2009 Perak Crisis Timeline

2009 Perak Crisis Timeline

Malaysiakini Special Report, 11 Feb 2019


19 - 20 AUG 2008

Two Perak PKR excos nabbed

The Anti-Corruption Agency (now known as MACC) detains Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi (PKR-Behrang) and Mohd Osman Mohd Jailu (PKR-Changkat Jering) for alleged graft.

25 JAN 2009

Umno state rep defects to PKR

Bota assemblyperson Nasarudin Hashim quits Umno to join PKR, increasing Pakatan Rakyat's control in Perak state assembly to 32 seats, while BN reduced to 27.

30 JAN 2009

PKR duo goes missing

In a rally, Anwar Ibrahim welcomes Nasarudin into the party. However, Jamaluddin and Osman are absent. Rumours say they are ready to defect to BN.

01 - 02 FEB 2009

Hee Yit Foong uncontactable

Perak assembly deputy speaker and DAP's Jelapang assemblyperson Hee Yit Foong also goes missing. She is rumoured to be defecting to MCA.

On Feb 1 evening, the Chinese media manage to track Hee to her house in Ipoh. She denies she was in hiding, claiming that she switched off her handphone due to too many calls asking her to comment on the defection rumour.

Perak speaker declares PKR duo resigned

Perak state assembly speaker V Sivakumar claims he received resignation letters from Jamaluddin and Osman. He declares both the Behrang and Changkat Jering state seats vacant and informs the Election Commission.

Jamaluddin, Osman deny resigning

However, the PKR reps deny stepping down. A man claiming to represent Osman lodges a police report also denying that the latter has resigned.

04 FEB 2009

Pakatan reps confirm defection to BN

Hee confirms that she has resigned from DAP. Along with Jamaluddin and Osman, the trio now supports BN. With Nasarudin's reverse defection to Umno, BN and its independent allies now have 31 seats against Pakatan's 28.

Nizar seeks an audience with sultan to dissolve assembly

Meanwhile, Perak menteri besar Nizar Jamaluddin seeks an audience with Sultan Azlan Shah to dissolve the state assembly, paving way for snap polls.

Najib announces winning power, Pakatan state government collapses

On the same afternoon, deputy prime minister and Perak Umno chief Najib Abdul Razak declares that BN has gained a majority in the Perak assembly.

05 FEB 2009

Perak ruler orders Nizar to resign, Pakatan files lawsuit

Najib meets Perak ruler twice on the same day to seek consent for BN to form the state government.

The sultan also meets Hee, Jamaluddin and Osman to question whether they support BN.

Meanwhile, the Pakatan state government and speaker Sivakumar file a lawsuit to declare the seats of the three defectors vacant for by-elections.

In the afternoon, the sultan grants an audience to Nizar. Palace refuses Pakatan's request to dissolve the state assembly. Instead, Nizar and all Pakatan state exco members are asked to resign. Otherwise, their seats will fall vacant.

At 4pm, police take over the state secretariat and ask Nizar and Pakatan excos to clear their offices and return the official cars, among others.

In the evening, prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi meets the sultan. Later he tells a press conference in Subang, Selangor that Pangkor assemblyperson Zambry Abd Kadir will be sworn in as the new Perak MB.

06 FEB 2009

Zambry sworn in as new MB

Zambry is sworn in as the new MB at Istana Iskandariah in Kuala Kangsar. All Pakatan assemblypersons are absent with more than 3,000 supporters holding a demonstration outside the palace.

Police deploy anti-riot unit and fire tear gas to disperse the crowd. Nine people get arrested.

During the two-hour demonstration, some protesters lie on the road to block the passing cars, stopping dignitaries and BN politicians from attending the swearing-in ceremony.

Police evict Nizar from state secretariat

In Ipoh, Nizar leads the Pakatan excos in official cars to enter the state secretariat building to show that they are still the lawful government. They face multiple blockages.

An hour later, cops escort Nizar and the excos out of the secretariat building. Nizar cries and says he has been evicted from his own office.

09 FEB - 07 APR 2009

Bukit Gantang MP dies, by-election turns into referendum

The death of PAS' Bukit Gantang MP Roslan Shaharum triggers a by-election. It is seen as a referendum on the Perak crisis. Pakatan nominates Nizar as the candidate and he wins with 2,789 majority votes.

