PAKATAN Harapan wants to recapture Perak but face the same problem as it did in 2008: no obvious menteri besar candidate.
Many of the Perak PH leaders spoke of the pact’s chances in the next general election but when it came to the question of menteri besar, they skirted around the issue.
PH has agreed on how the 59 state seats would be divided among itself. Sources told The Malaysian Insight, the DAP will contest 18 seats, Bersatu (15), PKR (14) and Amanah (12).
In the current assembly, DAP has 18 members, PKR (5), PAS (4) and Amanah (1).
“We have not discussed this issue (MB candidate), we have to win first,” Perak PH information director Chang Lih Kang told The Malaysian Insight.
“All four component parties will decide who the menteri besar candidate is after we win GE14.”
The Teja assemblyman said the menteri besar candidate does not automatically come from PH component party that will capture the bulk of the seats.
He was referring to the last time the opposition captured the state in 2008. DAP had a majority of the seats but could not claim the menteri besar post as the state law required the person to be a Malay-Muslim.
Bersatu is spearheading the charge to capture Perak and Ahmad Faizal Azumi is the PH chairman in the state.
“Besides the number of seats won, we have to look at the candidate’s eligibility,” said Chang.
Perak PH council member Dr Muhaimin Sulam said the chairmen of all component parties have the potential to be the menteri besar except for DAP.
“In the MB Perak issue and current scenario, DAP is excluded from this list.
“In the future, I do not know. I’m talking about the current context,” Muhaimin told The Malaysian Insight.
Muhaimin was referring to the incident in March 2008 where Barisan Nasional (BN) lost Perak for the first time. DAP gained 18 seats, PKR (7) and PAS (6).
That is why Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin from PAS was picked as menteri besar although the Islamist party won the least number of seats and PKR did not have any eligible candidate.
“Ahmad Faizal Azumi as Bersatu chairman is a potential MB candidate. Asmuni Awi who is the Perak Amanah chairman is also another choice for MB. Same goes to Perak PKR chairman Dr Muhammad Nur Manuti.
“We cannot deny Nizar a shot at the post either as he had some experience during the short-lived Pakatan Rakyat tenure. They are all menteri besar candidates who have the capability.
“It has to be remembered that the palace factor cannot be taken for granted. The candidate has to acceptable to the sultan. PH is mindful of this,” said Muhaimin who is also Perak Amanah vice chairman.
For his part, Nizar is ready for another tilt at the job.
The state Amanah deputy chairman, however, said it all depended on the support from PH component parties.
“We have to also take into account the consent from the sultan of Perak.
“So, it means that these two factors should align. Then I can state ‘yes, I am ready to continue from where I was stopped 10 years ago’,” Nizar told The Malaysian Insight.
Nizar was Perak menteri besar from March 2008 until February 2009. On February 4, 2009, Perak PR which was made up of DAP, PKR and PAS collapsed after four of its assemblymen left the coalition.
The four who left PR included Bota assemblyman and then PKR leader Nasarudin Hashim who re-joined Umno on January 25, 2009.
The other three who left became BN-friendly independent representatives.
They are Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi (PKR-Behrang); Mohd Osman Mohd Jailu (PKR-Changkat Jering) and Hee Yit Foong (DAP-Jelapang).
Nizar said Perak folk still remember him as the former menteri besar although the “power seizure” incident occurred almost 10 years ago.
“Everywhere I go, especially the Chinese, they remember me as the former menteri besar.
“So, if I go to a Malay event, the emcee would usually announce ‘the arrival of Yang Berhormat’, they will not say Changkat Jering MP but will say former menteri besar instead.”
THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT