PETALING JAYA, 21 April 2009: Sultan Azlan Shah did not cite any reasons, not even constitutional grounds, for not dissolving the Perak state assembly, according to an affidavit filed by embattled Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin.
The affidavit, which was filed today at the Kuala Lumpur High Court registry, said Nizar made several arguments about why the state assembly should be dissolved following the resignation of three assemblypersons from the Pakatan Rakyat. However, the ruler merely declared that Nizar had to resign without giving any reasons for his decision.
“Right after I had made all my arguments, the sultan looked up at me and His Royal Highness declared that he was not going to dissolve the state assembly, and that I, as the menteri besar, should resign,” the affidavit said.
Nizar Nizar was describing his meeting with Sultan Azlan Shah on 5 Feb 2009, a day after he had formally met with the ruler to request for the dissolution of the state assembly.
During the earlier meeting on 4 April, Nizar presented the pre-signed resignation letters of the three assemblypersons, who were uncontactable at that point and were widely believed to have defected to the Barisan Nasional (BN).
The three were Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR)’s Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi (Behrang) and Mohd Osman Jailu (Changkat Jering), and the DAP’s Hee Yit Foong (Jelapang) who subsequently became independents “friendly” to the BN.
Nizar said that during his meeting with Sultan Azlan Shah on 4 April, he requested for a dissolution in order to avoid a “deadlock” in the state assembly and in the state’s administration.
“I also noted that a dissolution would give the Perak people the right to an election, and for them to legitimately give a new mandate to the government,” Nizar said.
Nizar said Sultan Azlan Shah then said he would study the request and contact him. “His Royal Highness then said to me, ‘InnaAllaha maa Sobirin (God is with those who are patient)’ with a smile while shaking both his hands.”
Nizar then presented the draft document of a declaration of the dissolution of the state assembly, on which the sultan remained silent.
“I stress that during my audience with His Royal Highness, I never mentioned or informed or suggested to the sultan that there was a loss of confidence in me as the menteri besar by a majority of the assembly.
“I also never suggested to His Royal Highness to dissolve the state assembly in accordance with Article XVI (6) of the state constitution,” Nizar said.
Nizar added that Sultan Azlan Shah also never mentioned these two matters during their meeting.
Nizar’s affidavit was filed to refute an affidavit by Perak legal adviser Ahmad Kamal Md Shahid, which said that the ruler had cited the constitution when directing Nizar to resign.
Zambry Ahmad Kamal’s affidavit was in support of the affidavit by BN-installed Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir.
On 5 Feb
Nizar said when Sultan Azlan Shah informed him of his decision on 5 Feb, he spent 15 minutes arguing against the decision.
Among others, Nizar said, a dissolution would demonstrate that the ruler was fair and nonpartisan, and this would reflect on the principles of a constitutional monarch and democracy.
“I also reminded the sultan that history has shown that in countries such as Indonesia, the Philippines, Egypt and Iran, where the monarchy was partisan and ignored the people’s wishes, the institution of royalty was eventually threatened and declined.”
Nizar also reminded Sultan Azlan Shah about the letter signed by 31 Pakatan Rakyat assemblypersons indicating their support for him as menteri besar after the March 2008 elections.
These arguments, however, did not change Sultan Azlan Shah’s mind, to which Nizar then said to the ruler, “Ampun Tuanku, patik pohon sembah derhaka (forgive me your Highness, I humbly beg to disagree).”
Nizar then kissed the ruler’s hand, and Sultan Azlan Shah left the room without saying a word.
On that morning, Sultan Azlan Shah also met with Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Perak BN deputy chairperson Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who asked for the ruler’s consent to form the new state government.
Sultan Azlan ShahThe ruler subsequently met with all 28 assemblypersons from the BN and the three independents to ascertain if Nizar still commanded the majority of the assembly’s support.
Nizar was then called to the palace for the sultan’s decision to be made known to him.
On 13 Feb, Nizar filed an application for a judicial review, in challenging Zambry’s appointment by the sultan as menteri besar.
Nizar also sought several declarations regarding the interpretation of Article 16(6) of the Perak constitution.
In his application, Nizar claims he is the state’s legitimate chief executive on the grounds that there was no dissolution of the assembly, no motion of no-confidence against him, and he had not resigned from the post.
He also issued a writ of quo warranto asking Zambry to show cause by what authority he was occupying the post of menteri besar.
The case has been slated for hearing at the Kuala Lumpur High Court on 23 April.