Thursday, February 26, 2009

Cops probe blogger over post - Star

Feb 26, 2009

PETALING JAYA: Police are investigating blogger Jed Yoong Yui Foong, 31, for allegedly posting seditious remarks on her blog against the King.

She was called up by the Bukit Aman Cyber Crime unit on Monday and had her statement taken.

After her interrogation, four police officers accompanied her to her house in Taman Desa and seized her computer and laptop under the Sedition Act. They also took photos and recorded videos in her house.

Yoong is scheduled to meet with police at Bukit Aman again today.

A police spokesman said investigations were ongoing and that Yoong had given her full cooperation.

Scuffle in Parliament - Malaysian Insider

Feb 26, 2009

By Adib Zalkapli and Lee Wei Lian

[Megat Zulkarnain seems to warn Bukit Bendera MP Liew Chin Tong during the confrontation in the Parliament compound.]

Megat Zulkarnain seems to warn Bukit Bendera MP Liew Chin Tong during the confrontation in the Parliament compound.
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 26 — A group from Selangor Umno Youth, led by its Serdang chief Ungku Mat Salleh, attempted to stop DAP veteran leader Karpal Singh from entering the Parliament building today to demand that he apologise for saying yesterday that Umno Youth was responsible for sending bullets in the mail to him recently.

Pakatan Rakyat representatives N. Gobalakrishnan and Lim Lip Eng tried to protect Karpal but were roughed up by the Umno group members.

Karpal eventually managed to make it into the Dewan Rakyat safely.

Also present outside the Parliament building was Gombak Umno Youth chief Megat Zulkarnain Omardin who told reporters that they are Umno members who are willing to die defending the party.

“They must stop insulting the Rulers and the Malays,” said Megat Zulkarnain.

He added that Umno Youth's patience was running out.

The group also tried to stop DAP lawmakers from speaking to the press, challenging them to engage directly with the Umno Youth leaders present.

Backbenchers Club president Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing later met the group and urged them to disperse.

The Bintulu MP said he regretted that such an incident happened inside the Parliament compound and hoped that security would be beefed up.

“They were provoked, but they should know how to handle it and not get emotional,” said Tiong, who claimed that he did not know the reason why the group had gathered.

“I heard there was a fight so I came down, but this is still within the Parliament compound so they must respect Parliament,” added Tiong.

Inside Parliament, Karpal angrily denounced the scuffle, calling the youths “gangsters” and complaining that he was delayed for 10 minutes while the security officers did nothing to intervene.

He also demanded to know what measures the Speaker, Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia, would take to ensure safety in Parliament.

“I may be disabled but I will not stand for intimidation,” he said.

The Speaker warned Karpal not to raise his voice and said that he would speak to the police as well as the Home Minister.

A shouting match also erupted with lawmakers from both sides standing up and shouting at the same time.

The BN MP for Pasir Salak, Datuk Tajuddin Abdul Rahman, then offered an olive branch by saying that he agreed with Karpal that such incidents should not happen.

Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim also tried to bridge the partisan divide by saying that even if it was a Pakatan Rakyat group which physically attacked a BN member, he would also object.

When contacted by The Malaysian Insider, Umno Youth deputy chief Khairy Jamaluddin said he regretted that the incident took place. “Our official stand is that we don't condone violence towards other politicians especially members of Parliament.” He promised to look into the matter.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Pakatan leaders question MACC’s motive over probe statement - Star


GEORGE TOWN: DAP chairman Karpal Singh is questioning what he described as the “unholy haste” at which the Malaysian Anti-Cor­ruption Commission (MACC) announced it had good and strong evidence against Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim for abuse of power.

“As MP (Bukit Gelugor), I demand to know from the chief commissioner, Datuk Seri Ahmad Said Hamdan, the basis on which he made this very serious statement publicly,” said Karpal Singh.

