ARAU (Bernama) – The Raja of Perlis, Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin Putra Jamalullail, yesterday told the newly sworn-in Perlis state executive councillors to stop politicking round the clock and get down to the business of developing the state.
“From now on, I want you to focus on your responsibility. You must fulfil your responsibility to the people regardless of colour, religion and race. If you cannot, then do not become elected representatives,” the ruler said at the swearing-in of the councillors at Istana Arau.
Eight Barisan Nasional (BN) assemblymen took their oath of office as state executive councillors: Asmaiza Ahmad (Chuping); Nurulhisham Yaakob (Simpang Empat); Azizan Sulaiman (Santan); Hamizan Hassan (Kayang); Ruzaini Rais (Beseri); Rozieana Ahmad (Pauh); Siti Berenee Yahaya (Mata Ayer) and Teh Chai Aan (Titi Tinggi).
Tambun Tulang assemblyman Datuk Ismail Kassim did not attend the ceremony, and so was not sworn in as a state executive councillor.
“You are required to read the order paper (of the state legislative assembly). Do not arrive at decisions easily. If you make mistakes, even in the next 50 years there will be no change in the situation. I have often complained that development is too slow. Try to prove that I am wrong,” the ruler said.
Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin challenged the state government to find ways to bring about zero-poverty in the state and look into overcoming the budget deficit that he said had reached RM60 million to RM70 million annually.
He said it had taken more than a month since the general election on May 9 for the state executive councillors to be sworn in.
“I regard this as a serious matter. I am concerned because this case (of delaying the appointment of the state executive councillors) shows there are rebels in our state,” he said.
The political crisis erupted after nine of the 10 BN assemblymen did not attend the swearing-in of Bintong assemblyman Datuk Seri Azlan Man as the Menteri Besar on May 24.
They had opposed the appointment of Azlan as the Menteri Besar and had wanted Ismail, younger brother of Perlis UMNO Liaison Committee chairman Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim, to be made the Menteri Besar.
However, Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin had said he did not want to appoint a Menteri Besar who would become a “puppet” controlled by “external forces”.
The BN had won 10 of the 15 seats in the state assembly in the general election. Pakatan Harapan won three seats and PAS, two.
In his address yesterday, Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin also said that the swearing-in ceremony could have been held much earlier if all quarters had respected his decision.
He said he hoped that they would take the incident as a lesson and would not repeat it in the future.
The ruler said he had forgiven all the nine BN assemblymen who attended an audience with him recently to express their apology.