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In an attempt to address the problem of the state BN being dominated by
representatives from only the Malays as Umno holds 27 of the 28 seats,
Zambry has appointed special advisors with executive council status.

Datuk
S. Veerasingam will be his advisor for Indian affairs while Datuk Chang
Ko Youn will be Chinese advisor. Kapten Datuk Haji Mohd Najmuddin Elias
Al-Hafiz, another advisor, will assist him on religious matters.

Reminds me of Advisers during the time of the British, before independence. Even elected representatives of MCA,MIC and Gerakan could not do much under Barisan Nasional. What use are the advisers – window dressing.

Zambry feels strain of defending BN government

Datuk Zambry Abdul Kadir started his first day as menteri besar today defending the legitimacy of his government by arguing that a majority in Perak backed the Barisan Nasional, and engaging in a rant against journalists.

It was clear, as he snapped at awkward questions from reporters at his first press conference, that he has been feeling the strain of defending what has been an obviously unpopular and possibly unconstitutional takeover of the state from Pakatan Rakyat.

Zambry was sworn-in last Friday by Sultan Azlan Shah at the Istana Iskandariah in Kuala Kangsar while riot police outside quelled a protest by thousands of people.

Earlier last week, Sultan Azlan Shah had denied consent to Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin as the menteri besar to dissolve the state assembly.

Instead the Ruler dismissed Nizar, and questions have now arisen over whether a Ruler who is only a constitutional monarch has such powers. Nizar, who has refused to resign, maintains he is still the MB.

The Sultan has come under heavy criticisms for appearing to side with BN. He has even had to cancel public appearances as part of his silver jubilee celebrations because of security concerns.

When asked today if he thought he has the support of a majority of the public in Perak, Zambry said: “That is why we are here.”

When it was pointed out that he did not gain his position as menteri besar via an election, he grew visibly defensive and snapped back: “What do you mean? This is a democratic process.

“Do you understand democracy? I am asking you, do you understand the political philosophy of democracy?

“I am asking you back. Why are you not asking them (Pakatan Rakyat) back when they are talking about the party hopping?

“When they triggered everything right from the very beginning. You should ask yourself about that.”

When it was clarified that the question was not about defections but whether he feels he has the support of the majority of Perakians, he finally replied: “God willing, when you prove to the people your worth.

“Do not talk about democracy process if you do not understand democracy.

“This is the true democratic process.”

Then, before another reporter could finish her question on Jelapang state representative Hee Yit Fong, he cut in and told her: “You like to delve into all kinds of speculative things.”

When the reporter finally got to complete her question and ask whether he feels Hee can perform her duties effectively as state representative given the widespread unhappiness expressed by residents in Jelapang and whether Zambry can guarantee her safety, he replied: “This is our responsibility. People need to respect Hee’s right to live.

“Where else to live? Please preserve the peace we have in this country regardless of differences.”

Earlier, he arrived in a Proton Perdana and waved at the large crowd of media members at about 10am, and was trailed by his executive council members in various other vehicles.

In an attempt to address the problem of the state BN being dominated by representatives from only the Malays as Umno holds 27 of the 28 seats, Zambry has appointed special advisors with executive council status.

Datuk S. Veerasingam will be his advisor for Indian affairs while Datuk Chang Ko Youn will be Chinese advisor. Kapten Datuk Haji Mohd Najmuddin Elias Al-Hafiz, another advisor, will assist him on religious matters.

On the upcoming by-elections, he said that BN will be ready.

When asked whether he will continue the previous state government’s policies, he said: “What is most important is not whether it is your policy or my policy but what is best for the rakyat.”

When asked whether he is going to convene a special sitting of the state assembly, he answered that the “assembly will have to meet every six months.” He also said that it is Pakatan Rakyat’s right to file a lawsuit and seek legal redress. He also revealed that he has not appointed a speaker yet.

On the fact that there are only six state executive council members instead of the usual 10, he said: “It is convention to have 10 but based on regulations, we can elect less than that based on our needs.” He said that he will revisit the number of executive council members from time to time.

Zambry also said that “there is no time for celebrations” and that “my intention is to serve all.

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