Updated on 6 Feb 2009 at 12:05am; Corrected at 11:49pm
(source: Sultan Azlan Shah image from sultan.perak.gov.my;
Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin image © hussein / wikipedia.org)
12:05am: Streets are mostly clear as most supporters have dispersed. A few diehard supporters still in MB’s residence compound.
12:01am: PKR’s information chief Tian Chua tells reporters that Pakatan Rakyat state excos will report to work tomorrow as usual.
11:38pm: Angry Pakatan Rakyat supporters throw bunting of Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak on the road in front of Menteri Besar’s residence; motorists driving past run over it.
11:09pm: Ceremah at Perak MB’s residence is over. Crowd spilling out on the street.
11:05pm: Protestors gathered on the road outside the Perak MB’s residence stomp on a poster of Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak. Police presence in the area increases.
10: 45pm: Perak MB, in his speech, tells the crowd that he refuses to resign his post and will fight the injustice.
10:25pm: Signatures to petition the sultan to dissolve the state legislative assembly are being collected from the crowd at the ceramah held in the compound of the Perak MB’s residence.
10:12pm: (Corrected) DAP Youth Chief Nga Kor Meng addresses the growing crowd at a ceramah within the Perak MB’s residence compound. In his speech, he exhorts the people: “Don’t give up protecting the people’s rights. This is not about protecting the MB. Ini perjuangan suci … satu jihad. This is not the time to be sad but to raise your spirits and fight.”
10:04pm: Protesters gather on the road just outside the Menteri Besar’s residence. They blow whistles and chant “Reformasi!” Some hold signs asking motorists to honk in support of the Pakatan Rakyat state government, and many do.
9:58pm: PAS Youth Chief Salahuddin Ayub addresses the crowd at the MB’s residence. He says the BN has challenged the people’s authority. He calls on the people to support Pakatan Rakyat and rise up in a show of people’s power, as happened in the Philippines with the overthrow of President Marcos.
9:52pm: More people pour into the compound of the MB’s residence. The crowd, consisting of all races, is now estimated at 8,000 strong. Shouts of “Umno! Israel” are heard.
9:44pm: Angkatan Muda Keadilan chief Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin addresses the crowd, which has now swelled to over 4,000 people of all races. He alleges that the assemblypersons who quit the Pakatan Rakyat were bought over. “BN are cowards. BN ignores the people’s vote on 8 March,” he says to the crowd gathered outside at the Perak MB’s residence.
9:30pm: Perak state legislative assembly speaker V Sivakumar addresses the crowd. In his speech, he says the Election Commission (EC) has violated his powers as a speaker in rejecting the resignation letters of the assemblypersons who have quit Pakatan Rakyat. He alleges that the executive is meddling in Perak politics through the EC. “Semua BN mahu. Semua dia mahu control. We must teach the BN a lesson,” he tells the 2,500 strong crowd gathered at the MB’s residence.
9:16pm: Perak MB Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin has emerged from the main building of his residence and is set to address the 2,500 Pakatan Rakyat supporters gathered at there. A local resident, Chan, an accountant who was at the scene with a group of friends, told The Nut Graph: “We are a group of friends who are here tonight because there has to be something ordinary people like us can do to show support. It cannot be that the state government is taken over just like that.”
8:40pm: Some of the 2,500-strong crowd at the Perak MB’s residence start shouting slogans at police and passing traffic. “Hancur BN”, “Reformasi”, “Makkal Sakti”, as well as “Najib” and “Altantuya”.
8:33pm: Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) trucks arrive outside the gate of the Perak MB’s residence, then drive off. PAS Unit Amal asks crowd to calm down and not provoke the authorities.
8:19pm: Crowd at Perak MB’s residence is now about 2,500 strong. Across the main house within the compound of the Perak MB’s residence is a hall. Evening prayers are now being held. An imam leads prayer but starts crying halfway. He prays for God’s help to face the injustice in not having state assembly dissolved. “Forgive us O God for our sins. Strengthen our leaders that we love, and strengthen our faith.”
8:08pm: As more crowds stream in, police presence at MB’s residence is minimal. No Federal Reserve Unit personnel spotted at the scene.
7:48pm: DAP Perak chairperson and Sitiawan assemblyperson Ngeh Khoo Ham arrives at the Perak MB’s residence.
7:27pm: Spotted at the MB’s residence among the crowd of about a thousand: Malaysia-Today blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin, lawyer and former minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim, and lawyer cum blogger Haris Ibrahim.
7:22pm: As a crowd of around 200 people gathers, banners erected outside Perak MB’s residence reflect the rakyat’s anger at assemblypersons Hee Yit Foong and Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi’s betrayal and role in bringing down the Pakatan Rakyat state government. One read: “Si Yit Foong, awak pengkhianat, sanggup jual diri!”
7:13pm: Banner erected outside the Perak MB’s residence. “Bubarkan DUN, Kembalikan kuasa rakyat”.
7:11pm: Atmosphere at MB’s residence is sombre — like a wake. Perak MB Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin is holed up inside the main building, and an expectant crowd is waiting outside.
6:58pm: People milling around. Perak MB Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin to give explanation later tonight on the situation.
6:52pm: Demonstration at Perak Menteri Besar’s residence. Unit Amal PAS providing crowd control. People are allowed inside. Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) information chief Tian Chua is here.
Yit Foong might be thick-skin but how about her family members who have to meet people in their everyday lives. Selfish politician!
J. D. Lovrenciear says
Today we witness a sad, tense puncture in the history of democratic Malaysia. How will we live through this crisis? How will we come out of this injury? What will be our standing and status in the international community of true democracy? Or do these not matter any more?
