Justice prevail temporarily. Pakatan Rakyat’s Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin is the real mentri besar of Perak (again !) after the Kuala Lumpur High Court decided today.

Judge Datuk Abdul Aziz Abdul Rahim said in his ruling that the only way the mentri besar can be removed is through a vote of no-confidence that must be taken in the state legislative assembly.

“Once a mentri besar is appointed, he is answerable only to the assembly,” he told the court, noting both political factions, PR and Barisan Nasional (BN) each had an equal number of 28 seats in the Perak State Assembly.

“Therefore, based on democratic practice, any measure of loss of confidence in the mentri besar of Perak leadership should be taken by vote of no-confidence against him on the floor of the state legislative assembly. Only in this manner can the mentri besar be forced to resign,” he added.

Justice Abdul Aziz pointed out that because of the “lacuna” (Latin for “loophole”) in the law, the court could not read it to mean something that did not exist.

He added that the only way to correct the loophole was for the law to be amended.

He also noted Nizar was not challenging the Sultan’s royal rights as a constitutional monarch but was suing Zambry for usurping his post as MB when he had not quit or been dismissed by the assembly.

Turning his attention to Zambry, the respondent in the lawsuit, the judge explained there had been a clear way out.

“If the respondent’s claim in this case is truly undeniable, that he has 31 majority, after the three ADUN expressed support, commanded the confidence of the majority and His Royal Highness had refused to consent to the request of the applicant to dissolve the assembly, why the BN did not request His Royal Highness to summon the assembly for a special sitting so that a motion of no-confidence can be made to pass against the applicant?” quizzed Justice Abdul Aziz.

“That would have been in accordance with the democratic process,” he highlighted.

The High Court also rejected an oral appeal from Barisan Nasional’s (BN) Datuk Seri Zambry Abd Kadir to suspend the declaration as he was planning to file an appeal with the Court of Appeal in Putrajaya.

But Justice Abdul Aziz told Zambry’s chief counsel Datuk Cecil Abraham he could still make a written application to the High Court after checking with the authorities.

Nizar’s chief counsel Sulaiman Abdullah explained to reporters later that if the High Court had granted Zambry’s request for a stay of the declaration, Nizar would not be able to immediately seek an audience with the Sultan and as the lawful MB ask for a dissolution of the assembly.

Nizar, who attended the court hearing today, looked stunned when he heard the judge decide in his favour.

He was immediately engulfed in hugs and congratulatory handshakes from his wife Fatimah Taat and peers from the three-party PR alliance, including Pas election director Datuk Mustafa Ali, PKR’s vice-president Azmin Ali and Perak DAP chief Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham.

Speaking to reporters after disentangling himself from the multiple arms around his neck, Nizar said he was going to seek an audience with the Perak sultan and ask for the assembly to be dissolved, paving the way for fresh statewide elections.

“I’ll be approaching the palace for dissolution almost immediately on arrival to Ipoh. I will seek an audience with Tuanku,” he said.

But Nga Kor King of the DAP believes Sultan Azlan Shah is now in the United States. He told The Malaysian Insider the Perak PR alliance will hold a meeting tonight to discuss the next step while waiting for an audience with the ruler.

“We must give the Sultan time,” he stressed.

Meanwhile, Bernama reported that the police have warned the public not to gather near the state secretariat here to prevent any untoward incident.

Perak police chief Datuk Zulkefli Abdulah said police would take action against those who defied the order.

The police, including the Federal Reserve Unit, have been stationed at the building, he said when contacted today, and insisted that the situation was under control.

Raja Nazrin agrees to meet Nizar
By Baradan Kuppusamy

KUALA LUMPUR, May 11 – The Regent of Perak Raja Nazrin Shah has agreed to see Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin, who was today declared the legitimate mentri besar of Perak by a Kuala Lumpur High Court.

Nizar will meet the Regent at 8.30am tomorrow to ask for the dissolution of the Perak state legislative assembly to pave the way for a fresh state election, according to several Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders including Sungkai assemblyman S. A. Sivanesan.

