Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin - Appointment As Menteri Besar

Appointment As Menteri Besar

On 8 March 2008, the Pakatan Rakyat coalition in Perak won 31 seats of the 59 seat Perak State Assembly, which enabled it to form a majority state government. The Democratic Action Party commanded the most seats out of the 31 seats held by Pakatan Rakyat and were the claimants to the post of Menteri Besar. However, the Perak State Constitution stipulated that the Menteri Besar must be of Malay descent, and a non-Malay could only be appointed by a royal waiver by the Perak Palace. To resolve this, all three parties sent their nominations for the MB post to the Regent of Perak, Raja Nazrin Shah. Nizar was chosen over Dato' Seri Ngeh Koo Ham of the DAP and Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi of PKR on 12 March 2008 by Raja Nazrin, and sworn in on 17 March 2008 at Istana Iskandariah, Kuala Kangsar. Nizar was the first person not part of the Barisan National coalition to hold such a post in Perak.

The appointment of Nizar created a minor stir within the opposition coalition after the DAP's central executive committee, under the advice of Lim Kit Siang ordered Perak DAP state assemblymen to boycott the swearing-in ceremony to be held on 13 March 2008. Raja Nazrin then ordered a delay of the swearing in ceremony and asked all 31 of Pakatan Rakyat's assemblymen to pledge their support of Nizar's appointment, since otherwise Nizar is shown as not having majority support and therefore cannot be appointed as the Menteri Besar. Lim has since apologised and stated that he did not mean to disrespect the decision of the sultan and the regent of Perak. Following the resolution of this matter, all the state assemblymen from PKR, PAS and DAP (including Lim Kit Siang) attended the Menteri Besar swearing-in ceremony in support of Nizar.

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