You and MI are doing a great job keeping all us Malaysians overseas updated. Thank you.
At 10pm, Malaysiakini estimates the crowd at 3,000. Why is there such a huge difference in estimation?
The next thing we fear is the dreaded ISA. Hopefully the demonstration won’t provoke BN to use it against PR leaders.
A sad Malaysian says
it is time for the Pakatan Rakyat to take the fight to the next level of morality and integrity by resigning all 28 DUN seats and boycotting all by-elections as protest and disappointment with this incident. BN have robbed the rakyat of money and prosperity and now they are robbing the rakyat of their right to self-determination. This bring us to the question whether this BN government is the government of the PEOPLE, by the PEOPLE and for the PEOPLE.
makkal sakhti says
Police set up road blocks to prevent the gathering from happening. Just along the way from Sitiawan to Ipoh there were 5 separate road blocks! But still this did not dampen the spirit of the locals.
Oh well for me the Sultan is a former Agung and judge. He is not a stupid man. There is something in his mind when he didn’t want to dissolve the government.
For one, the cost that the state has to pay if there is another election. With the current economic crisis, it’s not feasible especially when the rakyat are the ones that would pay.
Najib’s father staged a coup d’etat against a popular prime minister in 1969. It cost several hundred lives but the new Umno regime founded on blood lasted till 8 March 2008 when it would have been decimated at the polls were it not for postal and East Malaysian votes. It appears now that Najib is set on resurrecting a moribund Umno and protecting himself from criminal investigations into a huge catalogue of accusations ranging from massive corruption to complicity in cold-blooded murder.
The sense of betrayal fills the air in Perak as the crisis unfolds. There is only ONE way of solving this – hold another state election now. If BN is brave and confident enough to say that more Perakians support the party now, then it should agree on the dissolution of the DUN and prove it once and for all.
As it stands, the move to oust a legitimate state government is definitely a cowardly act, shameful and smacks of an arrogant display of power-crazy Najib, who intends to prove to his critics that he’s got the guts to take over Pak Lah next month. I have this message to Najib: I do not support you at all and may Allah’s divine retribution hit you hard!
It’s the rakyat who determine who’s the government. Without the rakyat, even the government has no kingdom.
Yesterday it was in Ipoh, today it will be in Kuala Kangsar.
To be fair to all the sultan should have ORDERED new fresh election. Let the rakyat decided who should be elected. Now there is talk that money has been used to buy the frog Aduns. So now money politics will be the game and in then end the rakyat becomes the victim.
Our prime minister Abdullah Badawi should remained in office till his term expired and it is the tradition that the new PM should get the mandate of the rakyat by election. You are the PM for all not a few disgruntled politicians who want you out.
fighterfor justice says
This kind of thing is only happening in Najib-Malaysia boleh land, all this is Najib’s manipulation and perversion of justice. Pakatan Rakyat do not fear fight back strongly until Umno is demised and erased from this earth. I tell this to Umno, what you reap you will sow.
I suggest all Pakatan Rakyat elected state assemblymen resign and have a re-election. I’m sure the stronger victory for Pakatan Rakyat will show the sultan and the people of Malaysia that the actions of the BN and the subsequent decisions made are rejected by the rakyat.
David HC says
These Pakatan Rakyat elected representatives have let the people down by crossing over or leaving the party. They would not be elected again in any future general election. They are not professional in their deeds. How can they do this to their party and the people who elected them to office?
It was claimed by Najib that the hopping game was started by Anwar. I think it’s totally fallacious. The hopping game was actually started by the BN immediately after the 2008 electoral tsunami. Toyo was trying his best to topple the Pakatan state government by enticing some PAS members, led by Hassan Ali to form the Umno-led state government. This was confirmed by Abdullah Badawi himself. So Anwar, in order to protect the fledging coalition from the BN wolves, decided to play the crossovers game to confuse the BN.
In Perak, it took a glacial two weeks for the sultan to recognize the Pakatan government. In the meantime, the BN was given time to feverishly try to buy some Pakatan MPs but was unsuccessful. Then the Sultan refused to appoint the MB from the DAP and instead chose the one from PAS hoping that the Pakatan coalition would collapse due to divergent ideologies between DAP and PAS. Fortunately, DAP swallowed their pride and was able to accept and work with Nizar. At that time I had the sneaking suspicion that the Sultan was trying to sabotage the Pakatan state government from forming. Recent event strengthen my suspicions.
The present Perak imbroglio is caused by the Sultan himself. Nobody questions his right to accept or reject the dissolution of the state assembly. But I think he made a terrible mistake: instead of stopping at this point he went beyond his powers and issued a diktat to bundle off and humiliate Nizar. The democratic process should have proceeded from the stage of rejection but the Sultan short-circuited it by swearing in the replacement MB from Umno at lightning speed even before the democratic process could begin. What was the point of such high-handed takeover since the Sultan had already made his decision? Thus began the constitutional crisis of the two Menteri Besars.
Another thing: would any insane employer hire a person with dubious reputation into his organisation? This was exactly what the respected Sultan of Perak had done with his famous interview with the three unsavoury characters.
Out of this episode I can conclude:
1) The greatest loser is the Sultan himself. He was one of the most enlightened and respected sultans in the country. With this incident, straight thinking and good judgment seem to have mysteriously abandoned him.
2) Will the Perak Watergate be Najib’s Waterloo?
3) Will Anwar Ibrahim have the last laugh?
Let’s wait and see.