11 May, 2009

Perak crisis: Zambry Kadir has to vacate seat! !

In yet another twist to the Perak political crisis, the High Court today declared Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin the rightful Mentri Besar of Perak.

Barisan Nasional, led by Datuk Dr Zambry Abd Kadir, toppled the 10-month-old Pakatan government in Perak in February after three PR assemblymen left their parties to become BN-friendly independents.

On Feb 13, Nizar, 52, filed an application to the court for a declaration that he is at all material times the rightful Mentri Besar of Perak.

In allowing five prayers sought by Nizar in his application for judicial review yesterday, Judge Datuk Abdul Aziz Abdul Rahim said once the Mentri Besar is appointed, he is only answerable to the State Legislative Assembly, and could only be removed by a vote of no confidence.

"Any measure of loss of confidence should be taken on the floor of the State Legislative Assembly by vote of no confidence. Only in this way can a Mentri Besar resign," he said.

He said Nizar never had a vote of no confidence taken against him in the Assembly and he did not request for a dissolution because of loss of confidence by the majority.

"Why did the Barisan Nasional not request Nizar to be summoned to the State Legislative Assembly to have a special sitting for a motion of no confidence to be passed? This would be in accordance with the democratic process," said Abdul Aziz.

Abdul Aziz said a Mentri Besar could not be dismissed by the Sultan of Perak for the reason that he did not hold the office at the sultan's pleasure.

The dismissal of the Mentri Besar by the Sultan was never contemplated by Article 16(6) of the Perak Constitution, he added.

As such, he said he was of the view that the office of the Menteri Besar of Perak had not become vacant or was vacated.

The five prayers sought for declarations were;

> that Nizar is the rightful Mentri Besar

> there was no dissolution of the Perak Assembly, no motion of no-confidence was passed against him in the Assembly and that he did not resign

> a writ of quo warranto is issued against Zambry ordering him to show cause and this information is made under what policy /power/ and authority he allegedly holds office as Mentri Besar, and allegedly acts or exercises or implements responsibility/ functions/ duties of Perak Mentri Besar

> a declaration order that Zambry has no right to act/occupy the office of Mentri Besar and he was not Perak Mentri Besar at any material time

> an injunction order to prevent Zambry and his agents or servants from acting and exercising and implementing the responsibility and functions or duties of Mentri Besar.

Meanwhile, Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir said he accepted the decision of the Kuala Lumpur High Court today that declared Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin as the rightful Menteri Besar with an open mind.

"I accept the court decision with an open mind. My colleagues and I will take the next course of action according to the law," he said in a brief statement released through his Press Secretary Mohd Nizam Isa.

Dr Zambry also called on all Barisan Nasional (BN) supporters and the people of Perak to remain calm in view of the latest development.

"We will pack up our things and vacate the office as soon as possible," said Mohd Nizam.


-- PRESS STATEMENT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE --

11 May 2009, Petaling Jaya -- We welcome the decision of the Kuala Lumpur High Court to declare Dato’ Seri Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin as the rightful Perak Menteri Besar. He should be reinstated immediately.

The High Court’s decision is a triumph of the Rule of law and affirms that the Constitution is the highest law of the land. Its ruling reasserts Constitutional provisions for the separation of powers and a delineation of the jurisdiction of the executive, legislature and the judiciary. Given this confirmation of the legitimacy of the Pakatan Rakyat government in Perak we urge that the resolutions passed by Perak State Assembly convened under the tree in Ipoh on 3rd March 2009 be respected.

After the dark and sinister events that transpired on 7th May in Perak the restoration of justice and of the principles of democracy is long overdue. For three months the people of Perak have endured the unprecedented abuse of power by the BN while the institutions of the state, the police and the mainstream media have conspired to confer legitimacy upon the sham BN administration.

We reiterate our call for the Assembly to be dissolved immediately and for the people of Perak to renew their mandate for their government at the ballot-box.

ANWAR IBRAHIM

LEADER OF OPPOSITION

DEWAN RAKYAT

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