12 May, 2009

Dissolve the Perak state assembly, Back to the People !

The government led by Datuk Seri Zambry was all along illegitimate and all decisions and contracts made by that government are without legal status. The cascade of illegalities we warned of must now be unwound painfully. This includes the deplorable events of May 7 in Ipoh. It means the resolution to replace the Speaker was brought by an illegal state government.

The Sultan, and the monarchy itself, is embarrassed by this episode, as well as by a systematic programme by some to inflame this issue into one of race and treason. Such attempts only hurt the institutions they claim to protect, and they hurt Umno and BN. The real issue was always the Constitution and the Rule of Law, and the monarchy is protected in its role of upholding the primacy of the Constitution and the will of the people.

We now hope that the Sultan agrees to dissolve the Assembly. This is the decent thing to do, but also the only way out of a crisis which has already spiralled out of Perak, damaged the rule of law, compromised the judiciary, the police and the state civil service, and damaged the monarchy in public opinion.

- Tengku Razaleigh

Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir remains the Perak Mentri Besar until the Court of Appeal disposes of his appeal against the High Court's decision declaring his opponent, Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin, as the legitimate menteri besar.

This followed the decision of a Court of Appeal judge, Datuk Ramly Ali, today granting Zambry a stay of execution on the High Court's declaratory order.

In the latest twist in the battle for Perak state, the Barisan Nasional coalition, which rules nationally, won a "stay order" against Monday's High Court decision that its takeover in February was illegal.

"The circumstances of this case are very unique because it not only involves the applicant and respondent but the whole state," said appeals court judge Ramly Mohamad Ali, saying a date would be fixed for the appeal hearing.

With the High Court deciding that Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin was and is, after all, the rightful Chief Minister of Perak we seem to have returned to square one all over again. Obviously it is too soon to tell whether the imbroglio in Perak will now wind down to a stagnant non-issue, or whether the Barisan Nasional will not allow the matter to rest and take the issue to the Federal Court next. Perakians - like most Malaysians - are a trifle tired of the ongoing drama but at the same time no-one can afford to relent at this stage due to the stakes in the contest.

says Farish Noor. Let the people of Perak decide, call for state elections now!

Meanwhile, Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin maintained today he was still the legitimate mentri besar despite a Court of Appeal decision this morning which granted a stay on a High Court declaration yesterday.

While stating that the stay of execution raised more questions than answers, Nizar suggested that the only logical conclusion was that he was still mentri besar.

Barisan Nasional's (BN) Datuk Seri Zambry Abd Kadir had earlier claimed he was now the rightful MB after the court had granted him a stay pending his appeal on the decision by the High Court yesterday that Nizar was and is the MB.

But at a press conference this evening with two lawyers, Nizar's counsel Leong Cheok Keng and one of his state executive councillors Thomas Su, Nizar insisted that despite the stay, his government was still legitimate.

Su had said that while PR accepted the decision of the Court of Appeal, they were unsure as to what it really meant.

But Nizar reasoned that as the stay did not mean that Zambry had been affirmed as MB nor was it possible for there to be no MB, the only option left was that he remained the rightful mentri besar.

"Since I was sworn in on March 12, 2008, I have been the mentri besar until now," Nizar said.

"The High Court ruling was not an order to act which can be stopped by staying it. It is not like paying damages where you can halt the payment until a decision has been made," explained Leong.

"This is a declaration that Nizar has been the legitimate MB all this while. How can you temporarily vacate him from office?" he added.

Leong also said that he has never come across a stay of execution over a declaration, something which High Court Judge Datuk Abdul Aziz Abdul Rahim had also expressed after delivering his verdict yesterday.

"It is impossible not to have a mentri besar at any point of time. There cannot be a gap," Nizar added.

Su insisted that Zambry could not be MB as the stay did not overturn the High Court's ruling, and hence, this meant that Nizar was still the mentri besar.


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