22 May, 2009

Perak crisis deepens with court ruling against opposition

You can fool some of the people all of the time,
and all of the people some of the time,
but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.

- Abraham Lincoln


MB Vs MB, the farce continues .....

A political and constitutional crisis that has crippled a Malaysian state for almost four months showed no sign of ending when the appeal court ruled in favour of a government takeover of the state.

The judgement put an end to the opposition's short-lived victory when the High Court decided earlier this month that the ruling National Front government had unlawfully ousted opposition Chief Minister Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin of the northern state of Perak in a controversial takeover in February.

The High Court earlier this month ruled that the power grab by the Barisan Nasional coalition, which rules nationally, was illegal and that Nizar was the rightful ruler.

However, the appeals court overturned the decision, and confirmed that the Barisan Nasional - which has sworn in a new chief minister and parliamentary speaker for Perak - remained in power.

"From the facts of the case, it is clear that the respondent (Nizar) has ceased to command the confidence of the majority in the state assembly," said Judge Mohamad Rauf Sharif.

The opposition, which has been pushing for fresh elections to resolve the impasse in Perak, said it would appeal the ruling.

"The public is not going to accept this," said opposition veteran Lim Kit Siang at the court. "There is no way but to go back to the people to end the political stalemate."

Hafarizan Harun, legal adviser for the ruling party UMNO which leads the coalition, said the decision was a "positive development" which made debate over fresh elections irrelevant.

Malaysia's top legal body, the Bar Council, has warned against a lengthy legal process and said that only new elections would resolve the impasse.

Many politicians have called for fresh elections as the answer to the problem, warning that both the opposition and government stand to lose in the continuing battle.

'Najib cannot win in the court of public opinion,' said Lim Kit Siang.

'All it means is that the restoration of national and international confidence in the independence, impartiality and integrity of the judiciary is still a long distance away.'

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