Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Trust, deception and betrayal in Selangor

With all the issues in Selangor, Pakatan Rakyat strategists know that the numbers don't look good. Pakatan Rakyat will want to avoid State Elections now.

Lim Kit Siang is right when he said that the day PAS Central Committee members meet on Aug 17 to decide whether or not to support Khalid Ibrahim as MB Selangor, it is actually D-Day for Pakatan Rakyat's future.

If PAS supports Dr Wan Azizah, then Pakatan Rakyat will avoid State Elections but if PAS supports Khalid Ibrahim, State Elections can happen with the help of Barisan Nasional and DAP's Hannah Yeoh.

Yes, it is true. PAS, BN and Hannah Yeoh.

Recently, PKR's Saifuddin Nasution and DAP's Tony Pua said Khalid Ibrahim no longer had the support to continue as MB. They want Khalid Ibrahim to prove that he has the support of the majority of the assemblymen. Perhaps Saifuddin and Tony should ask themselves if they are sure that Khalid has lost the support of the majority of the assemblymen.

DAP has 15 seats, PKR 13, PAS 15, BN 12 and of course 1 independent (Khalid Ibrahim himself).

Do not forget, DAP's ADUN Hannah Yeoh is also the Speaker of the State Assembly. The Speaker of the House cannot vote unless there is a tie. Even if Saifuddin and Tony are both confident that their ADUNs like Teng Chang Khim will toe the line, there are only 27 votes against Khalid Ibrahim (14 from DAP and 13 from PKR).

Both Saifuddin and Tony know that PAS has yet to decide whether or not it would support Khalid as MB. PAS will only decide on August 17. What will PAS do? If PAS agrees to back Dr Wan Azizah, Khalid Ibrahim's career is over. This way, Pakatan Rakyat will remain in power and Selangorians will have to wait for GE14 in 2017/18 to punish Pakatan Rakyat.

But if PAS decides to go with Khalid Ibrahim, then BN must think carefully if they want to team up with PAS and Khalid Ibrahim. BN has nothing to gain and much to lose. Unless of course, BN wants to gamble and hope that Hannah Yeoh will resign to force Khalid Ibrahim to dissolve the State Assembly.

Let us assume that Khalid Ibrahim, BN and PAS do form an alliance.

PAS, BN and Khalid Ibrahim will have 28 votes out of a maximum possible 55 votes in the State Assembly (Speaker can't vote). That should be sufficient for Khalid to command the confidence of the majority of the State Assemblymen (28 vs 27, Speaker stays out).

But the drama doesn't end here.

The fate of Khalid Ibrahim and Pakatan Rakyat then lies in the hands of Speaker Hannah Yeoh.

If Hannah Yeoh resigns as Speaker of the House and return to the DAP bench, DAP - PKR will have 28 votes vs the 28 votes from the PAS - BN - Khalid Ibrahim alliance. This is a 'hung assembly'.

Not only that, Standing Order 3 states that "whenever there is vacancy in the office of Speaker whether as the result of a dissolution of Assembly or otherwise the Assembly shall, as soon as a quorum is present, proceed to elect a Speaker".

The State Assembly must choose a new speaker in the next State Assembly meeting.

Both sides are expected to nominate one candidate each to replace Hannah Yeoh but neither is likely to win. When that happens, the State Assembly's Standing Order 4 (6) (c) comes into the picture. The rule states that "Where at any ballot between two candidates the votes are equal, another ballot shall be held and if at such subsequent ballot the votes are equal, the determination shall be by lot which shall be drawn in such manner as the Clerk shall decide".

Whoever wins will not command support from the other side and we are back to square one.

There is no way Khalid Ibrahim will see his "legacy" go down to this political impasse especially in the State Assembly. The State Government is at risk of facing a shutdown especially when the State Budget is coming up in November. I doubt the Palace will allow this to happen.

Khalid Ibrahim will have no choice but to dissolve the State Assembly and his career is as good as over. Of course, he will also drag Pakatan Rakyat down with him.

Pakatan Rakyat will have to face the full wrath and fury of the Selangor voters for the political circus and issues that have been haunting us for years.

Now, do you think Hannah Yeoh will resign for these to happen? What will DAP tell her to do?

Interesting days ahead and one thing is for sure, politicians have the ability to display the finest art of trust, deception and betrayal.

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