KUALA LUMPUR, 23 April 2009: The High Court here today allowed Attorney-General (AG) Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail to intervene in Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin’s suit challenging the legitimacy of Datuk Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir’s appointment as Perak menteri besar.
Justice Datuk Abdul Aziz Abd Rahim, in his oral decision, said the AG, as the guardian of the public interest, should be allowed to intervene as the issue was of the public importance and public interest.
He also said that the issue involved interpretation of Article 16 of the Perak constitution which is similar to Article 43 of the Federal Constitution.
“Of course the court can invite the AG as a friend of court, but after considering the main issue here, it is my view to allow the AG to intervene and to help the court, more so when the issue here is a novel one.
“One menteri besar is appointed and the other one has not resigned,” said Abdul Aziz who is the third judge to hear the application after the Federal Court sent it back to the High Court.
The first judge was Judicial Commissioner Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof who recused himself while the second judge, Lau Bee Lan, had referred the matter to the Federal Court for determination of constitutional issues.
Earlier, senior federal counsel Datuk Kamaluddin Md Said submitted that the AG should be allowed to intervene as the application for judicial review required the interpretation of the Perak Constitution which would also affect other state constitutions with similar provisions.
Sulaiman Abdullah, counsel for Mohammad Nizar, objected on the ground that the AG had failed to show any necessity for him to intervene in the proceeding.
“This is a Perak matter. The actual situation here is that the applicant (Mohammad Nizar) and the respondent (Zambry) are both claiming to be the menteri besar. There is no direct involvement of the federal government in this issue.
The judge also fixed 4 May to hear the application by Mohammad Nizar to cross-examine Perak legal advisor Datuk Kamal Md Shahid on the statement which he claimed was inconsistent with Mohammad Nizar’s statement in the affidavit filed in the suit. — Bernama