PUTRAJAYA, 4 Feb 2009: The Barisan Nasional (BN) is ready to form a new government in Perak following four assemblypersons in the state quitting their parties to support the BN, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
“We wish extend our thanks if they have taken the decision to state their support for the BN, the BN accepts and we say thank you,” he told press conference here today.
The four are the assemblypersons for Behrang and Changkat Jering, Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi and Mohd Osman Jailu respectively from Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), Jelapang assemblyperson Hee Yit Foong from DAP, and Bota assemblyperson Datuk Nasaruddin Hashim who joined PKR 10 days ago but returned to Umno today.
“If we (BN) have the numbers, of course we will take the step (to form the new government),” said Abdullah, who is also BN chairman, when commenting on the BN having a simple majority to replace the Pakatan Rakyat government in Perak following the development.
With this latest development, the BN now has 28 seats in the state assembly, Pakatan Rakyat also 28 and independents three seats.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak at a separate press conference earlier today, had said that although the BN had the same number of seats as the Pakatan Rakyat, it could form the government in Perak because the three independents had stated their support for the BN including in the choice of Menteri Besar from among the BN assemblymen.
On whether BN would consider holding a snap election in Perak, Abdullah said this came under the powers of the Sultan of Perak.
However, he said, Najib would be seeking an audience with Sultan Azlan Shah of Perak to inform the Sultan that the BN now had the majority in the state legislative assembly.
Asked if the BN would move a vote of no confidence in the present government, Abdullah said it had not been decided yet but remained an option.
Asked if the people of Perak would accept the BN re-administering the state, he said it was up to them.
He, however, believed what was more important for Perakians to have a government that could provide stability and progress.
Asked if the matter of the Behrang and Changkat Jering assemblymen who are facing charges of corruption would affect the image of Umno, he said so far they had not been found guilty.
Asked further if the BN had a candidate in mind for the Menteri Besar post in Perak, Abdullah said : “Be patient”. — Bernama