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Transfer Pwr in Trg - MGG Pillai
By web aNtu

26/12/1999 12:44 am Sun

The National Front And the Transfer of Power in Trengganu

PAS prevented outgoing state executive councillors and the mentri besar from their offices after its victory, a National Front representative alleged in the Trengganu state a#sembly on Wednesday. This barred a "smooth" transfer of power, and proof enough of the PAS administration's prejudice against the outgoing administration. "When PAS won, they immediately declared a one-day holiday," alleged Tengku Putra Tengku Awang; besides it showed no respect for the caretaker government. But who barred the smooth transfer? Was it PAS or the National Front? There is more to it than meets the eye. Tengku Putra knows what happened, but cannot accuse that party without drawing himself into a needless confrontation. A caretaker administration has no place once a political party has won power as decisively as PAS did in Trengganu. In this case, PAS did the right thing. Especially when at least seven trucks sped to Trengganu to remove documents; two slipped away before they were stopped at a police road block in the state. Tengku Puta's complaint could have stood up if the National Front administration had been defeated in a non-confidence vote, or if PAS had stopped it from removing their personal effects on the dissolution of the state a#sembly. But the National Front was so confident of being returned, they did not bother. In any case, why is Tengku Putra's upset about the smooth transfer of power? Trengganu never had it since independence, even when it was a National Front man handing over power to his colleague.

What Tengku Putra, himself a former state executive councillor, forgets is that PAS succeeded the outgoing, not the caretaker, administration. As such, the caretaker administration lost all legitimacy once a new government is appointed. Tan Sri Wan Mokhtar and his state executive council should have removed what they wanted removed should have been before the general elections. But then they did not expect defeat, the people of Trengganu rejecting them for all this development that now threatens to comes unstuck throughout the country. When Tony Blair's Labour Party swept into power, the outgoing prime minister, Mr John Major, sneaked out of 10 Downing Street by the back entrance. That is the reality of power. As for documents, the civil servants should scrupulously ensure which of the papers the outgoing administration are government property and which not. Here, civil servants put in papers for early retirement when asked to explain their actions in allowing the outgoing administration bend the rules.

Tengku Putra's unhappiness at the former mentri besar embracing the new mentri besar is moot. Why was not Tan Sri Wan Mokhtar around when Haji Hadi Awang entered his office as mentri besar? Has he ever attempted to call on his successor? It is fair to a#sume it is not Haji Hadi who sulks. A smooth transfer of power does not require hugs and kisses in public, nor that the outgoing mentri besar is ignored. What Tengku Putra forgets is that he and his acolytes get a dose of what he and his colleagues dished out liberally to the opposition when they were in power; he feels the heat when the roles are reversed. Another opposition state a#semblyman, Dato' Abu Bakar Ali, has an interesting twist to the toll on Sultan Mahmud bridge, which the PAS administration removed. Rural people, he said, did not use the bridge at all, and not all in urban centres did either. And the RM4 million it collected could be used for rural development programmes. Well and good. The National Front's record in office is such that it did not practice what he now preaches. Perhaps, he ought to list out the rural development programmes that took priority during the National Front's 38 years in office and how it benefitted the people. That could give some statistical evidence on why they now sit in the opposition in Trengganu.

M.G.G. Pillai

Link Reference : Proxy List Dec 1999