PETALING JAYA, Feb 7 (Bernama)
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said today the newly-formed Barisan Nasional (BN) government in Perak intends to survive, albeit with a slim majority.
He said that if the state assembly members were loyal, the government would survive even with a mere majority of one.
"Remember the PAS government in Kelantan which survived for many years with just one majority.
"Even with one majority, if the members are loyal you can survive. God willing, we intend to survive," he said after opening the 27th World Customs Day here.
Najib said what that had happened was done within the framework of the constitution and there was "nothing unconstitutional" about it.
He also said that the BN would abide by the decision of the Sultan of Perak, who had acted in accordance with the state constitution.
The BN officially took over the Perak administration yesterday, with Pangkor assemblyman Datuk Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir being sworn in as the new menteri besar.
The swearing-in ceremony took place before the Sultan of Perak, Sultan Azlan Shah, at Istana Iskandariah in Bukit Chandan, mid refusal by the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) former state government to accept the reality that it was no longer in power.
The PR losing its majority in the state legislative assembly when four of its assemblymen quit their respective parties recently.
On how the BN government would convince the people of Perak of its sincerity, Najib said it would depend on the leadership and policies undertaken by the new government.
"I will be discussing with them (BN elected representatives and leaders) that first of all, we want to be fair with all races and all communities and we will make sure this will happen.
"We will also make sure that it is an effective and efficient government. In other words, all our programmes will be delivered according to the wishes of the people and rakyat, " he said.
Najib said the BN-led government must be a clean government, not only a people-friendly government but also one with integrity.
To a question, he said the takeover of the Perak state government by the BN was done correctly.
"Please ask Pakatan Rakyat why they started this. They were talking about forming the government on Sept 16. This is the principle that they mentioned, that they accepted and tried to put into practice.
"They wanted to topple the federal government by stealing the 31 BN members of parliament. It was not the BN. Ask them," said Najib who is also the Perak BN chairman.
He said the BN, as the government in Perak, must now concentrate on serving the people.
Asked to comment on Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin's refusal to step down a menteri besar in defiance of the sultan's order, Najib said whatever decision by the ruler must be respected and any attempt to challenge the decision would tantamount to contempt of the institution of constitutional monarchy.
Asked what would happen if the three independent assemblymen in the state who had pledged support for the BN returned to Pakatan Pakatan, Najib there was no need to speculate and if that happened, he would answer.