By Peter Boyle
May 8, 2009 -- Action in Solidarity with Asia and the Pacific -- Police detained dozens of opposition activists, lawyers and legislators on May 6-7 as protests erupted around Malaysia's ruling National Front's (Barisan Nasional -- BN) removal of the opposition People’s Alliance (Pakatan Rakyat) state government of Perak, one of five states won by the opposition in the March 2008 general elections. Among those arrested was Dr D. Jeyakumar, the federal MP of the Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM).
Earlier this year, the BN induced three opposition state assembly members to turn "independent" and support the BN to take over the Perak state government. May 7 was the first day of sitting of the state assembly since the BN power grab. The opposition has called for new elections to the state assembly and opinion polls indicate taht the opposition could win a bigger majority if new elections were called.