KUALA LUMPUR, 7 May 2009: The question of who is the rightful menteri besar of Perak will be decided 11 May.
High Court (Appellate and Special Powers Division) judge Datuk Abdul Aziz Abd Rahim today fixed Monday, at 2.30pm, to deliver his decision in the judicial review application filed by ousted menteri besar Datuk Seri Mohammed Nizar Jamaluddin who is seeking the court’s determination of the dispute.
On 13 Feb, Nizar, 52, filed an application to the court for a declaration that he is at all material times the menteri besar of Perak.
Nizar, who was appointed as menteri besar on 17 March last year after the Parti Pakatan Rakyat-led alliance won 31 seats in the 12th general election,
He also sought a declaration that Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir has no right to hold the office of menteri besar.
The High Court, on 3 April, granted Nizar leave to initiate the proceeding against Zambry.
Justice Abdul Aziz was the third High Court judge to hear the case, after Judicial Commissioner Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof, who had recused himself, and Justice Lau Bee Lan.
The case was referred twice to the Federal Court for its determination on the constitutional issues, but was remitted back to the High Court on last 28 April.
Nizar, who also sought the court’s interpretation of Article 16(6) of the Perak Constitution, affirmed in his affidavit that:
* He had advised and sought the dissolution of the Perak legislative assembly to avoid a possible deadlock in the administration of the affairs of the state in view that three members of the assembly had resigned;
* There is no dissolution of the assembly;
* There was no motion of no confidence tabled against him in the state legislative assembly;
* He has not resigned from the office of menteri besar.
Today, lead counsel Sulaiman Abdullah, for Nizar, told the court that the political crisis in Perak could be resolved by giving the power back to its people to elect their leader.
“Let’s us go back to the people, let the people decide,” Sulaiman said in his closing speech.
“In a parliamentary system, the first step of its implementation is the election where the people elect the members of the legislative assembly,” he said.
Sulaiman also pointed out that under the framework of the Perak Constitution, the Menteri Besar of Perak might not be dismissed under any circumstances as there was a lacuna in the constitution on the power of the sultan to dismiss a menteri besar.
The Perak political crisis began when two PKR assemblymen, Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi (Behrang) and Mohd Osman Mohd Jailu (Changkat Jering) resigned from their posts on Jan 30, followed by DAP assemblyman Hee Yit Foong (Jelapang) four days later.
Following that, Nizar had an audience with Sultan of Perak Sultan Azlan Shah on 4 Feb to request the dissolution of the state assembly due to the deadlock in the House with Pakatan Rakyat and Barisan Nasional having 28 seats each, but he denied that he had lost the majority confidence of the assembly.
Besides Sulaiman, Nizar was represented by another 10 counsel — Nga Hock Cheh, Philip Koh, Chan Kok Keong, Ranjit Singh, Razlan Hadri Zulkifli, Mohamed Hanipa Maidin, Leong Cheok Keng, Edmund Bon, Amer Hamzah Arshad and Zulqarnain Lukman.
Zambry was represented by counsel Datuk Cecil Abraham, Sunil Abraham and Farah Shuhadah Razali.
Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail, for the intervener, was assisted by senior federal counsel Datuk Kamaluddin Md Said, Tun Abdul Majid Tun Hamzah, Azizah Nawawi, Amarjeet Singh, Suzana Atan and Andi Razalijaya Andi Dadi. — Bernama