IPOH: In a show of strength against speculation of leadership change, Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Saarani Mohamad lined up all his assemblymen to send a message that things are well in the former tin mining state.

This came about after the Perak government, just as with the Federal Government, has not been spared the political chatter of being toppled.

Saarani, however, is having none of this.

“The state government is strong and steady,” he said yesterday, while flanked by state assemblymen from the ruling bench except Nga Kor Ming (the Kepayang assemblyman of DAP), who is in Japan on official business.

The state unity government has 33 seats in the Perak assembly. Perikatan Nasional holds the other 26 seats.

“We have tabled the anti-hopping law. None of us from the government bloc want to move to the other side,” Saarani said.

Speculation began on Saturday when Perak PAS commissioner Razman Zakaria claimed he had met several “concerned assemblymen” over talk that the state government was on shaky ground.

Saarani said a police report might be lodged against Razman if he continues to make statements that could harm stability.

Hours after Saarani met the press, Razman gave his own press conference. Razman said the Mentri Besar should not be worried if he is confident about his state administration.

Light moment: Saarani (centre) said talk of assemblymen wanting to topple the state government will bring uncertainty to the state.

“If Umno and DAP have a close relationship, why are they so worried about my statement?” he said.He added that Saarani, who is state Umno and Barisan Nasional chairman, should explain to the people what he meant by Perak’s political stability.

“Is he saying Umno will continue to work with DAP forever?”

Razman said it was common for state assemblymen to meet, even those from the Opposition.

Asked about state PKR vice-chairman Muhamad Arafat Varisai Mahamad’s challenge to Razman to reveal the names of assemblymen who had met him, Razman replied: “You should ask him.”DAP assemblyman Loh Sze Yee also dispelled Razman’s comments.

“We are not worried as this has been done before. Razman is just stirring the pot,” he said.

PKR assemblyman Sandrea Ng said said there was a strong relationship among the parties in the unity government.

“We always meet to discuss matters. If there are assemblyman who are unhappy, we would have known.”

When contacted, Dr Mohammad Tawfik Yaakub, senior lecturer at Universiti Malaya’s administrative studies and politics department, said it would be tough to change the Perak administration in view of the anti-hopping law.

That law, he said, had changed the game. “If you don’t use the right strategy, you may end up losing your seat,” he said.

Perikatan, he said, would need four more seats if it wants to take over the state government.

Source : The Star Online