“I just talked with Nizar and he confirmed to me that he has secured an audience with the Regent at 8.30am,” Sivanesan told The Malaysian Insider.

“Nizar will request for dissolution of the legislature for a fresh election,” Sivanesan said adding he hoped the request is not rejected. “Nizar has the legitimate right now that he is the legitimate mentri besar to request for dissolution.”

Sultan Azlan Shah, PR leaders said, is in the United States.

PR assemblymen are also meeting from 11pm tonight to strategise their plans for Tuesday even as the Barisan Nasional (BN) rush to court on tomorrow to set aside the declaration that Nizar is the rightful mentri besar.

Tomorrow is set to be a climatic day with the royal audience, BN rushing to court and Nizar trying to enter his office with police already surrounding the state secretariat building since 4pm today.

Justice Abdul Aziz Rahim declared today that a mentri besar can only be removed by a vote of confidence on the floor of the state assembly.

Najib: We will appeal against decision
By Shannon Teoh

KUALA LUMPUR, May 11 – The prime minister said that Barisan Nasional (BN) will appeal the Kuala Lumpur High Court decision declaring Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin as the rightful mentri besar of Perak.

Datuk Seri Najib Razak said this evening that BN will file an appeal tomorrow.

“We are appealing against the decision. We hope for an early date for the appeal,” he told reporters after meeting Pemudah, the special taskforce established to simplify business dealings with the government. “We feel we have a strong case.”

The High Court had today also ordered Datuk Seri Zambry Abdul Kadir and his executive officers to vacate their offices, and the judge also rejected an appeal from Zambry for a stay of the declaration.

When asked by reporters if the state assembly should be dissolved and elections held, Najib replied that it was the Sultan of Perak’s decision to make.

He added that he has not made any arrangement to meet the Perak ruler.

However, Nizar is seeking an audience with the Perak Sultan to ask for consent to dissolve the state assembly.

When asked about moving a motion of no-confidence against Nizar instead of appealing the court decision, Najib replied that their first action will be to appeal.

Najib also asked Perakians to keep calm.

“Don’t get overexcited,” he said. “We will solve the problem.”

Several police Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) trucks have been observed pulling up at the Perak State Secretariat in Ipoh and state police chief Datuk Zulkefli Abdulah has warned the public not to gather near the secretariat complex to prevent any untoward incident.

Pakatan says it again - dissolve assembly to end crisis
By Lee Wei Lian

KUALA LUMPUR, May 11 – Backed by this afternoon’s Kuala Lumpur High Court decision that declared their man as the rightful mentri besar of Perak, Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders today reiterated their calls that the state assembly be dissolved and state elections held in order to end the ongoing political crisis in Perak, now in its fourth month.

PR leaders said that they will not cling to power despite the Kuala Lumpur High Court ruling in their favour but will still seek state elections instead.

“Dissolving the assembly will allow the people to determine a government who has their mandate and their trust,” said Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in his blog this evening.

Anwar also noted that the validity of the assembly sitting under the tree in March should be recognised where three resolutions were passed, including a resolution to dissolve the state assembly.

DAP secretary general Lim Guan Eng also called of an immediate dissolution of the Perak state assembly and that an election be held.

“Only by returning power to the people can honour be returned to Perak and Malaysia,” Lim said in a media statement.

PAS secretary general Datuk Kamarudin Jaafar said that dissolving the state assembly was “the only genuine solution.”

“The mess created by Barisan Nasional is beyond repair except through a dissolution of the state assembly,” he told The Malaysian Insider.

When asked about the possibility of BN convening an emergency assembly sitting to move a motion of no confidence against Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin, Kamarudin replied: “That is not going to solve the issue.”

The Sultan of Perak had sworn in Datuk Seri Zambry Abdul Kadir as the new mentri besar in February after requesting that Nizar resign.

Judge Datuk Abdul Aziz Abdul Rahim said in his ruling today however, that the only way the mentri besar can be removed is through a vote of no-confidence that must be taken in the state legislative assembly.

The judge also ordered Zambry and his six executive councillors to vacate their offices.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak told reporters this evening that BN will file an appeal tomorrow.

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