Perak MB Opposition Chief Menteri Besar of Perak, Datuk Saarani Mohamad during an exclusive interview with MalaysiaGazette at the Pullman Hotel in Kuala Lumpur. PIX: FAREEZ FADZIL / MalaysiaGazette / 11 SEPTEMBER 2021.
Menteri Besar of Perak, Datuk Saarani Mohamad during an exclusive interview with MalaysiaGazette at the Pullman Hotel in Kuala Lumpur. PIX: FAREEZ FADZIL / MalaysiaGazette / 11 SEPTEMBER 2021.

KUALA LUMPUR – The Perak state government does not reject the possibility of giving recognition to the opposition chief in the state.

Its Menteri Besar, Datuk Saarani Mohamad said that the state government will follow the footstep of the Federal Government which recognises the Opposition Chief with ministerial rank.

“There is no such recognition in the state Permanent Order Book all these while, we will place the recognition for the opposition chief under a committee.

“We recognize in terms of rank. In the Cabinet, he has a ministerial rank, we will give the appropriate recognition in the state level,” he told MalaysiaGazette recently, when asked if the state government is ready to create change along with the opposition parties in Perak, including recognizing the opposition chief with state government Exco rank.

If this becomes a reality, the Perak government could be the first state government to do so.

“The government does not get it all, and the opposition does not lose it all,” he said, thinking that the government and opposition representatives need to complete each other for the benefit of the people they represent.

Earlier, the Kota Tampan State Assemblyman from UMNO has amended several regulations that denied the opposition since he took over the state 10 months ago.

Through his administration, all opposition representatives received the allocation of RM200,000, just like their peers in the government, including emergency aids for Covid-19 and assistance for areas under the Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO).

In addition, opposition reps are also involved in all committees so that they can give their opinion to the state government.

However, Saarani denied that those recognition were given to ‘tame’ the opposition in Perak, who have been using the State Assembly as a venue to slam the government.

“There is no taming down anyone here. I am grateful that the situation is calm. I thank everyone. With some experience, and this is the fifth term and several MBs have served earlier.

“Each MB has their own character and they have given me a guide,” he said.

Experience teaches us, he said, adding that the development of the state is not merely on the shoulders of the MB or the government. The opposition plays the same role too.

“I have the experience, as a common ADUN for a term, Exco for three terms and now, as the MB. I was also the opposition and the Opposition Chief.

“If somehow teaches me to turn the State Assembly into more professional. The opposition has responsibilities. We may not agree with everything but it does not mean that we do not accept them.

“There is a need to collaborate. We are not perfect. The government is not perfect, the opposition is also not perfect,” he said.

Saarani would like to change the policies and grant the same allocation to all opposition reps for the people and to support the new political agenda of the country.

“For example, when I was in the government, what policy is this? The allocation policy is only given to the government ADUN and not the opposition?

“The oppositions are not given the focus and chance. When we are in government, when we have the power, we block the opposition. Perhaps, there is a fear that if we give them chance, they would be more popular than us.

“And when we become the opposition, the new government would then punish us with the same thing. We do not get the allocation. Who should be complain to?

“They follow the same policies. Why do we need to do this? The people are at the losing end. No allocations can be given to the people,” he said.

Previously, the opposition reps were not invited into the disasters committee and focus groups and it makes things difficult for them to serve their people.

After ruling Perak, Saarani made the reformation after getting the mandate from the Exco, Barisan Nasional, Bersatu and PAS.

“I presented Budget 2021. We gave allocation to 59 DUN amounting to RM200,000. Give opportunity to the opposition to attend district action and focus group committee meetings.

“The rational? We need money as the opposition and if the state government is bad, we return the ‘favour’ (of not giving allocation),” he said.

Thus, Saarani thinks that a reformation of state government policies may have changed the attitude of the opposition as they no longer slam the government. They now have the platform to do so.

“Thus, if the government servants have taken their opinion into consideration. Carry out their opinion, there is no more need to create ruckus in the DUN,” he said.

It does not mean that the opposition are not performing now as they already have a platform to voice their opinion compared to the previous system.

“Thus, it is not to tame them. It is based on experience. They are satisfied,” he said. -MalaysiaGazette