He said it was a very serious matter for Ahmad Said to publicly announce, before a decision was made to prosecute, that the commission had good and strong evidence that Khalid misused his powers over the maintenance of his personal car and the distribution of 46 cows for slaughter in his Bandar Tun Razak parliamentary constituency.

He would raise the matter in Parliament if he did not get a proper reply, Karpal Singh told a press conference at his legal firm in Green Hall yesterday after his statement was recorded by ASP Mohamad Ismail Jamaluddin in connection with his report lodged on Friday on receiving live bullets and a death threat through the mail.

In Petaling Jaya, Selangor Pakatan Rakyat MPs and assemblymen said the MACC had no right to make a public statement on the probe into the Selangor Mentri Besar before the Attorney-General decided whether to prosecute.

DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang said Ahmad Said should resign because he had taken the “unprecedented step of proclaiming Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim guilty of corruption.”

Gombak MP Azmin Ali said the usual practice would be for the commission to confirm there was an investigation on an individual or company and leave the rest to the Attorney-General’s Chambers.

Member of Parliament for Subang R. Sivarasa said the commission had damaged its own integrity while Seputeh MP Teresa Kok said it appeared that the commission was trying to help Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo win the Umno Youth elections.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Emergency rule: What experts say - Malaysiakini

Feb 19, 09 7:38pm

Legal experts today weighed in on the constitutional crisis in Perak, unanimously agreeing that emergency rule should only be used as a last resort in solving the political stalemate in the Silver State.

Dr Abdul Aziz Bari (constitutional law professor)

The law is clear. The speaker is the man of the House, and the House is exercising its power.

BN, of course can challenge the speaker's decision, but I doubt that they can succeed. The speaker's authority is rarely challenged, even in the United States and Commonwealth countries.

Under Article 150 of the Federal Constitution, only the federal government has the power to declare emergency rule.

It is an open secret that the Perak crisis was orchestrated by the federal government, so we cannot rule out the possibility of an emergency rule in the Silver State.

However, although the federal government has the legal right to impose emergency rule in Perak, it is politically insensible to pursue such a course.

People today have seamless access to information and communication, unlike in 1977 when Kelantan faced its own constitutional crisis. BN's popularity is already waning, and the declaration of an emergency rule will only accelerate their decline.

The federal government must also have the king's consent to declare emergency rule. Though traditionally, the king takes the advice of the prime minister, he also has the discretion to refuse emergency rule as he sees fit.

The cause for an emergency rule can be very wide: it can be triggered by political or economical reasons, and even natural disasters.

At the end of the day, the best solution would be to dissolve the state assembly and hold a snap election.

Both governments must consider the welfare of the people at a time when recession is looming. It seems like BN is more preoccupied about clinging on to power.

Dr Shad Saleem Faruqi (constitutional law professor)

Emergency rule should always be the last resort. Apart from emergency rule, there are three other alternatives that may be pursued to break the constitutional deadlock in Perak, of which the first and most obvious one is to hold fresh state elections.

The second option would be for the House to summon the assembly to session and overturn the decision of the special privileges committee.

The speaker may suspend persons on a daily basis but only the House may suspend persons on a long-term basis, in this case, for 18 months.

Under Article 150 (63-64), the Perak sultan may also consult the Federal Court on the best possible course of action.

Malik Imtiaz Sarwar (human rights lawyer)

The recent happenings in Perak bring into focus on the role of the speaker.

On the surface, it appears that V Sivakumar acted within his powers when he referred Zambry Abdul Kadir and the BN executive councillors to the special privileges committee.

This incident also highlights the separation of powers between the executive and the legislature. While the menteri besar may be the single most powerful person in the executive, in the legislature, it is the speaker who is in charge.

No one, including recently appointed menteri besar Zambry, is above the law.

However, in this scenario, it requires interpretation of the relevant laws including the Perak constitution on whether the speaker had acted ultra vires.

We also have to recognise that our laws, including the Perak constitution, are evolving.

