Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Perak drama: Tense but calm - Star

Feb 10, 2009 By SA’ODAH ELIAS

11:30am: The swearing-in ceremony at Istana Iskandariah proceeded without incident. The new executive council comprises:

1) Hamidah Osman (Sungai Rapat)
2) Datuk Ramly Zahari (Manong)
3) Dr Mah Hang Soon (Chenderiang)
4) Datuk Saarani Mohamad (Kota Tampan)
5)Mohd Zahir Abdul Khalid (Kamunting)
6)Zainol Fadzi Paharudin (Sungai Manik)

11:15am: Nizar arrived at state secretariat building at 11am but leaves 15mins later without incident after being denied entry. He says he will carry out his normal duties as mentri besar from his official residence.

IPOH: Two truckloads of police from the Field Reserve Unit (FRU) were manning the gates of the state secretariat building here early Tuesday morning where Datuk Seri Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin is expected to turn up.

Nizar has remained adamant that he is still the mentri besar and would be going to his office as usual despite the ruling of Sultan Azlan Shah that he no longer retains the confidence of the majority of the state legislative assembly.

The state secretariat building had been cordoned off by police following a directive issued by State Secretary Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Hashim for Nizar and members of his executive council to vacate their offices.

Nizar told reporters on Monday night that despite the order, he would still be going to his office as usual.

“The State Secretary had contacted me and told me that I am no longer the mentri besar, and that he has taken charge of the state secretariat. He told me that I will have to be escorted if I wanted to collect my belongings.

“But I am still the mentri besar, and I will go to office as usual,” he said.

Nizar and his staff were expected at 10am. There was no sign of Umno Youth, whose leaders threatened to do “whatever is necessary” to prevent Nizar from entering the office.

Earlier, Buntong assemblyman A. Sivasubramaniam of Pakatan Rakyat said the state secretary issued letters to all state exco members to vacate their offices immediately after the Sultan asked Nizar to resign.

In the letters, he said Abdul Rahman also directed them to surrender the keys to their offices, official cars and other state properties that were in their keeping.

“Officials were also sent to our offices to escort our personal assistants out of the state secretariat building,” he added.

In Kuala Kangsar, there was no sign of an expected demonstration to protest the swearing-in ceremony of the new executive council.

However, seven truckloads of FRU personnel were on standby near Istana Iskandariah Tuesday morning.

Datuk Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir, who was sworn in as Mentri Besar last Friday, arrived at the palace at about 8:30am without any disturbances.

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