Tension ratchets up as Umno cries ‘treason’

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 9 – When Nizar Jamaluddin refused a royal command to resign as Perak chief minister with these mocking words mohon derhaka (a humble request to revolt), the phrase immediately captured public imagination.

Patik mohon derhaka has now become the catchphrase for the opposition as it remains locked in a stand-off with the Barisan Nasional. (Patik is a respectful word used by a commoner to refer to oneself when addressing royalty.)

Umno has now taken this literally, and has launched a campaign accusing the opposition Pakatan Rakyat of insulting the monarchy, and of derhaka (treason).

This has raised the political temperature in the state, which has seen an outpouring of anger since Barisan Nasional (BN) toppled the Pakatan government last Thursday with the help of four defectors.

Over the last two days, Umno and Umno-linked organisations have organised protests and lodged police reports against various Pakatan leaders for insulting the Perak ruler.

Their focus is Democratic Action Party (DAP) chairman Karpal Singh, who had threatened to sue the sultan. This decision was later withdrawn by opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim. [read more]

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