If Zambry and his excos do not want to recognise the suspension, then they will have to file an application to court to seek judicial redress. He can also file a notice of urgency for the matter to be heard as it is of public interest.

Today's situation also sees the important role of the speaker. In the past, speakers were dominated by the (BN-led) executive where they would cut out motions by the opposition.

Now it seems Pakatan Rakyat is falling into the trend in the suspension of elected representatives.

Yeo Yang Poh (former Bar Council president)

The only way to solve the constitutional crisis in Perak would be to solve the root of the problem, which is the failure to expeditiously return the power to the people in Perak to decide who should constitute their assemblypersons.

Apart from holding fresh state elections, there are many courses that both Pakatan and BN can pursue.

For example, the suspended BN assemblypersons may continue to perform their exco functions without attending the state assembly, and Pakatan may continue to file suits against BN and deny the legitimacy of their rule in Perak, but such courses will only lead to more political manoeuvres from both sides.

The only sensible, clear-cut solution to this constitutional crisis would be to hold fresh state elections, and let the people decide once and for all the leaders they want.

Regardless of the outcome of the elections, it is one that all parties will have to accept and there will be no more room for ambiguity.

Anwar dakwa BN terus cuba musnahkan Pakatan - MStar

Feb 19, 2009

KETUA Umum Pakatan Rakyat, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim ketika sidang media di lobi Parlimen, hari ini --foto THESTAR oleh Raja Faisal Hishan

KUALA LUMPUR: Penasihat Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim hari ini mendakwa bahawa Umno cuba merasuah wakil rakyat di negeri dikuasai pakatan pembangkang untuk memujuk mereka menyertai Barisan Nasional (BN).

Beliau mendakwa kononnya ejen-ejen pemimpin Umno juga menggunakan kaedah tidak beretika lain termasuk mengugut untuk membuat wakil rakyat pakatan tersebut supaya meninggalkan parti masing-masing dalam usaha mereka mahu menjatuhkan kerajaan negeri yang dikuasai pembangkang.

Ketika berucap membahaskan titah ucapan Yang di-Pertuan Agong pada persidangan Dewan Rakyat di sini, Anwar yang juga Ketua Pembangkang mendakwa beliau mempunyai bukti-ibukti yang menyokong dakwaannya.

Beliau memberitahu pemberita di luar dewan kemudian bahawa beliau mempunyai rakaman TV litar tertutup bagi membuktikan ejen-ejen Umno menawarkan rasuah dan akan mengemukakan bukti berkenaan apabila tiba masanya.

Menyentuh mengenai perkembangan politik di Perak, Anwar (PKR-Permatang Pauh) mengulangi pendiriannya tidak bersetuju dengan cadangan Pengerusi DAP Karpal Singh (DAP-Bukit Gelugor) untuk menyaman Sultan Perak Sultan Azlan Shah, sebaliknya bersetuju jika kerajaan negeri yang disifatkannya tidak sah, disaman.

Kerajaan Perak kini dikuasai BN selepas tiga Adun bebas di negeri itu menyatakan sokongan kepada BN yang mempunyai 28 kerusi, menumbangkan pakatan DAP, PAS dan PKR yang juga mempunyai 28 kerusi.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Crisis looms: Perak MB, 6 excos suspended - Malaysiakini

Feb 18, 09 6:57pm

The Perak state assembly's special privileges committee today suspended the state's newly-minted menteri besar Zambry Abdul Kadir and all his six executive councillors.

The decision was announced by Perak state assembly speaker V Sivakumar after the committee's inquiry proceeding in Ipoh this afternoon.

Zambry was slapped with an 18-month suspension while the excos have been suspended for 12 months.

The latest development plunges Perak into another crisis following BN's seizure of the state government two weeks ago.

Sivakumar, a DAP state assemblyperson, is still the Perak speaker as the BN government has yet to convene the state assembly to replace him with one of their own.

In a statement to the media, Sivakumar said the decision was reached because the seven had failed to provide an explanation for their contempt of the state assembly by declaring themselves menteri besar and excos.

