KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 4 (Bernama) — “They have hit a wall. They are running out of options,” remarked Gerakan deputy president Datuk Chang Ko Youn when describing Pakatan Rakyat’s (PR) move to announce the dissolution of the Perak state assembly prior to obtaining royal consent.

He said the desperate move was probably prompted by rumours that more than two of its state assemblymen had defected to Barisan Nasional (BN).

Two hours later Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak made the much awaited announcement, declaring that the BN had the numbers to form the new state government after three state assemblymen became independent and pledged their support for Perak BN.

The palace has yet to announce whether the head of state had given his consent to the Menteri Besar’s request to dissolve the state assembly, however, political observers and pundits believe that PR is on weak ground for dissolution of the state assembly.

Political analysts believe that the PR state government had become shaky after Bota assemblyman Datuk Nasarudin Hashim joined the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) and this had prompted BN to win over some of the state assemblymen from PR.

Nasaruddin, initially with Umno, 10 days ago announced that he had left BN to join the PR with PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim welcoming him with open arms and applause from the opposition pact.

One senior opposition politician believed that Nasarudin was holding the key to the collapse of the PR government in Perak when he decided to make a U-turn back to Umno today.

“We have 29 seats even with the defections… so there is no reason for the BN to offer to form the government,” the Opposition leader initially said.

But when told that Nasarudin had made an about turn and returned to the BN fold, he said:” Aiyoo, ya ka…I think we got played out this time.”

“That means we have 28 and they (BN) got 32 (with the inclusion of the four who defected). I will send a written statement if that is the case,” he said, politely severing the telephone call.

However, some observers believed that Nasarudin’s about turn was not the key issue but the collapse was more attributed to the defection of the other three assembly members.

They believed that the bigger issue would be how BN was going to form a state government that truly reflected the power-sharing of its component parties since some will not be represented.

“Politically it is a good plan. But we have to look at the bigger picture. There is not even a single Indian representative in the in-coming BN government. It seems like it is a big family but without positions,” he said pointing out the fact that all four MIC candidates who were given seats in the 2008 general election under the BN banner, had lost their respective seats.

“Under the PR, Indians had a state legislative Speaker and an executive councillor (Exco). But now Indians have lost it all. The BN must do something to compensate this. At least among the Chinese, there is one elected representative from MCA and he can fill up the Chinese Exco quota but the same cannot be said for the Indians,” he said.

Taking this into account, speculation is rife that there would be more defections from the PR to the BN and this time it would involve some Indian state assemblymen.

Another issue is who will BN appoint as the Menteri Besar as the person must not only be “clean but also seen to be clean” to boost its image in this state.

There has been talk that Datuk Zambry Abdul Kadir, the Pangkor state assemblyman and Bukit Chandan state assemblyman Datuk Wan Mohd Khairil Wan Ahmad are being considered for the post.

— BERNAMA