A row has erupted after Malaysia's ruling national coalition today took control of an opposition ruled Perak state following the switching over of support by three lawmakers to the Barisan Nasional party.
Barisan Nasional's lawmaker Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir was sworn in as the new state minister before the state's sultan, amid refusal by the former opposition alliance government to accept the decision. The opposition members staged a demonstration nearby.
Perak was one of five states which opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim's three-party alliance won in the march 8 general elections last year.
Anwar, who refused to accept the decision, said the incident of takeover in Perak was a blow to democracy and called for fresh polls in the state.
"This is a coup d'etat. They should follow proper procedures. They are doing this unlawfully," the opposition's chief minister Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin said.
The ruling coalition, which has dominated Malaysian politics, said it has the majority to control the assembly. Malaysia's ruling national coalition took control of the key state after three assemblymen decided to quit the opposition alliance and support premier Abdullah Badawi's Barisan Nasional party.
Dr Zambry's appointment effectively ended Perak's political impasse, with the opposition ruled government losing its majority in the state legislative assembly when three of its assemblymen quit the party.
Meanwhile, local online media reports said police fired tear gas at supporters protesting against Zambry's taking office.
Both the ruling party and the opposition alliance has 28 seats each in Perak's 59-member legislature, but the Barisan has claimed the support of the three former opposition assemblymen who have turned independent now.