Updated 8.49pm, 22 May 2009
SINGAPORE, 22 May 2009: Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said the Court of Appeal ruling in Putrajaya today declaring Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir as the rightful menteri besar of Perak proved that the Barisan Nasional (BN) had acted within the law in the matter.
Expressing satisfaction and gratitude, Najib said the court decision also showed that the Sultan of Perak had also acted in accordance with the provisions of the Perak state constitution.
Najib, who is also BN chairperson, disclosed this to Malaysian journalists when asked for his comments at a news conference held at the conclusion of his two-day visit to Singapore.
The Court of Appeal found that the High Court had wrongly ruled on 11 May that Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin was the rightful menteri besar of Perak, and set aside the decision.
Najib said: “The present government of Perak is legally the rightful one and can continue to exist, continue to administer Perak, and continue to serve the people of Perak.”
Najib said that with the court’s decision in BN’s favour, the Perak government would implement its responsibility with commitment to enhance the people’s trust in the coalition.
He said the court ruling also emphasised that the authority to dissolve the state legislative assembly rested with the Sultan of Perak and that it was left to the ruler to make a decision.
On the by-election to be held in Manik Urai, Kelantan, following the death today of PAS state assemblyperson Ismail Yaacob, 60, the prime minister said the BN would definitely contest the by-election.
Najib said this when asked to comment on Pakatan election director Datuk Mustafa Ali’s statement that he hoped that BN would skip the Manik Urai by-election just as it had decided in the case of the Penanti state by-election in Penang set for 31 May.
Najib said that as he had explained it was a question of principle, and that should any electoral seat fall vacant as provided for in the constitution, such as the death of the incumbent, the BN would adhere to the constitution and field a candidate.
“However, if any seat falls vacant owing to political games, then we will not dance to their (opposition’s) tune,” the prime minister said.
Meanwhile, Kelantan Umno Liaison Committee chairperson Datuk Mustapa Mohamed, who was in the Malaysian delegation to Singapore, said Kelantan Umno would hold a meeting tomorrow night to discuss preparations for the by-election.
Mustapa, who extended his condolences to the family of the late Ismail, said the question of the BN candidate would be determined later.
Before the news conference, Najib paid a courtesy call on Singapore President SR Nathan at the Istana. Then, former Singapore prime minister Goh Chok Tong called on Najib at his hotel.
Najib, his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor and the Malaysian delegation will be guests at a banquet at the Istana, and would return to Kuala Lumpur later tonight. — Bernama