Pakatan takes Perak after BN defections

Loghun Kumaran
Perak Pakatan Harapan chairman Ahmad Faizal Azum speaks to the press outside the Istana Kinta in Ipoh May 12, 2018. — Picture by Marcus Pheong

IPOH, May 12 — Pakatan Harapan (PH) will form the new Perak state government, ending a three-day impasse following the conclusion of GE14.

State PH chairman Ahmad Faizal Azumu said his four-party pact has the majority in the state assembly after two Barisan Nasional (BN) assemblymen gave their support to PH.

The two seats, when added to PH’s original total of 29, gave the coalition a total of 31 — enough to form a majority in the state.

Faizal, who is also Tambun MP, made the announcement after being granted an audience with the Sultan of Perak Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah at the Istana Kinta here today. 

“Sultan Nazrin Shah is satisfied that the support of the 31 assemblymen is enough to form a majority government,” Faizal told reporters outside the palace gates today.

The “defection” of the two assemblymen left BN with 25 seats, down from their original total of 27.

Rumours are rife that the two former BN assemblymen are senior Umno representatives, who have held high positions in the state administration.

Faizal however, refused to name the two assemblymen who gave their backing to the PH coalition.

He evaded questions on the identity of the two assemblymen, and even refused to divulge their gender when quizzed by reporters.

“If it is not a man, it is a woman,” he joked.

“But we think that there will be more assemblymen who pledge their support for us over time.”

Asked about the mentri besar-designate, Faizal said the decision would be made by the PH presidential council.

Faizal kept mum on the identity of the Mentri Besar candidates, but speculation persists that both him and state Amanah chairman Asmuni Awi are among those lined up for the top job.

Faizal added that PH did not face any internal pressure or problems over the last few days, adding that the coalition’s successful takeover of Putrajaya helped in this aspect.