Thursday, July 9, 2009

Nizar does not rule out hartal - Malaysian Insider

By Asrul Hadi Abdullah Sani

PUTRAJAYA, July 9 — Former Perak Mentri Besar Nizar Jamaluddin does not rule out the possibility of a statewide hartal.

“We will discuss at a Pakatan Rakyat (PR) level whether or not that would be the appropriate action to take in the near future; however we are not ruling out the possibility,” he said.

Yesterday, the Perak People’s Action Committee, a non-governmental organisation, submitted a memorandum to the state government, calling for a by-election and giving Barisan Nasional (BN) until Aug 8 to dissolve the assembly or face a complete shutdown of the whole state.

Nizar and Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Zambry Abd Kadir is in a stand-off over the reversal of policies by the BN state government.

Nizar accused BN of dissembling the groundwork set by the former PR state government which he believed was for the good for the people.

Nizar told reporters during a press conference that the he was disappointed with the court’s decision today to allow the current mentri besar to execute and change state policies.

“The reason why we applied for a stay of execution in the Court of Appeal was because we wanted to ensure the status quo. This is because all the policies that we executed for 10½ months before the power grab were all for the betterment of the people of Perak regardless of religion, race or background,” he said.

Nizar added that he was uneasy with the court’s decision and felt it was unfortunate that Zambry was allowed to change state policies.

In his affidavit to the court, Nizar mentioned that BN had taken action which did not benefit the people of Perak and had put aside policies which had been set by PR.

He claimed that Zambry’s government had failed and refused to implement welfare programmes which were approved under the 2009 budget and the state had stop giving perpetual grants to planned villages and new villages.

The state had also delayed the Ipoh Central Project which was aimed at improving the city’s transportation system by having a centralised bus system like Rapid KL.

Nizar condemned the state government’s approval to provide 14,000 hectares of land to companies for tin mining.

“This is a matter which is hard for us to reverse when we return to power because of the agreement made. For 10½ months we did not approve such a large size of land to one or two companies. So to approve 14,000 hectares of land in Grik is unbecoming for Barisan Nasional,” he said.

Nizar also said the auctioning of the Camry vehicles which were the state’s official car was another reason why the BN was unfit to govern Perak.

“I understand that up to yesterday nobody has bought the cars. They are too expensive and they are still in front of the SUK office. So this does not benefit the state,” he said.

Nizar claimed that Barisan Nasional has approved a timber concessionaire for logging near an Orang Asli village in Kampar, saying this was a total betrayal by the state against the community.

“They logged for timber near the community but when Pakatan Rakyat came to power it stopped the process. But I understand that recently the same company has returned to the site,” he said.

Nizar hoped that this would show Malaysians and especially the people of Perak that PR was for the people and that BN's action would be detrimental to the welfare of the people.

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