PETALING JAYA, June 13 — The Raja of Perlis Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin Putra Jamalullail today expressed his disappointment that the state government took more than a month to be sworn in, following a political situation over the selection of the mentri besar.
In a report by Malaysiakini, the state monarch was quoted as saying he was worried such a case showed there were rebels within the state.
“More than a month had passed. Only today were we able to hold the exco swearing-in ceremony.
“I take this matter seriously as it involved the palace and myself,” he said during the swearing in of the exco line-up at Arau royal palace in Perlis today.
The political crisis in Perlis began over the appointment of the mentri besar’s post after nine Barisan Nasional (BN) assemblymen boycotted the appointment and oath-taking ceremony of Datuk Seri Azlan Man as the mentri besar, in a protest led by Perlis BN chief Shahidan Kassim.
Shahidan was angry that the Ruler had refused to appoint his brother, Tambun Tulang assemblyman Ismail Kassim as mentri besar and even asked for Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to intervene in the crisis.
Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin had said that he did not want to appoint an individual who would become a puppet controlled by “external forces”.
The BN assemblymen later gave in and apologised for defying the Perlis Ruler.
All BN assemblymen were present at the exco swearing-in ceremony today with the exception of Ismail.
During the ceremony, Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin also urged the state assemblymen to stop politicking and repeated his complaints about the slow rate of development in the state.
“Starting from now, I want you to focus on your responsibilities. Forget the party, don’t politic 24 hours a day.
“Fulfill your responsibilities to the people regardless of skin colour, religion or race.
“Prove me wrong...if you are unable to do so you shouldn’t be a people’s representative,” he said.
BN had won 10 out of the 15 state seats in Perlis during the May 9 general election to form the state government with a two-thirds majority.