"I have decided to bar Datuk Zambry with immediate effect from attending any assembly session for the next 18 months and the six exco members have also been barred for 12 months," read the four-paragraph statement.

The inquiry was convened after Wong Kah Woh (DAP-Canning) had last Thursday made an official complaint.

The numbers tilt again

By suspending seven of the BN's 28 state assemblypersons, the numbers have again tilted back to the former Pakatan Rakyat government.

Should the state assembly be reconvened now, it is almost certain that the seven suspended representatives would not be allowed into the assembly, allowing Pakatan to have an edge of 28 seats against BN's 24.

The suspension means that while BN can technically continue to rule, it cannot convene a meeting of a state assembly for fear that Pakatan would move a vote of no confidence against the government.

Should that be passed, then the assembly could be dissolved paving the way for a state-wide snap elections.

Contacted later, prominent lawyer Benjamin Dawson said the current situation is a result of the unresolved political turmoil in the state.

By convention, he said Malaysians will have to wait for the court decision on the suit filed by Pakatan Rakyat's ousted menteri besar Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin challenging Zambry's appointment.

He said unless the court rules in Nizar's favour, Zambry is presumed to be menteri besar.

"There is no question of him (Zambry) not being given access to the legislature (state legislative assembly). It is a matter of debate," he said when contacted by Malaysiakini.

"This is not a constitutional crisis but it involves the tactical aspect in politics. Nizar has sought to declare Zambry's appointment unlawful under Article 16 of the Perak constitution and there is basis."

According to Dawson, the best option to unlock the current stalemate would be to dissolve the state assembly and hold a fresh state election.

But this, he added, must have the sultan's consent.

Respect people's will and power

However, Transparency International Malaysia chairperson Ramon Navaratnam said this is "certainly a constitutional crisis" and seemed to be a plan to bring back the opposition to power.

"This is why all these irregularities and contradictory decisions underscore the importance of a democracy which is to respect the will and power of the people.

"Power comes from the people and leaders should be elected and dismissed by the people. All decisions on the constitutionality of any government should rely on the people," he told Malaysiakini.

Ramon said when the crisis started early this month, the right and proper way was to call for fresh elections.

"A full scale election should be held to show that democracy is at work. Government and legislature must be held accountable for its action. People have the sovereign right to exercise their democratic right in this scenario," he added.

More news at:

Nizar vs Zambry: Judge offers to recuse himself - Star

Feb 18, 2009

KUALA LUMPUR: High Court Judicial Commissioner Mohamad Arif Md Yusof has offered to recuse himself from hearing the lawsuit filed by former Perak mentri besar Datuk Seri Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin against his successor Datuk Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir.

Pix courtesy of Malaysiakini

The suit was filed after the Pakatan Rakyat government lost the state to Barisan Nasional with the resignation of three assemblymen from their parties, and the defection of a fourth.

Nizar wants the court, by way of judicial review, to declare him the legitimate mentri besar and for an injunction to stop Dr Zambry or his agents from carrying out the duties and functions of the mentri besar.

At the onset of the proceedings Wednesday, Mohamad Arif said he has been a legal advisor and counsel for PAS on a number of election petition cases. Nizar is a member of PAS, which together with PKR and DAP, makes up the Pakatan alliance.

“I have also been involved in PAS legal matters from time to time, and have advised PKR on legal issues,” Mohamad Arif said.

“I have also acted for Barisan in an election petition in Sarawak,” he added.

“I tend to think that to preserve justice and the integrity of the institution, perhaps I should recuse myself from hearing this matter,” he said.

He set Feb 23 for counsel from both sides to brief him on whether they had any objection to him hearing the matter, as well as on two other issues:

First, whether the matter should be referred to the Federal Court over the question of law for determination and finality, over intepretation of Article 16(6) of the Perak Constitution.

Second, on the standing of Perak’s state legal advisor Datuk Ahmad Kamal Md Shahid acting as counsel for the respondent since Dr Zambry is being sued in his personal capacity.

