Khamis, 12 Februari 2009

Nizar will vacate residence but not government

Dikirim pada Februari 11, 2009 oleh HermanSamsudeen
Nizar said he was ‘not going to be like a stupid, mad boy staying forever until I am officially evicted’. — Picture by Choo Choy May
By Shannon Teoh
IPOH, Feb 11 (The Malaysian Insider) — Shut out from his office and now operating from the menteri besar’s residence as the seat of his administration, Datuk Seri Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin said today he will soon vacate the last bastion of Pakatan Rakyat’s government in Perak.
But the ousted menteri besar still maintained that his administration is legitimate and can operate from any premises, saying he will leave the official residence “in dignity” at the “golden moment” should an eviction notice be issued.
“I have my own dignity. I am not going to be like a stupid, mad boy staying forever until I am officially evicted,” said Nizar, hinting of moving out in an exclusive interview with The Malaysian Insider at the official residence in Jalan Raja Idris Shah.
The 10th Perak menteri besar has been holding out at the residence with his wife and eight children in what is seen by some quarters as the last stand for democracy in the silver state as the Barisan Nasional has seized other state premises in its Feb 5 takeover, leaving his administration little choice but to turn it into an office and a secretariat.
“I will find the golden opportune time. All my children are studying here, my eldest daughter is about to deliver,” Nizar explained.
“To an extent, this is the last symbol of democracy in this state but we will go beyond that. The symbol will then be the basis of truth and rule of law that we fight for even if we are ripped off of these premises.”
However, Pakatan Rakyat is still studying that move as it could have legal ramifications and interpreted as conceding the government when the coalition files a suit tomorrow to declare the Barisan Nasional government illegal.
“That is the reason we need the best opportune time where it will not be interpreted as conceding,” Nizar countered, insisting that despite giving up the residence, Pakatan Rakat would still consider itself the legal government and operate from a different site.
“This is not a sign of conceding but a symbol of dignity. If there is a letter of eviction, we will respect it if it exists but up to now there has only been a phone call,” he said, disclosing the civil service’s role in the administration change.
The Pasir Panjang assemblyman related how his belongings in the menteri besar’s office had been ransacked and his drawers emptied but the next day, the state secretary “who had shouted at me called me in a humble voice realising he made a mistake”.
Nizar said that according to protocol, an ex-MB should still be highly respected.
“Even though they say I shall now be the ex-menteri besar, at any state function the ex-MB is always there. When I took over, Tajol was there and given due deference,” he said of his predecessor Datuk Seri Tajol Rosli Mohd Ghazali.
“So he called to say that they did not mind if I took my time to vacate the residence and even ‘if you need help to shift, we will bring some lorries and you can even use my house to store your things’,” said Nizar, breaking into laughter.
He added that there was also an order for the Pakatan Rakyat executive councillors to surrender their official cars but those who did found their cars returned the following day.
“I think he realised that he made a mistake because the palace will ask why did you humiliate the ex-MB who I appointed and gave a Datuk Seri?”
As such, Nizar said that while “this residence can be snatched anytime” by Barisan Nasional, he does not believe it would happen “because it will be damaging not just for Umno, but the palace”.
“If not, they could have smashed the 10,000 during the ceramah on Sunday night. They could have just thrown a Molotov cocktail and created havoc.
“I think it will increase the respect for us from the public and they will join us to reclaim what has been robbed,” he said.
In a related decision, the Pakatan Rakyat executive councillors will also leave their official cars unused at the official residence.

According to Nga Kor Ming, an executive councillor and Perak DAP secretary, the decision was taken to rebut claims by Barisan Nasional that the Pakatan Rakyat executive councillors were being greedy and selfish by holding onto the Toyota Camrys.
He explained the Pakatan Rakyat executive councillors would no longer use the cars to show they are not greedy for the newly-purchased vehicles but that they would not surrender them to Barisan Nasional either.
“All exco members are ready to release the vehicles but if we surrender them it can be viewed by the court as conceding the government.
“These are state assets and symbolise that we are still the legitimate government,” Nga said.

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