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Anwar turns table on Najib's attempted Perak coup - malaysiakini

Malaysiakini's report:

While Pakatan Rakyat may have averted an attempted coup by Barisan Nasional in Perak over the weekend, the danger is not over for the 10-month-old state government.

perak majority slim 300109Pakatan has recently strengthened its majority from three to five, thanks to last week's defection of Nasarudin Hashim (Bota) from Umno.

With Pakatan's 32 against BN's 27, the BN opposition needs at least three defections, and so far they got two.

With one seat short, it would not be able to convince the Perak sultan to transfer power without having to dissolve the state assembly and fight another bruising election.

jamaluddin mat radzi and osman jailu perak pkrThe game plan is for Jamaluddin Mat Radzi (Behrang) (photo, left) and Osman Jailu (Changkat Jering) (photo, right) - the two defectors - to quit PKR and declare themselves as Independents.

This will allow BN to claim that the two assemblypersons are not party-hoppers, especially after having taken the high moral ground on the issue of defection. More so, when the duo are being seen as tainted politicians - both of whom are facing corruption charges in court.

najib on kuala terengganu by election 060109 03Clearly, the prime minister-in-waiting needs to go to the March Umno general assembly with something in his hands or he would have a hard time getting the party behind him for the tough battle ahead.

That 'gift' he hopes to bring with him is Perak.

But Pakatan is seeking to turn the tables on Najib by declaring the two seats belonging to the defectors vacant, and thus force the Election Commission to call by-elections for both constituencies.

The by-elections, pending any legal complications arising out of the validity of the two 'resignation' letters from the duo, must now be held within 60 days.

Whether the letters can hold up to scrutiny as it was signed soon after the March 8 general election, Pakatan has succeeded in forcing the two 'missing' politicians to break their five-day silence by making their 'resignation' public.

Pakatan has edge in snap polls

behrang state seat 010209Should there be indeed by-elections for the two seats, the numbers are stacked against BN.

Behrang, which is held by Jamaluddin, is a racially-mixed seat where almost half of its voters are non-Malays.

The BN candidate for this seat has been traditionally MIC, given the 19 percent Indian Malaysian voters in the 18,552-strong constituency.

Incumbent Jamaluddin, who ran under the PAS banner in 2004, has reversed a 3,748 vote deficit to a comfortable 1,027 majority in the 2008 political tsunami.

The state seat, located at the border with Selangor, is one of three state seats under the Tanjong Malim parliamentary constituency, which was won by MCA’s Ong Ka Chuan.

Meanwhile, Changkat Jering, which has 63.6 percent Malay voters, also has sizable non-Malay voters - 25.8 percent Chinese and 10.6 percent Indian.

changkat jering state seat 010209Incumbent representative Osman won the seat in 2004 with a narrow 628 majority, but it is expected that a combined might of PKR-DAP-PAS would be able to win the seat for Pakatan as proven in Kaula Terengganu.

Changkat Jering is one of three state states under the Bukit Gantang parliamentary seat won by PAS in the 2008 general election.

Clearly, the last thing Najib wants is to fight two more by-elections, having tasted bitter defeat in Permatang Pauh and Kuala Terengganu.

His only other choice is find another defector. Yet Pakatan is not sitting still for Najib to strike.

The state government is also seeking defections from BN in this tit-for-tat battle. And if push comes to shove, Pakatan can always exercise its final option - dissolve the state assembly and call a snap election in Perak.

That too would be the last thing Najib wants -