10 FEB 2009

BN excos sworn in before sultan

Zambry appoints six new Perak executive councillors. They take their oath of office at Istana Iskandariah in Kuala Kangsar.

18 FEB 2009

Speaker suspends Zambry, six excos

Perak speaker Sivakumar suspends Zambry for 18 months and the other six executive councillors for 12 months.

22 FEB 2009

Nizar vacates MB's residence

Nizar vacates the MB’s official residence but he vows to rule Perak as the lawful MB.

27 FEB 2009

Speaker calls for emergency assembly sitting

Sivakumar announces that an emergency state assembly sitting will be held on March 3.

The first motion is for a vote of confidence for Pakatan’s ousted MB Nizar and the second motion is for the state assembly to be dissolved in order to hold fresh elections.

03 MAR 2009

Perak assembly holds an urgent meeting in pursuant to Sivakumar's notice.

However, Pakatan assemblypersons are barred from entering state assembly building by police and an unidentified group. They are forced to conduct the meeting under a tree.

Pakatan reps pass three motions, namely to support Nizar as the MB, dissolve the state assembly and bar Zambry and six BN excos from entering the House.

Pakatan names the tree “Pokok Demokrasi” and erects a plaque to commemorate the historic proceeding.

12 - 16 MAR 2009

Netizens face charges for insulting sultan

The attorney-general files charges against six men in a nationwide swoop against those who had allegedly insulted the sultan on the Internet over the ruler's role in the ongoing political crisis.

On March 16, two more are charged under the same Communication and Multimedia Act 1998.

15 - 22 MAR 2009

Ipoh council demolishes 'Pokok Demokrasi' plaque

The Ipoh City Council demolishes the 'Pokok Demokrasi' marble plaque that was put up to commemorate the controversial state assembly emergency sitting. A week later, Perak Pakatan auctions the shards for RM42,900.

28 MAR 2009

Pak Lah steps down as PM

During the Umno general assembly, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi announces that he will meet the Agong on April 2 to convey his intention to quit as prime minister and hand over the post to Najib.

03 APR 2009

Najib takes oath as PM

Najib takes the oath as Malaysia's sixth prime minister. He stays in power for nine years until BN's defeat in GE14.

16 APR 2009

Court revokes speaker's suspension of Zambry

The Federal Court revokes Perak speaker's suspension order against Zambry and his six exco members from the state assembly.

The apex court rules that Sivakumar acted beyond his powers.

05 - 08 MAY 2009

Activist Chin Huat arrested under Sedition Act

Bersih spokesperson Wong Chin Huat is arrested under the Sedition Act by a team of police officers at his home in Taman Sri Sentosa, Kuala Lumpur.

This comes after he urged the public to wear black to protest the Perak state government takeover by BN.

It is estimated that 116 people are arrested in relation to the Perak incident.

07 MAY 2009

Chaos in state assembly, Sivakumar dragged out

Perak state assembly convenes and soon plunges into chaos. State reps from Pakatan and BN are involved in a shouting match and scuffle over the speaker's seat. It is complete pandemonium in the assembly.

Finally, Sivakumar is dragged out from the assembly after BN elects R Ganesan as the new speaker.

11 MAY 2009

High Court rules Nizar legitimate MB

Pakatan wins the first round of the legal battle. Kuala Lumpur High Court declares Nizar as the legitimate MB.

22 MAY 2009

MB vs MB: Court of appeal rules in favour of Zambry

Eleven days later, the Court of Appeal reverses the High Court's decision by ruling that Zambry is the Perak MB.

Nizar files an appeal to the Federal Court.

15 JUN 2009

'Bubar DUN': Nizar shouts in Dewan Rakyat, gets evicted

Nizar is sworn in as Bukit Gantang MP in Dewan Rakyat. He then leads a group of Pakatan MPs shouting "Bubar DUN" and "Hidup Rakyat". Five minutes later, they are evicted and suspended for two days

28 OCT 2009

Pakatan speaker's robe taken away, BN passes budget

State assembly reconvenes with two MBs, two speakers. Two concurrent sittings are taking place in the House, with motions being "passed" simultaneously

Sivakumar claims the police grabbed his songkok and robe.

BN passes the budget without Pakatan reps.

09 FEB 2010

Apex court rules Zambry is Perak MB

Nizar loses his final appeal. Federal Court rules that Zambry is the rightful Perak MB.