KUALA LUMPUR, 12 May 2009: The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) feels that the political crisis in Perak is not likely to be resolved unless power is given back to the people.
“Perhaps the time has come for the people of Perak to be given the opportunity to exercise their right to choose again the government of their choice, which is a basic human right,” said Suhakam chairperson Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman.
Only a stable government would be able to ensure the right to peace and development, he said in a statement issued here today.
Abu Talib said Article 21 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948 provided that the will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of the government.
“Judging from the events following the appointment of Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir as menteri besar, the incident in the Perak Assembly sitting on 7 May and the decision of the (High) Court declaring Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin as the rightful menteri besar, it is very unlikely that the Perak issue will be resolved unless power is given back to the people,” he said.
“Court action will not necessarily resolve the political situation in Perak,” he said, reports Bernama.
Meanwhile, former UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers Param Cumaraswamy described as the High Court ruling as a “missed opportunity” for the people of Perak to have the state legislative assembly dissolved by the Sultan and to enable them to elect a government.
“What is at stake in Perak today is fundamental democratic values. With the prevailing impasse over who is the rightful government, is not the will of the rakyat of Perak more important than the ruling of a court of law?” he said in a statement.
Following yesterday’s decision by the High Court, Param said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, as head of the Barisan Nasional, should have supported calls to urge the Perak Sultan to dissolve the state assembly in the interest of democracy and the rule of law.
Param also said that elections in Perak are inevitable.