PETALING JAYA, 15 May 2009: The Court of Appeal hearing on Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin’s application to set aside the stay order granted to Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir has been postponed to 21 May.
Nizar The court registrar had originally set 18 May to hear Nizar’s application, but a lawyer for the embattled Perak menteri besar (MB) from the Pakatan Rakyat said today that the hearing has been pushed back.
Nizar’s lawyer in Ipoh, Leong Cheok Keng, said the case would now be heard together with Zambry’s appeal against the High Court’s decision on 11 May declaring Nizar the rightful MB.
The court of appeal had set the date for Zambry’s appeal on 21 May and lawyers were informed of it today. Nizar’s lawyers were also only informed today that their client’s application would be heard on the same day.
Leong said the legal team plans to write to the court to state that Nizar’s application should be heard first, before Zambry’s appeal.
The decision to postpone the application to set aside the stay is a blow to Nizar, who had hoped for an early hearing.
In comparison, Zambry managed to get a quick Court of Appeal hearing for his application to stay the High Court decision. After being declared the rightful MB, Nizar found himself out in the cold less than 24 hours later after Zambry succeeded in getting the stay.
Nizar was appointed menteri besar on 17 March last year after the DAP-PKR-PAS alliance won 31 seats in the 12th general election.
He was ousted after Barisan Nasional (BN)’s Zambry was sworn in as Perak menteri besar on 6 Feb following the BN takeover of the state government. The takeover was caused by the desertion of three Pakatan Rakyat (PR) assemblypersons who opted to become BN-friendly independents, leading to PR losing its majority in the state assembly.
Nizar’s request to the sultan of Perak on 5 Feb to dissolve the state assembly to make way for snap polls was turned down. Other attempts since then to seek the sultan’s consent to dissolve the state assembly have also failed.
On 13 Feb, Nizar, 52, filed a judicial review and sought a declaration from the courts that he was at all material times the menteri besar of Perak. He also sought a declaration that Zambry had no right to hold the office of menteri besar.
On 11 May, High Court (Appellate and Special Powers Division) judge Datuk Abdul Aziz Abd Rahim ruled that there was no provision in the state constitution for the menteri besar to be fired or for the post to be vacant in the event that the menteri besar refused to resign.
But with the stay order on 12 May, Zambry reassumed the position of Perak menteri besar.
For a full picture of all the court cases related to the Perak constitutional crisis, go here.