The five-page suit, filed last Friday, also asks for “punitive, aggravated and exemplary” damages to be awarded to Nizar.

Zambry - dissolve State Assembly or go down in history as the infamous “illegitimate Perak MB” and dragging with him Najib

Feb 14, 2009 Posted by Lim Kit Siang (

Datuk Zambry Abdul Kadir should cut the Gordian knot of the Perak political crisis by agreeing to the dissolution of the Perak State Assembly or he will go down in history as the infamous “illegitimate Perak Mentri Besar” and dragging with him Najib Razak.

If Zambry is a democrat and believes that he has the mandate from the voters of Perak to be Mentri Besar, he should not have any qualm in opting for the only decent, honest and honourable solution to the political crisis – dissolution of the Perak State Assembly to return the mandate to the Perak voters to elect the Mentri Besar and government of their choice.

Zambry should know better than anyone that the illegal and unconstitutional power grab orchestrated by the Prime Minister-in-waiting, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, is a great disservice to the cause of the healthy growth of parliamentary democracy in the country.

This is because Zambry should have realized by now that he has no credibility and legitimacy whatsoever as the Perak Mentri Besar among the people of Perak and Malaysia – which explains why he had such a short fuse in his first media conference as the illegitimate Mentri Besar of Perak on Tuesday.

Najib might have thought that with the toppling of the Pakatan Rakyat state government and the undemocratic power grab in Perak, he has achieved a great coup which will redound to his credit in the UMNO general assembly next month when he is formally anointed Umno President and the sixth Prime Minister of Malaysia.

But he cannot be more wrong. Times have changed. Najib’s calculations might be right if such an undemocratic coup d’etat had been orchestrated in the past half-century, but in the era of the information age, where the people are not only exposed to more information but have higher expectations about accountability, transparency, rule of law, democracy and good governance, the illegal and unconstitutional power grab like the one orchestrated by Najib in Perak is completely unacceptable.

Najib is going to pay a very heavy price as he would be forfeiting the privileges of his First Hundred Days when he takes over as the sixth Prime Minister of Malaysia, for his every word and action as the new Prime Minister will come under the dark cloud because of his undemocratic, illegal and unconstitutional coup d’etat in Perak.

The recent opinion poll by Merdeka Centre that 74% of Perak voters felt that the state assembly should be dissolved to pave way for elections while 76% of voters felt that “the people, through elections” should decide on forming the Perak state government sends out clear and unmistakable messages of the people.

The choice is in the hands of Zambry, whether he wants to go down in history as the infamous “illegitimate Perak Mentri Besar” dragging Najib along with him or whether he is prepared to subordinate personal interests to the higher interests of Perak and democracy by agreeing to the dissolution of the Perak State Assembly to end the political crisis in Perak, which will also release Najib from the millstone of the illegal and unconstitutional power grab in Perak.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Elizabeth Wong quits over nude pictures - Star

Feb 17, 2009

PETALING JAYA: Selangor executive council member and Bukit Lanjan assemblyman Elizabeth Wong, whose nude photographs were being circulated, has quit both positions, paving the way for a third by-election within the next two months.

Her decision, announced at the PKR headquarters in Tropicana here Tuesday morning, came after PKR leaders met Monday night to discuss the scandal.

She was also the state exco member in charge of Tourism, Consumer Affairs and the Environment, and the information chief of the Women’s wing of PKR and of her division Petaling Jaya Utara.

The Election Commission has fixed April 7 for by-elections in the Bukit Gantang parliamentary seat in Perak and the Bukit Selambau state seat in Kedah.

Bukit Gantang Member of Parliament Roslan Shaharum of PAS died of a heart attack on Feb 9, while the Bukit Selambau assemblyman V. Arumugam of PKR quit the day before over a marriage scandal.

Wong said in a statement Monday that she was informed last Friday by journalists from a daily that they were in possession of intimate photographs of her and that the daily was about to publish a story about them.

