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Saturday, February 14, 2009

> Nizar vs Zambry legal battle begins


Pakatan Rakyat leader Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin today filed his suit to challenge the appointment of the new Perak Menteri Besar Zambry Abdul Kadir.

He filed the documents at the High Court's Special Powers and Appellate division at 11.35am, accompanied by his lawyer Leong Cheok Keng.

Some 300 people, including opposition politicians and supporters, had gathered outside the Jalan Duta court complex in Kuala Lumpur to express support.

There was also a large media presence and a sprinkling of uniformed cops at the scene.

Nizar arrived at the court complex at 11.20am accompanied by Perak DAP heavyweights Ngeh Koo Ham and Nga Kor Ming.

Supporters applauded and cheered when the trio arrived.

They shouted Hidup Rakyat three times.

Seek judicial review 

Nizar filed an application to seek a judicial review and declarations including that he is still the menteri besar. He named BN Menteri Besar Zambry Abdul Kadir as the respondent.

Nizar is also seeking an interpretation of the Perak state constitution whether the MB's post can be vacated in what conditions:

(i) the menteri besar had advised the ruler on the dissolution of the state legislative assembly

(ii) there is no dissolution of the assembly

(iii) there was no motion of confidence performed against him at the state legislative assembly

(iv) there was no resignation made by him.

In his application, Nizar said the writ is quo warranto (by what warrant) on Zambry to show cause under which authority that the BN-designate menteri besar can be the legitimate menteri besar.

Nizar is also seeking a declaration that Zambry had no right to be the menteri besar at any material time.

He is also seeking an injunction to prevent Zambry or his agents from continuing his task and roles as the menteri besar.

Nizar is also seeking punitive, aggravated and exemplary damages be paid on him. He is also seeking cost of the action.

The ousted MB also submitted an affidavit of support in his application where he claimed that he was the rightful menteri besar appointed on March 17, 2008.

He was made to understand that Zambry was appointed as the menteri besar on February 6, 2009.

At all material times, there was no vote of no confidence made against him at the Perak legislative assembly and that he had never agreed to resign or was expelled as the menteri besar.

Nizar claimed he had applied to dissolve the assembly and call for snap elections to resolve the deadlock in the administration of Perak. However, his request was not entertained.

In that situation, he claimed that he is still the legitimate menteri besar of Perak.

However, Nizar claimed that he was prevented to do his job as the menteri besar and was even ushered out of the Menteri Besar's office.

Hence, he is making a representation to all Malaysians that he is the legitimate Perak menteri besar in order not to confuse the people.

Nizar also claimed that Zambry's actions was illegal and unconstitutional in wresting the MB's post from him and taking the responsibility, function and role of the leader of the state executive.

The ousted MB also claimed Zambry did not have the basis, power or authority to hold the post under the Perak Constitution.

While filing the application with Leong, Nizar was seen shaking hands and asking about the welfare of the court staff.

Speaker's affidavit

In his supporting affidavit and that of the state, Speaker V Sivakumar stated that Pakatan Rakyat formed the government after the opposition coalition won the March 8 general election where PAS won six, PKR seven and DAP 18 state seats.

Nizar was appointed menteri besar and Sivakumar the speaker.

Sivakumar in his affidavit said the problem started when Changkat Jering and Behrang assemblyperson Mohd Osman Jailu and Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi resigned on Jan 30, 2009, and he declared the two seats vacant.

He informed the Election Commission to have by-elections for the two seats. On Feb 3, he also received the resignation of Jelapang assemblyperson Hee Yit Foong and declared the seat vacant.

Hence, the position now is that Pakatan Rakyat and BN has an equivalent 28 state seats with no one having a majority.

Sivakumar also verified there was no vote of no confidence against Nizar.

Nizar in his affidavit said there is no remedy to resolve the matter and hence, he had to take the court action.

Claiming that he had a strong case, he felt the application is not vexation, and not abusive of the court process and that he filed the application out of public interest - Malaysiakini.