Tuesday, 9th February 2010
Former de facto Law Minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim described the Federal Court’s ruling favouring the Barisan Nasional-led (BN) Perak government as an embarrassment.
“It’s warped legal reasoning. Like I said before these people for political expediency have abandoned legal principles,” Zaid told The Malaysian Insider.
In a 5-0 ruling, the Federal Court earlier today declared Datuk Seri Zambry Abd Kadir as the legitimate Perak mentri besar, ending the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) attempt to regain control of the state which it lost about one year ago.
The five-man panel of judges, comprising Court of Appeal president Tan Sri Alauddin Mohd Sheriff, Chief Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Arifin Zakaria and Justices Datuk Zulkefli Ahmad Makinuddin, Datuk Mohd Ghazali Mohd Yusoff and Datuk Abdull Hamid Embong, also ruled that a vote in the state assembly was not necessary to determine whether ousted Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin still enjoyed the support of the majority of the state lawmakers.
“BN leaders must be aware that the ruling in Nizar’s case has legitimised the monarchs’ power to dismiss a lawfully-elected mentri besar. Already he has the power to appoint anyone he chooses although not accepted by the party with the bigger majority as in Terengganu. Now he can also dismiss. So what democracy is left?,” said Zaid, referring to the appointment of Datuk Ahmad Said as the Terengganu mentri besar in 2008 despite the opposition from the majority of the Barisan Nasional state lawmakers.
The PKR supreme council member also promised that PR would restore the independence of the judiciary should the coalition comes to power.
Previously, Zaid (picture) had said that the Perak case was key to restore public confidence in the judiciary.
The state political crisis started one year ago when four PR assemblymen declared their support for BN, giving it a three-seat majority in the 59-member assembly.
Nizar later advised the Perak Sultan to dissolve the state assembly to pave the way for state elections but the monarch asked for the PAS man’s resignation and subsequently installed a BN-led government.
Nizar then mounted a legal challenge to Zambry’s appointment and won at the High Court, which noted that there was a loophole in the Perak Constitution to allow for another to be sworn in as mentri besar when the incumbent had not resigned.
In his decision on May 9 last year, High Court judge Abdul Aziz Rahim ruled that the Sultan was not constitutionally empowered to sack the MB, and that Nizar had always been the lawful head of the state government.
But the decision was overturned by the Court of Appeal later that month.
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