She described the distribution and publication of the materials a malicious attack on her personality, a gross outrage of her modesty and a gross invasion of her privacy.

OCPD Asst Comm Arjunaidi Mohamed confirmed that Wong had lodged a police report Sunday night and said that police were investigating.

He said that Wong had heard about the photographs being circulated from friends and journalists.

“We will be calling everyone involved to give their statements as soon as possible,” he said.

ACP Arjunaidi warned that action would be taken against anyone found distributing the pictures.

“You may face a jail term of up to three years, a fine, or both, under Section 292 of the Penal Code for distributing and having in possession material containing pornographic elements,” he said.

There is talk that the pictures, allegedly snapped without her consent or knowledge, might have been taken and circulated by an ex-boyfriend.

The distribution of her photographs has incensed women’s groups and leaders from both sides of the political divide.

MCA Wanita chief Datin Chew Mei Fun condemned the person or persons responsible, saying:

“We are outraged by such shameful acts of using women as sexual objects. It is an outright invasion of the privacy of women as well as an exploitation of women for political use.”

Chew said taking photographs of bodily parts without consent or knowledge is against the law and punishable under the Penal Code (Act 574) and publishing such pornographic materials in the public domain also constituted to a violation of the same Act.

The Joint Action Group for Gender Equality (JAG) expressed shock over the unauthorised circulation of the pictures, saying that Wong was being victimised as a single woman, in a tactic meant to deliberately cast moral aspersions and indirectly question her ability to carry out her duties as a politician.

The group – comprising Awam, Empower, WAO and WCC – said it hoped to hear strong statements from both Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat condemning the circulation of sexually intimate photos and videos as a means of practising politics.

Wong, in a personal message on her blog, thanked everyone for messages of support.

“I am grateful for your support and kind words of encouragement, especially from my constituents, my party and Pakatan members, exco members and old friends. This means the world to me.

“I also wish to thank some fellow politicians from the other opposite end of the political divide for their encouragement too,” she said.

Wong won the Bukit Lanjan seat with a majority of over 5,000, the second largest majority won by a PKR state assembly candidate in Selangor, in the general election on March 8 last year.

On Monday, Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim had said that the scandal would not affect Wong’s ability to serve as assemblyman and exco member.

“I have full confidence that she will continue to carry out her duties efficiently,” he said in a statement, adding that in her 11 months in office, she had proven that she could carry out her duties as assemblyman and exco member diligently and intelligently.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Guan Eng says BN, not Pakatan, which is fighting with Rulers - Malaysian Insider

By Shannon Teoh

PETALING JAYA, Feb 14 — DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng tried today to shift the blame for any anti-monarchy sentiments over to Barisan Nasional instead as Pakatan Rakyat parties try to avoid a head-on clash with the Malay Rulers.

"In 1993 when the status of Rulers was brought down, which party initiated the constitutional amendments?

"After March 8, who demonstrated against the Raja of Perlis and the Sultan of Terengganu?" were his questions which he then answered himself. "Umno."

His remarks prior to a briefing for Selangor DAP representatives on the current political climate today came less than 24 hours after Selangor's Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah made a public statement backing Perak's Sultan Azlan Shah over the political crisis there.

The Perak Ruler had appointed Umno's Datuk Zambry Abdul Kadir as menteri besar after BN's Feb 5 power grab. It is now a matter before the courts as to whether Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin of Pas has been legally dismissed or he is actually the legitimate MB.

Lim, the Penang chief minister, refused to tread into the minefield of questions over whether both Rulers had acted neutrally and would not acknowledge that the Selangor monarch's address was a call to respect and accept the decisions of the Malay Rulers.

"It is up to your interpretation. If I give you my interpretation, we will not have enough time as I have a meeting," he said.

He explained however that DAP's stand was based on the premise that the people should be the ones who decide who would becomes government.

