A Prime Minister should be a statesman
DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giawbelieves that a Prime Minister is for all Malaysians and all political parties. He or she must be a statesman. This is also applicable to Deputy Prime Minister who aspires to be Prime Minister.
Early this month, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced the takeover of the Perak state government, following the departure of three state asembly persons from Pakatan Rakyat, two from PKR and one from DAP. Two of them are being charged for alleged corruption.
On 5 February, 2009, the Perak Sultan appointed Datuk Dr Zambry Abd Kadir as the new Menteri Besar to replace Datuk Seri Mohd Nijar Jamaluddin; he has refused to dissolve the state assembly to pave the way for a fresh election. Najib stresses that Perak has a Barisan Nasional (BN) government. But, Nijar and the Pakatan Excos have stayed put, insisting on the rule of law. Obviously, Najib has not thought of the implications and consequences.
After having been thrown out of the MB's office, Nijar continues to occupy the MB's official residence in Ipoh and hold regular exco meetings. The BN MB and excos conduct their own business. There are two state governments in Perak. According to the Standing Orders of thePerak State Assembly, Speaker V. Sivakumar suspended BN Menteri Besar Datuk Zambry and his six exco members for 18 months and 12 months respectively.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi says that the Speaker could not suspend Zambry and his excos, telling the former to lodge a police report on the suspensions. He excludes snap elections or federal rule in Perak. BN Perak Deputy Chairman Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi says that Sivakumar has committed derhaka (treason) against the Sultan for disobeying his command and his authority.
The Federal Court will have to make judgement on several suits arising from the Perak saga. The court may take months to pass judgement, if possible.
The Deputy Prime Minister spearheads the BN takeover of the Perak state government. He continues to praise Zambry and vilify Nijar. Had he behave as a leader, a statesman, who represents all Malaysians and all political parties, he would have avoided any action that is too partial, riding roughshod over others. Is he for all Malaysians or just for Umno or BN?
The financial tsunami causes the world economic slowdown. Malaysia is also affected. So, priority should be given to managing the economy. Any action that undermines confidence should be avoided. While prattling about the second economic package which will be announced in Parliament on 3 March, 2009, Najib contributes to the Perak saga.
Dr Tan Seng Giaw