(Updated 7:52pm; 4 Feb 2009)
KUALA LUMPUR, 4 Feb 2009: Barisan Nasional (BN) component leaders today threw support for their counterparts in Perak, who now have enough state assemblypersons to form the new state government after four Pakatan Rakyat representatives left their respective parties.
Gerakan deputy president and state Gerakan chairperson Datuk Chang Ko Youn said although Gerakan did not win any state seat in Perak in the general election last year, the party fully supported the formation of a new state government.
Gerakan lost all the four state seats allocated to the party in the election, namely Canning, Aulong, Kuala Sepetang and Jalong.
“Although we prefer a fresh election, we don’t want to burden the people and strain any resources in view of the current economic situation.
“We believe that the resources should be utilised towards economic recovery.
Having a fresh election would not be helpful at the moment,” he told Bernama when contacted.
Chang said that it was not surprising to see PR assemblypersons leaving the opposition pact judging from the state government’s performance in the past 10 months.
“They have become very arrogant, causing dissatisfactions among their own YBs (elected representatives) and that is why some of them are leaving. The state government is dictated by two or three people, with the majority of the YBs being sidelined,” he said.
MCA vice-president and Perak state chairperson Datuk Kong Cho Ha said the party would definitely support the formation of a BN state government.
“BN has the number. It is only natural for the coalition to offer itself to form the state government. However, for detailed arrangement, we prefer it to be discussed behind closed doors,” he said.
MCA was allocated 16 state seats in Perak in the last general election, mostly in the Kinta Valley but only managed to win one — in Chenderiang, through MCA Deputy Youth chief Dr Mah Hang Soon.
Meanwhile, MIC president Datuk Seri S Samy Vellu, in welcoming the change in the Perak government, congratulated BN leaders who led the change.
“The people of Perak can now be assured of continuous development. I urge the Indian community in the state to cooperate with the new BN state government to promote them socially and economically,” he said.
MIC secretary-general Datuk Dr S Subramaniam, who is also Human Resources Minister, congratulated Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak on the “takeover.”
“Under the BN, Perak will enjoy greater development. This is the assurance of the BN government,” he added.
The MIC was allocated four seats in the last general election, namely Sungkai, Hutan Melintang, Behrang and Pasir Panjang. It did not win any of them.
Umno Youth chief Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said with the latest development in Perak, the BN should now get closer to the people and learn from past mistakes.
He said the development also showed how fragile the Pakatan Rakyat pact was.
“All the while, Opposition Leader and PKR advisor (Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim) is mentioning about dozens of BN assemblypersons joining to the opposition party but what happened today is on the contrary,” Hishammuddin, who is Education Minister, said.
In Kuching, the four BN component parties — Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB), Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP), Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) and Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) — described the latest political development in Perak as a good sign for the coalition.
PBB deputy-president Datuk Seri Abang Johari Tun Openg hoped that Perak would enjoy political stability once the BN took over the administration.
SUPP president Tan Sri Dr George Chan said the collapsed of Pakatan government in Perak clearly showed that unity among the opposition party was still fragile and not as strong as that of the BN coalition.
PRS president Datuk Seri Dr James Jemut Masing described the Perak Pakatan government as “a rainbow coalition” that would not last.
He said PR was only banking on “baseless rhetoric” to influence the voters.
SPDP treasurer-general Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing said it was a positive development for BN. — Bernama