Dr Zambry is valid Perak MB, Federal Court rules
By M. MAGESWARI, TheStar Online
Tuesday February 9, 2010 MYT 2:22:50 PM
PUTRAJAYA: The Federal Court ruled on Tuesday that Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir is the rightful Perak Mentri Besar.
The decision was read out by Chief Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Arifin Zakaria, who sat with Court of Appeal President Tan Sri Alauddin Mohd Sheriff and Federal Court judges Datuk Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin, Datuk Wira Ghazali Mohd Yusoff and Datuk Abdul Hamid Embong.
The bench ruled that the Court of Appeal was right in reversing the High Court ruling.
The apex court held that if a Mentri Besar refused to resign, his office was deemed to have been vacated.
The bench ruled that the vote of no confidence could be determined by other means than by the Perak Assembly.
It was the final step in the appeal by former Pakatan Rakyat Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin to reclaim the Mentri Besar's post.
However, the losing party in the case can apply to the Federal Court to review its own ruling under Rule 137 of the Rules of the Federal Court to challenge the matter on constitutional points.
A calm looking Nizar told reporters that the decision was “not unexpected” and that he and his team would need to study the written judgment before deciding what to do next.
The conflict over who was the rightful Mentri Besar arose last year after three Pakatan assemblymen quit their parties to become independent state assemblymen, leaving Pakatan and Barisan with 28 assemblymen each in the 59-seat Perak legislative assembly.
The Sultan of Perak then named Dr Zambry the Mentri Besar of Perak.
Nizar took the matter to the High Court which ruled in his favour. Dr Zambry, however, got a stay of judgement and went to the Court of Appeal which overturned the High Court ruling.
Nizar then appealed to the Federal Court.
Dr Zambry, who was not in court, later told reporters that the court's decision would allow Barisan Nasional to continue working for the people.
Meanwhile, Dr Zambry's lawyers came out of the court room waving happily to the crowd. Dr Zambry was not present in the court.
Supporters of both sides erupted into shouting slogans with Dr Zambry supporters chanting 'Hidup BN' while Nizar's supporters shouted 'tipu, Zambry penakut, MB haram.'
Earlier, supporters of both Dr Zambry and Nizar had gathered outside the court as early as 7am with some of them shouting ‘bubar DUN’ and ‘hidup rakyat’.
FRU personnel had a tough time managing the crowd. In the end, Dr Zambry’s supporters were kept to the left while Nizar’s supporters moved to the right of the area leading to the court room.
Chronology of events in the Perak political crisis (Bernama)
March 17 2008: Mohammad Nizar, the state assemblyman for Pasir Panjang, is sworn is as Mentri Besar of Perak.
Feb 1 2009: Perak State Assembly Speaker V. Sivakumar announces he has received the resignation letters of Behrang assemblyman Jamaluddin Mat Radzi and Changkat Jering assemblyman Mohd Osman Jailu. Both assemblymen deny they have resigned.
Feb 3 2009: The Election Commission decides that the Behrang and Changkat Jering seats are not vacated and as such, by-elections are not required for the constituencies.
Feb 4 2009: Then Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announces that the Perak Barisan Nasional has a simple majority to set up the state government after two PKR assemblymen and one DAP assemblyman quit their parties to become independent assemblyman friendly to the Barisan. Perak Barisan and Pakatan Rakyat both have 28 seats each in the state assembly while three assemblymen are independents.
Feb 5 2009: A media statement issued by the office of the Sultan of Perak states that the sultan will not dissolve the state assembly and has asked Mohammad Nizar and the state executive council to resign or their positions will be deemed to have become vacant.
Feb 6 2009: Dr Zambry is appointed the 11th Mentri besar of Perak, replacing Mohammad Nizar. Barisan officially takes over the administration of the Perak government.
Feb 13 2009: Mohammad Nizar initiates legal action, seeking a court declaration that he is still the rightful Mentri besar and an injunction prohibiting Dr Zambry from discharging his duties as the Mentri besar.
March 6 2009: High Court Judge Lau Bee Lan refers to the Federal Court for determination of constitutional issues in the summons filed by Mohammad Nizar challenging the validity of the appointment of Dr Zambry as the Mentri Besar of Perak.
March 23 2009: The Federal Court decides that the Mohammad Nizar vs Dr Zambry case be sent back to the High Court.
April 3 2009: Mohammad Nizar is given the “green light” by the Kuala Lumpur High Court to challenge the validity of the appointment of Dr Zambry as the Perak Mentri besar following a ruling by Justice Abdul Aziz Abdul Rahim that the application filed by Mohammad Nizar in February was not frivolous or vexatious and that there was a prima facie case to be argued in court.
May 11 2009: The High Court declares Mohammad Nizar the rightful Mentri Besar of Perak after finding that he had never vacated his post as he had not lost the confidence of the majority of the state assemblymen.
May 12 2009: Dr Zambry remains Mentri besar until the Court of Appeal hears his appeal against the High Court decision declaring Mohammad Nizar as the right Mentri besar following Court of Appeal Judge Datuk Ramly Ali’s decision allowing Dr Zambry’s application to stay the execution of the High Court ruling.
May 22 2009: The decision of the High Court is dismissed by the Court of Appeal which declares Dr Zambry the rightful Mentri besar in accordance with the Constitution.
June 19 2009: Mohammad Nizar files a leave application to the Federal Court to challenge the Court of Appeal decision.
Nov 5 2009: A five-man bench of the Federal Court adjourns its decision to Feb 9, 2010 after hearing submissions.
Feb 9 2010: The five-member panel of the Federal Court rules that Dr Zambry is the rightful Perak Mentri Besar.