Updated 11.35pm, 4 May 2009
KUALA LUMPUR, 4 May 2009: Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin told the High Court that he did not request the Sultan of Perak to dissolve the Perak state legislative assembly because he had not lost the confidence of the majority.
He said that when he had the audience with Sultan Azlan Shah regarding the political crisis in the state on 4 Feb, he still had full confidence of the majority.
He made these remarks before Justice Datuk Abdul Aziz Abd Rahim in the proceedings here today to cross-examine an affidavit affirmed by Perak Legal Adviser Datuk Ahmad Kamal Md Shahid which Nizar claimed was inconsistent with the actual facts regarding his audience with Sultan Azlan Shah on 4 Feb.
Nizar who is challenging the appointment of Datuk Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir as Perak Menteri Besar also offered to be cross-examined.
In the proceedings which started at 3pm, Zambry’s counsel Datuk Cecil Abraham asked Nizar how many assemblymen supported him at the time when he sought the audience with Sultan Azlan Shah. The reply was: “Twenty-eight assemblypersons.”
Cecil: “Don’t you agree with me that Barisan Nasional would have had 31 seats at that time?”
Nizar: “Officially they had 28. I didn’t know the other three because they could not be contacted. I didn’t know whether they supported Pakatan Rakyat or Barisan Nasional. What I only knew they resigned.
The three assemblypersons were Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi (Behrang), Mohd Osman Mohd Jailu (Changkat Jering) and Hee Yit Foong (Jelapang) who reportedly vacated their seats through letters dated 20 Jan and 3 Feb.
Cecil: “When you sought audience with the Sultan on 4 Feb, were you aware that the three assemblypersons had withdrawn their letters of resignation?”
Nizar: “I was not aware.”
Cecil: “Are you saying, as the Menteri Besar at that time, your Speaker did not inform you of the development of what was happening before 4 Feb 2009?”
Nizar: “I was not informed.”
Earlier, Kamal disagreed with a suggestion by Nizar’s lawyer Ranjit Singh that he was a biased witness in this case.
“In fact, you have acted for the respondent (Zambry) previously in this case and you would have taken instruction and advised him to oppose this case,” said Ranjit.
Kamal admitted that he had appeared on Zambry’s behalf previously, and said that he was instructed by Zambry’s counsel to affirm an affidavit to state what had happened during the audience with Sultan Azlan Shah on 4 Feb.
Asked why he had stated that the affidavit was affirmed without any personal or pecuniary interest, Kamal said: “As Legal Adviser, I am a public servant and do not take sides.
“Even when I affirmed the affidavit for the respondent, it doesn’t mean that I was on the respondent’s side because as State Legal Adviser, my obligation is to say what I knew on those dates.
“To me, whether the applicant or respondent wins the case, it doesn’t give any advantage or benefit to me because I am State Legal Adviser not a legal adviser to political parties,” he said.
Kamal also said that some parts of the affidavit affirmed by Nizar were untrue.
Ranjit: “I suggest to you that the applicant (Nizar) had said to the Sultan that ‘I have informed the Sultan that because the three — Jamaluddin, Osman and Hee — have relinquished their posts, they are no longer members of the state assembly and not eligible to involve themselves in the affairs or business of the state assembly. The three also cannot be contacted and this is very unusual and it seems they have gone missing’.”
Kamal: “Some parts correct, some parts not correct. The part ‘they cannot be contacted and missing’ is correct. The rest are not correct.”
Ranjit: “I suggest to you that the applicant had said to Sultan that ‘I request the Sultan to dissolve the state assembly because it is more appropriate and proper for a Perak state assembly election to avoid a deadlock in the state assembly and administrative affairs of the Perak state government’.”
Kamal: “I agree with the part ‘request to dissolve the state assembly’ but the ground for dissolution I don’t agree.”
Justice Abdul Aziz stopped the proceedings at 6.45pm and ordered the parties to continue at 10.30am tomorrow. — Bernama