Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Postpone Perak assembly — Nizar - Malaysian Insider

By Debra Chong

PUTRAJAYA, April 28 — Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin wants the May 7 Perak State Legislative Assembly to be postponed, pending the outcome of his lawsuit at the Kuala Lumpur High Court.

Nizar noted his political rival faction, the Barisan Nasional (BN), may feel pressured to hold an assembly before May 13 because they consider it the deadline to prevent the State legislature from being automatically dissolved.

“For Pakatan Rakyat, we have already had a legal assembly below the tree on March 3, so for us Pakatan Rakyat, we can have one before September.

“But Barisan Nasional is quite worried because they feel pressured to have one before May 13,” he told reporters at the Palace of Justice here after the Federal Court unanimously ruled today to reject his political rival Datuk Seri Zambry Abdul Kadir’s bid to fast-track the resolution of their dispute on who is the lawful mentri besar of Perak.

The five-man bench decided the High Court had to clear up the various disputed issues raised by Nizar first before it could make a decision on the case.

“Today’s decision showed the May 7 assembly should be delayed,” Nizar pointed out.

“When we talk about today’s decision by the Federal Court, it shines a light at the end... that the final remedy should be the dissolution of the assembly,” he added.

The 52-year-old newly-elected MP for Bukit Gantang looked very tense before the court hearing this morning, smiling tightly and speaking in curt tones to reporters who approached him.

But he was all smiles when the court ruled in his favour. Leaping from his seat in the public gallery, he rushed to hug Sulaiman Abdullah, a senior lawyer and one-time Bar Council president who had argued his case in court.

Nizar is suing Zambry for usurping the office of the mentri besar, which he claims is unlawful as he has not quit the post officially.

He has consistently resisted efforts to drag in the Perak Sultan into a legal battle, despite attempts by certain political quarters to do so.

Asked if he regretted having to file his affidavit revealing the details of his meeting with the Sultan of Perak in early February, Nizar said he had been reluctant originally but indicated he had been forced to “respond because those facts are what I’m going to say.”

He noted “the public will know what transpired between myself and Tuanku so they will make the judgment.

“At the end of the day, we don’t want the court to decide for the people. The government of the day must be decided by the rakyat. The court is just a way for us to seek a solution,” Nizar said.

His lawyer Sulaiman highlighted that they wanted to avoid “a hasty solution” which may lead to more complicated problems later on.

“Our view has always been go through the proper route: Go through the High Court, go through the Court of Appeal and finally come to the Federal Court with all the issues settled,” said Sulaiman, who welcomed the Federal Court’s stand that the High Court should settle all disputes before letting the apex court make the ultimate decision.

“It is not an immediate issue of who runs Perak that matters. These are fundamental issues that will arise for the country for many, many years to come and unless we get it right at the beginning, we are going to face a lot of problems in future,” he said.

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