the prime minister’s Pekan constituency, has described the chaotic events in Perak yesterday as a shameful coup d’etat which could end in failure for the Barisan Nasional (BN).

Datuk Mohd Ariff Sabri Abdul Aziz, who was Pulau Manis state assemblyman in Pahang until 2008, said yesterday’s events may well tighten the noose around BN.

The former Umno lawmaker made the remarks in a posting on his Sakmongkol AK47 blog today.

Besides Mohd Ariff, veteran Umno leader Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah had also lamented recently that the Perak power grab had reduced Perak into a failed state.

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, an ally of Najib, has also remarked that BN had been too hasty in its efforts to take power in Perak, suggesting that some of the ruling coalition’s methods may have stretched the interpretation of certain legal and constitutional provisions.

“The coup d’etat would surely place the plotters and perpetrators an ignominious place in history. All the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) had to do was to give enough rope for the BN people to hang themselves.

“If it was a putsch, then like such similar events in history...they will fail. This one in Perak will fail to endear Umno and BN with the people,” Mohd Ariff wrote.

The general opinion on the street, said Mohd Ariff, was that the people were "outrightly disgusted with what is happening in Perak and for a party that hollers loudly its intentions to regain the support of the people, it has instead and ironically, done more to repel than regain support towards it.”

“Perak will become a political quicksand that will drag Datuk Seri Najib Razak in. Unless he gets out from the quicksand either by being pulled out or grabbing a pole, Perak will prove to be his political waterloo,” said Mohd Ariff.

“Resentment has reached a stage where what Umno says is no longer believable and where lies dished out by Pakatan Rakyat and its high priest (PKR de facto leader) Anwar Ibrahim are believable. We lose more by obstinacy,” he added.

For Mohd Ariff, the only thing left to do for Umno was to return to the people their rights to self determination which means calling for fresh elections saying “it’s better to lose honourably than to win detestably.”

He also reasoned that Umno had perhaps executed a grave mistake by using the police to unlawfully remove Speaker V. Sivakumar from the state assembly.

“The photo showing the poor speaker being dragged out will be forever etched in the minds of millions. It was high-handedness at its most foulest,” he said.

For the first time in the country’s history, the police transgressed its jurisdiction and made its way into a state assembly to physically remove an officer of the legislature.

Many opposition leaders have blasted the incident and described it as a day of infamy and points towards a bleak future for democracy in the country.

DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang in a statement issued today said Malaysians should keep the pictures of Sivakumar being dragged out by police officers and “goons.”

“The sight of Sivakumar being physically dragged out of the Perak state assembly stands as an indictment of the prime minister who orchestrated the Perak coup d’etat,” he said.

PAS information chief Mahfuz Omar said what the police did was disrespectful to the state constitution which he argues recognises Sivakumar as the legitimate speaker.

“It is abominable that a state apparatus like the police had to disrespectfully interfere with matters of the legislature and ignore a vital aspect of democracy which is the separation of powers,” he told The Malaysian Insider.

Newly appointed PKR information chief Latheefa Koya said the police interference was an obvious reflection of how unethically partisan the state machinery like the police is.

“Again the police have been used by the ruling coalition to serve their interests,” said Latheefa.

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