PETALING JAYA: Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu (pic) was appointed mentri besar because he had majority support among state assemblymen, it was pointed out.
Member of Dewan Negara Perak (the Advisory Council to the Ruler) Datuk Seri Annuar Zaini said Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah acted in accordance with the respective articles in the state constitution which stipulates that a member of the State Assembly who commands the confidence and support of the majority will be sworn in as mentri besar.
“The Sultan of Perak is above politics, and recognises and honours the outcome of the state election as determined by voters through the ballot box,” said Annuar.
He was asked to comment on reports that there could be a repeat of the Perak mentri besar crisis of 2009, and whether the palace had a “favourite”.
Perak Umno chief Datuk Saarani Mohamad claimed on Sunday that state executive councillors were unhappy with Ahmad Faizal and might move a vote of no-confidence against the mentri besar.
Saarani said that one of the disgruntled exco members had approached five to six Umno assemblymen for their support.
Ahmad Faizal, the Perak Parti Pribumi Bersatu chairman, won the Chenderiang state seat in a three-cornered fight with a 39-vote majority in the May 9 general election.
Recalling events after the Perak state results were known, Annuar said the palace was presented with the official results on the morning of May 10.
He said none of the parties had a clear simple majority of 30 seats needed to form the state government, with Pakatan Harapan winning 29 seats and Barisan Nasional and PAS taking 27 and three seats respectively.
“Recognising that Pakatan won the bigger number of seats, the palace then called Ahmad Faizal first, in his capacity as the Perak Pakatan chief, enquiring whether he had the simple majority of 30 seats to form a government.
“The caretaker MB and state Barisan leader Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir was next called to be asked whether Barisan having won 27 seats was in a position to form the state government.
“Both leaders requested the Sultan to give them time to come back to him after securing the support of a simple majority of 30 members,’’ Annuar said.
He said the three PAS victors also had an audience with the Sultan and informed the Ruler that they would not be joining hands to form a state government with either Barisan or Pakatan.
“Then, two Umno assemblymen requested to have an audience with the Sultan, declaring that they would support the appointment of Ahmad Faizal as MB, and made it very clear that they were not supporting Pakatan,” Annuar said, adding that it was not right for anyone to say that Ahmad Faizal was the Sultan’s preference or favourite.
Having been satisfied that 29 members of the state assembly plus two members from Barisan supported Ahmad Faizal to be the mentri besar, he said the Sultan then consented for Ahmad Faizal to be sworn in on May 12.
“Sultan Nazrin is a man of law who refers to the state constitution and observes its respective provisions in making his decision,” said Annuar.
Meanwhile, Perak Pakatan sources said they were not aware if a vote of no-confidence against Ahmad Faizal would be tabled today when the state assembly convenes.
Pakatan leaders said it was “no secret” that the appointment of Ahmad Faizal had indeed ruffled feathers between the parties in the ruling coalition.
“Ahmad Faizal was the only Bersatu candidate to win a state seat, and on top of that, he won by a mere 39 votes.
“Making him the MB was not wholeheartedly accepted by all Pakatan parties but we agreed to his appointment because we wanted to ensure that the Pakatan held the state, and did not lose out to Barisan as we did in the 2009 Perak crisis,” said a source.