Thursday, May 7, 2009

1 Malaysia, 2 Peraks — The Malaysian Insider

MAY 7 — As events continue their rollercoaster ride in Perak, chaos has moved from the streets that Lim Kit Siang called “a war zone” to inside the Perak State Assembly where rival state speakers have joined rival mentris besar and executive councils.

What began as a solitary defection to Pakatan Rakyat before Chinese New Year has now turned into pandemonium in the House with Barisan Nasional at the helm and its palace-appointed mentri besar facing off Pakatan's Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin.

And today, the House has two speakers, with defecting Jelapang assemblywoman Hee Yit Foong, who was the tipping point that ended Pakatan's rule, again playing the key role in the chambers.

While the fracas continues and has just stopped for an hour's “adjournment” by the Barisan Nasional side, the Raja Muda of Perak, Raja Nazrin Shah, remains outside waiting to address the sitting that was consented by his father Sultan Azlan Shah.

However, no one has left the House yet, save the state mufti and other officials.

When will this farce end?

All we know is it won't end today, not even if Barisan Nasional auctions off all the cars and moves on to appoint officials, enact laws, plan policies and implement them in the near future.

The fate of the rival state governments rests with the courts of law, which have opened a Pandora's Box and breached all rules of separation of powers in a parliamentary democracy that Malaysia was founded on.

At least outside the state secretariat building, peace has reigned once again as policemen who tried to force restaurants to close in a bid to disperse the black-clad crowds have given up. They had earlier arrested scores of people, including lawmakers, in an attempt to keep the peace.

The heat of the day has made them thirsty and the shopkeepers are providing relief.

One would expect the same from the lawmakers inside. All the barbed wire and road blocks outside the building together with a court order to stop gatherings have come to naught to keep the peace and restore order in the Silver State.

For the lawmakers are still fighting it out for their version of “1 Malaysia. People First. Performance Now”.

Except, we now have two Peraks. And never the twain shall meet. At least not today.

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