Feb 7, 2009
By NG SI HOOI and ZULKIFLI RAHMAN
New MB: Perak’s Sultan Azlan Shah presenting the letter of appointment to Pangkor state assemblyman Datuk Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir, who was sworn in as the 11th Mentri Besar at Istana Iskandariah in Kuala Kangsar yesterday.
IPOH: Perak belongs to all Perak people, and not to any particular group or party, said newly appointed Mentri Besar Datuk Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir.
“This is the state for all of us. I am not the Mentri Besar for one particular race or particular party. I am the Mentri Besar for all ethnic groups in Perak,” he said in his speech during the Perak Chinese New Year open house in Kg Simee on Saturday.
On talk that he belonged to and served only a particular group, Zambry cleared the air by saying:
“The answer is no, and no and no. Zambry is here to serve all Perak people including the opposition parties.
“I will ensure that there is fairness to all people in the state,” said Dr Zambry, who was attending the first function as the Mentri Besar after he was sworn in at Istana Iskandariah in Kuala Kangsar on Friday.
He called on all Perak people to restore confidence, peace and stability to their state.
“This is the key for the state to progress into a better place for our future generations,” he said.
Dr Zambry said the best way to solve any problem or difference was through consultation.
“We should not fight on the streets because that is not our way. We should not take the law into our hand.
“The most important thing is prevail the stability in the state and be reconciled to work together,” he said.
Later, he had a question and answer session with reporters, his press conference after taking over as Perak Mentri Besar on Friday.
Q: Datuk Seri Nizar said that the new Mentri Besar is “haram” (illegitimate)
A: My retort is that does he think that he is legitimate?
Q: There is talk that Nizar is still chairing the state executive council meeting.
A: Yes, that is an illegitimate meeting.
Q: What about the Barisan Nasional?
A: Dia baca apa pun tidak tahu. Yang haram pada orang lain, halal bagi dia.
Q: When are you going to take over your official office.
A: I will discuss that with the state secretary because the state secretary is the one who is managing the office administration. The Barisan exco will be decided after Feb 10.
Q: Will you be holding a meeting immediately afer that?
A: We will do our duties as soon as the new exco lineup is announced.
Q: What is your view on yesterday’s illegal gathering near the Iskandariah Palace.
A: They like street demos. Let the people see what they are like. I am confident that the majority of the people want peace. Any type of crisis must be settled through legal means and the process of the law.
Q; Isn’t your appointment sudden, too?
A: It is not. It was done by due process of the law. They (Pakatan Rakyat) are the ones who created that perception. My main challenge is to tell the public that it is done according to the rule of law.
It is the Sultan’s prerogative and absolute power to appoint anybody he deemed fit to be the MB of Perak. He (Nizar) should as himself also, by convention he knows who is supposed to be MB.
But the Sultan decided to appoint him. That is the absolute right of the Sultan. The Perak Sultan knows the law. He is the former chief justice. Thus his actions must have been based on the provisions of the law.
Should the Sultan later ask me to vacate, I will abide. This is a matter of principle. It is not whether I should be appointed or otherwise, because the Sultan has the absolute right. Anyone including me, must categorically state that if the Sultan feels that I am not fit anymore, or if we don’t have the majority, the Sultan has a say.
Q: Do you feel secure in your position as MB especially since the three who threw their support behind Barisan have not joined any component parties, thus there is still some possibility that they might change their allegiance?
A: They are Independents who are friendly towards the Barisan. We always follow the rule.
Q: You might have been appointed by the Sultan, but do you think that you have the mandate of the people?
A: My appointment is also mandated by the people since it is based on the number of representatives in the state assembly that we have.
Q: What are you going to do to correct the people’s perception of you?
A: We have to go to the people and ask them to remain calm. My number one priority is to advise the people to look at the issues from the proper perspective.
Q: Will the three independents be given exco positions?
A: We will announce when the day comes. We will see the exco line-up when I make announcement.
Q: Will you have trouble deciding on your exco line-up that is racially balanced?
Q: I will take that into account. There are ways.
A: No particular race is going to be left out.
Q: Will Barisan support the appointment of Hee Yit Foong (Jelapang state assemblyman) as deputy speaker?
A; We will look into it. I will make a decision.
Q: Nizar has yet to vacate the official MB residence.
A: Let him be if he does not want to vacate. The important thing is not the official residence, but continuing to serve people. Let him use the house and the official car. Even if that means I will not be able to move in, I don’t mind. I can operate from my house.
Q: There are no Indian representative in Barisan Nasional.
A: I will have to look into that. I don’t want any particular community to feel left out.
Q: What about the policy to give freehold title to Chinese New Villages
A: Wait first. I haven’t even been to the office.