IPOH: Hours after the Perak executive council members were sworn in, the big question here was how long the unity state government of Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Harapan would last.
“If the Mentri Besar and the exco line-up remain united, then there shouldn’t be a problem,” said constitutional law expert Dr Abdul Aziz Bari, who is a Pakatan assemblyman here.
“What’s crucial is that the state government has the majority, with 33 out of the 59 state seats.”
He said the survival of the state government would depend solely on the Mentri Besar and the state executive council.
“(It’s) not the decision of others, whoever they are,” Abdul Aziz, who is also state DAP vice-chairman, said when contacted.
He stressed that the move to form the state government was made by the (Barisan and Pakatan) assemblymen themselves.
“There were no instructions from anyone.
“Legally, the two levels (state and federal) are separate and different,” he said, referring to the yet-to-be determined situation at the federal level.
The state government was formed following the swearing-in of Umno’s Datuk Seri Saarani Mohamad as Perak Mentri Besar on Monday.
Yesterday, 10 state executive council members – consisting of assemblymen from Umno, DAP, Amanah and PKR – were sworn in before Sultan of Perak Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah.
They were Lintang assemblyman Datuk Mohd Zolkafly Harun, Khairudin Abu Hanipah (Belanja), Salbiah Mohamed (Temengor), Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin (Sungai Rapat), A. Sivanesan (Sungkai), Loh Sze Yee (Jalong), Teh Kok Lim (Aulong), Woo Kah Leong (Pasir Bedamar), Sandrea Ng (Teja) and Mohd Azlan Helmi Helmi (Tualang Sekah).
Following last Saturday’s election, Pakatan won 24 seats, Barisan (nine) and Perikatan Nasional (26).
Senior lawyer Datuk Roger Tan said he would not rule out the possibility of the state government collapsing.
“This may be a possibility if Pakatan changes its mind. If Pakatan is happy with it, then it can continue (working with Barisan) to ensure stability in Perak,” he added.
As for Barisan, Tan said: “Why would Barisan want to break off (with Pakatan), as they already got the Mentri Besar post even though they are the minority party?”
Lawyer Nizam Bashir Abdul Kariem Bashir said Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob should make it clear whether Barisan’s stand on not supporting any coalition to form the federal government would also apply at the state level.
“Given the seriousness of the issue, it is only fair and appropriate that clarification be sought from Ismail Sabri on the issue.
“If it is to operate at both levels, then the Umno supreme council’s decision ought to be communicated to the state and for the state leaders to convey the same to the Perak Ruler,” he added.
Nizam Bashir said Pakatan and Barisan must be prepared to govern and prevent the state government from collapsing.
He also said both coalitions need to be prepared to make compromises with the aim of ensuring the continued survival of the unity government.
“Pakatan and Barisan must work out a method to forge commitment and trust, as well as a fair means of communication between leaders of the two parties,” he added.