Monday, May 11, 2009

Declared Perak MB, Nizar to hold 10pm Pakatan Exco meeting in Ipoh

9:24pm: The High Court today declared Datuk Nizar Jamaluddin as the legitimate Menteri Besar of Perak and his bid to regain office will come sooner than expected after the same court denied the application of rival MB, Datuk Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir, for a apply for a stay pending an appeal.

In his ruling, Justice Abdul Aziz Abd Rahim stated that a new Mentri Besar could not be appointed as the office had not been vacated. A mentri besar can only be dismissed by a vote of no confidence, one in which Aziz noted that the Perak Legislative did not carry out.

Court said the fatal Barisan Nasional mistake was despite the majority of 31 against 28, the coalition failed to take a no-confidence vote against Nizar in the state assembly.

The Judge said once appointed as chief executive of the state, the Menteri Besar is only answerable to the state assembly.

The judge also said the job of the Ruler or head of state was only to appoint a Menteri Besar and if he refuses to resign, he cannot be sacked or his position vacated.
Justice Aziz said Nizar had gone to meet the sultan on Feb 4 to seek a dissolution of the house to go back to the people.

“It is not true that Nizar had asked the ruler to dissolve the House on grounds that he had lost confidence of the majority,” he said.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak said the BN will appeal the court ruling.

“We feel we have a strong case. We feel that we are on a sound footing so we will appeal this decision,” Najib told a Press conference in an immediate reaction the court ruling.

In the meantime, Nizar declined to meet the Press for the customary Press conference, preferring to leave the court to travel back to Ipoh to seek an audience with the Sultan of Perak, Sultan Azlan Shah, to get the royal consent to dissolve the Perak Assembly and call for fresh state elections.

However, he has made a pit stop at Taman Melewar, in Gombak, where the Pas headquarters is situated, where he briefed senior Pas leaders on the court ruling.

Nizar was expected to attend a Pas ceramah tonight and explain the court ruling to supporters but NST reporters have established that he has left for Ipoh to hold an a Pakatan Rakyat Exco meeting around 10pm, presumably with those who were State Exco members when he held office. Word has spread to the Ipoh-based Press that a media conference will be held no later than 12.30am.

"I have already indicated to the palace that I am seeking an audience with the Raja Muda to present a proposal to dissolve the state assembly," he said.

"It does not matter if I am not appointed as Menteri Besar as long as the right to choose are returned to the people," he added.

NST reporters in Ipoh also established that Nizar, as of now, does not have an appointment for an audience with the Sultan of Perak. Even if he soughts one today, he is likely to get the appointment confirmed only tomorrow morning.

However, a Malaysian Insider report, quoting senior PKR official, stated that the Regent of Perak Raja Nazrin Shah has agreed to see Nizar at 8.30am tomorrow.

However, this does not seem to be the case with the palace. NST reporters have found out that while the palace have confirmed receiving Nizar's request for an audience with the Regent, Raja Nazrin has not given the consent that he will grant an audience with the re-instated Menteri Besar although the Ruler has the forbearance to give one at any time of his choosing.

For now, Nizar and his people have to adopt a "wait-and-see" stance.

On March 3, after the "democracy tree" assembly held by Pakatan Rakyat assemblymen, Nizar had submitted a letter to the palace seeking that the Sultan dissolve the assembly can call for fresh state elections. However, Nizar did not get a response.

But with today's court ruling, that letter still stands. It is now a question of whether the palace may communicate a response to Nizar's letter and declare a royal ruling.

Zambry, on the other hand, has indicated through his aides that he will respect the court decision and will vacate his Menteri Besar office at any time soon. Zambry was not present at the court this afternoon.

His aides also indicate that the Exco members will also vacate their respective offices once Zambry does so.

Speaking to reporters later in reacting to the verdict, Zambry said: "I accept the court decision with an open heart and mind. I and my firends will take steps according to the law. I call on all BN supporters and people in Perak to be calm."

In anticipation of a demonstration, police deployed Federal Reserve Unit trucks at the Perak Secretariat in Ipoh.

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