KUALA LUMPUR, 6 May 2009: Counsel for Datuk Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir today remarked that the testimony by Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin in the proceedings at the High Court here was a ‘fairy tale’.
Datuk Cecil Abraham, in his submission before Justice Datuk Abdul Aziz Abd Rahim, contended that Nizar’s testimony that he was unaware of the letters sent by his three assemblymen to withdraw their resignation, was hard to believe.
On 4 May, Nizar testified that when he had an audience with the Sultan of Perak Sultan Azlan Shah at Istana Kinta at 5pm on 4 Feb, he was in total ignorance of the letters sent by the trio.
In the proceedings to ascertain what transpired during the audience with the Sultan, Nizar testified that he only knew of the letters when informed by his officer after he left the palace 50 minutes later.
In his evidence too, Nizar told the court that he had requested the Sultan of Perak to dissolve the Perak legislative assembly due to the deadlock in the House when Pakatan Rakyat and Barisan Nasional had 28 seats each, but denied that he had lost the majority confidence of the state assembly.
“The applicant (Nizar) is not an ordinary person. He was the Menteri Besar and he was kept in blissful ignorance by the Speaker who kept all the information (that the assemblymen had sent the withdrawal letters) to himself.
“I assume he (Nizar) didn’t read the newspapers or watch the news. This is a fairy tale! With respect, the applicant is either having selective memory or being economical with the truth,” said Cecil.
That was why, added Cecil, the court must look at the uncontroverted documentary evidence to determine the issue of the disputing facts in Nizar’s testimony.
“In the event that there is dispute over the affidavit evidence, the court will seek to rely on the undisputed facts by relying on the documentary evidence which is neutral in nature,” said Cecil.
He said it was clear that Nizar had lost his majority confidence by looking at the three letters dated 3 Feb 2009, from Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi (Behrang), Mohd Osman Mohd Jailu (Changkat Jering) and Hee Yit Foong (Jelapang), which were received by Sultan Azlan Shah at 3pm on 4 Feb.
In the letters, the three assemblypersons had stated their support for Barisan Nasional and that they had lost confidence in Nizar.
Cecil, in his submission reiterated that the Perak Sultan had acted in accordance with the Perak Constitution in declining Nizar’s request for dissolution of the state assembly.
“His Royal Highness was acting within the ambit of the Constitution in meeting each of the 31 assemblypersons to ascertain whether Barisan Nasional could form the government of the state of Perak,” he said.
Following the Sultan’s decision, Cecil said that Zambry’s appointment as Perak Menteri Besar on 6 Feb 2009, was lawfully made.
“The basis or power which the respondent is entitled to hold the post of Menteri Besar is derived from his appointment under Article 16(2) of the Perak Constitution and the Oath and Letter of Appointment issued by the Sultan of Perak,” he said.
Earlier, on the third day of the hearing, counsel Sulaiman Abdullah for Nizar told the court that it was not the function of the Perak Sultan, under Article 16(6) of the Constitution, to investigate whether the Menteri Besar had lost his majority confidence.
“His Royal Highness is bound by the advice of the Menteri Besar and the Sultan can say yes or no to the request for dissolution, but it is not his function to investigate and decide that the Menteri Besar has lost the majority,” he said.
On 13 Feb Nizar, 52, who was appointed Perak Menteri Besar on 17 March last year, filed the application for judicial review at the High Court (Appellate and Special Power) to seek a declaration that he is and at all material times the Menteri Besar of Perak.
Justice Abdul Aziz fixed tomorrow to hear the closing speech by his counsel, Sulaiman. — Bernama