UPDATE: 12 May 2009: 8. 00 am (Read here for more and here)
At 7.34am today, Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin arrived at the State Secretariat building here to report for work after almost four months when he was forced to vacate his office . He returned in the midst of riot squad surrounding the State Secretariat. A police officer said that only the Nizar and his exco members would be allowed entry.
The entrance to the building is blocked by FRU barriers and one side of the road in front is closed to traffic. By the time Nizar arrived, most of his exco were already there. He walked to the entrance, led the prayers outside and then went inside. Pakatan Rakyat Speaker V. Sivakumar was also there.
About 10 minutes later, Nizar leaves the building after clocking in as mentri besar. His next appointment is with the Raja Nazrin.
--- End of Update ---
The reinstated Pakatan Rakyat (PR) Perak government moved swiftly to shore up its position ahead of more political manoeuvring expected in the next few days.
- The state secretary and legal advisor were suspended with immediate effect. Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Hashim and Datuk Ahmad Kamal Md Shahid were key players in the events of the past three months, beginning with the February 5 putsch by Barisan Nasional (BN) which led to the current political imbroglio. Senior state executive councillor Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham said that while the state secretary and legal advisor were federal officers, they were merely “seconded for our use” and the state government had the power to suspend them and appoint acting officers.
- Until further notice, state financial officer Datuk Jamaluddin Al-Amini Ahmad will be acting state secretary while the post of legal advisor will remain vacant with PR using its own lawyers for the time being.
- Nizar corrected earlier reports saying that he would have an audience tomorrow with the regent, Raja Dr Nazrin Shah, at today’s investiture ceremony in the Kuala Kangsar palace, explaining that he would only be attending as his first formal duty since his reinstatement. “We will send a letter to the Sultan to seek an audience to ask for the dissolution of the assembly so the people can exercise their right to choose their government,” he added.
- Nizar announced that his executive council would report for duty at 7.15am today and continue from where it left off.
- He added that whatever policies – including the appointment of village chiefs and local authorities and the awarding of land titles – that had been decided in his 10-and-a-half-month administration would continue.
- Initiatives by Datuk Seri Zambry Abd Kadir’s team over the last three months would be reviewed, with those that benefit the people of Perak to be retained.
- Nizar also confirmed that as the May 7 assembly had been called by Zambry in his capacity as mentri besar, it is now considered “unconstitutional” and, hence, Tronoh assemblyman V. Sivakumar is still the speaker.
- Nizar said that he was open to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s suggestion to work with PR on seeking a solution to the crisis in Perak, but that “the people must come first,” consistent with Najib’s 1 Malaysia slogan. “The people want a dissolution so that must be fulfilled and then we can talk,” he said,
- Nizar was confident that if fresh elections were called, the anger of the people after the February 5 coup and the May 7 assembly, which saw Sivakumar manhandled out of the Speaker’s chair, would see PR returned with a larger majority.
- Nizar also expressed confidence that the palace would assent to the dissolution since the Regent had told him that he would cooperate with them after the May 7 assembly. “My relationship with Tuanku is very intimate. He spoke to me all the way as we led him out and did not talk at all to Zambry. He shook hands with all of us, and you know who was last?” he asked rhetorically, knowing that reporters had seen that it was Zambry who was last.