PETALING JAYA, 3 June 2009: Embattled Perak Menteri Besar (MB) Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin will on 8 June, apply for leave from the Federal Court to appeal against the Court of Appeals’ judgement declaring rival Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir as the lawful MB.
Nizar will apply for leave despite the absence of a written judgement by the appellate judges. The Court of Appeals’ written judgement is usually needed so that the grounds of appeal can be spelt out for the Federal Court to consider.
“I shall file for leave on Monday, in Putrajaya, as we’ve waited more than a week for the written judgement. The Appeals Court has not kept its promise to give the written judgement in seven days,” Nizar told The Nut Graph by phone from Ipoh. He had given a press conference on the same matter earlier today in Ipoh.
After announcing the Court of Appeals’ decision on 22 May, judge Datuk Md Raus Shariff had said he would try to expedite the written judgement in seven days in response to a request of urgency by Nizar’s lawyer.
Lawyer Sulaiman Abdullah had said that Nizar’s legal team needed the written judgement in order to request leave from the Federal Court to file an appeal. Cases moving from the Court of Appeals to the higher court do not get automatic right of appeal.
Nizar has 30 days from 22 May to apply for leave to appeal.
The three Court of Appeal judges on 22 May unanimously ruled that Perak Ruler Sultan Azlan Shah was right in finding that Nizar had lost the confidence of the majority of state legislators, and that a vote of no-confidence in the assembly was not necessary to determine this.
The court set aside the judgement of the High Court on 11 May that Nizar was the legitimate MB, and that a no-confidence motion in the legislative assembly was the only way to decide if he had the majority’s confidence.
Zambry’s lawyers have argued throughout the trial that the sultan was allowed to use other means, besides a no-confidence motion, to determine where support of the assemblypersons lay.
They also held that the sultan was empowered to appoint a new MB if Nizar did not resign according to Article 16(6) of the Perak Constitution, because Nizar was part of the executive council.
Article 16(6) states that the MB has to tender the resignation of the executive council if he ceases to command the confidence of the majority of the legislative assembly, and if the sultan rejects his request for a dissolution of the assembly.
Nizar’s lawyers have argued that neither Article 16(6) nor any other provision in the constitution explicitly provides for the sultan to sack a menteri besar. They contend that the sultan’s royal prerogative is only limited to withholding or granting request for a dissolution of the assembly, and not to determine the majority’s confidence.
The Perak crisis which began on 5 Feb with the Barisan Nasional’s takeover of the state government has now moved to the courts. Nizar and other Pakatan Rakyat leaders in Perak, however, have continued to hold ceramah and other public programmes such as a three-day hunger strike to keep sentiment alive.