"It is the people who elect the government and the Rulers give form to the decision of the people. The decision is embodied in the person of the Ruler under the constitution for it to take effect," he said.

Lim stressed that "the Ruler and the people are one," and that the mandate to govern should be given to whoever commands the majority support.

"Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin sued Zambry not the Sultan because it is Zambry who robbed the people of Perak," the Bagan MP said of Nizar's suit filed yesterday, adding that Zambry and BN had made a mockery of democracy by manipulating the process of democracy.

"When 54 per cent voted PR, how can BN, with only 46 per cent of votes, rule Perak? BN leaders should go back to school and learn how to count," he added.

After Perak letdown, DAP goes on the stump - Malaysian Insider

Teng addressing the crowd at the gathering in Malacca last night.
By Baradan Kuppusamy

MALACCA, Feb 14 — Within days of losing Perak to Barisan Nasional, the DAP has dusted off its old playbook, and has begun a series of dinners and rallies to whip up support from the party faithful as it comes under attack from its political rivals.

Party leaders are using these rallies to explain the DAP's and Pakatan Rakyat's position and stand, as well as to explain what happened in Perak.

The party faithful and curious members of the public have been packing these gatherings wall to wall.

In Malacca last night, nearly 1,000 people packed a DAP rally to hear former Perak exco A. Sivanesan explain how Pakatan Rakyat leaders were hounded and pressured with offers of up to RM10 million to defect.

DAP leader and Selangor Speaker Teng Chang Khim spoke about how the Perak speaker had vacated the three seats of defecting assemblymen but the Election Commission had exceeded its powers to refuse to hold by-elections.

He spoke in simple terms, explaining the law as it exists in Perak now, the powers of officials and how the public mandate has been hijacked by the BN through subterfuge.

He however scrupulously avoided dragging in the Perak palace except to to say that the decision of Sultan Azlan Shah to dismiss the PR government and swear in a BN government without a confidence vote in the legislative assembly or call fresh elections was unfair and unacceptable coming from a man of learning and experience.

"We question his actions but we don't question the institution of the monarchy," he said to loud applause from the majority working-class Chinese crowd.

It was left to Malacca Pas deputy commissioner Adly Zahari to raise the thorny issue of derhaka and whether Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin had indeed committed treason by refusing to resign as menteri besar.

Adly explained that Nizar had humbly "begged to disagree" with the Sultan by saying saya mohon derhaka but the mainstream media is portraying the words as an insult to the Sultan.

"Derhaka is begging to disagree, not insulting by brushing him off or refusing to resign," Adly explained. "It is a humble way to disagree."

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak was presented as a Machiavellian wheeler-dealer — the man who engineered the defection and the ouster of the PR government.

There was grudging admission that the PR was now faced with a formidable enemy in Najib, unlike the retiring Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who is seen as easy going and unwilling to roll up his sleeves for a fight.

Teng told The Malaysian Insider that the road shows were vital for the DAP and PR to reconnect with their support base after almost a year in office as the government in five states.

"It is almost like a general election… I feel energised to reconnect, to explain what we have done and the new challenges we face in the form of defections, collapse of the Pakatan government and how far things would go," he said.

"There is anxiety and anguish among our grassroots and it is important we all reach out and reassure our supporters," he said.

While all the speakers slammed the defectors — Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi, Osman Jailu and Hee Yit Foong — as "frogs" who from now on must be ostracised and condemned, they were careful to make a difference with PR supremo Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's campaign to persuade BN representatives to defect.

Teng and Adly said unlike BN, PR was not buying defectors or promising posts to win over BN MPs.

"Besides, Anwar has promised that within one year of seizing power through defections Pakatan would hold fresh elections to seek a new mandate," said Teng.

Perak speaker still in Pakatan hands - Malaysian Insider

By Neville Spykerman

Desperate bid: DAP Perak chief Datuk Ngeh Hoo Kam (centre) and State Speaker V. Sivakumar (right) posing with lawyer Leong Cheok Keng, assemblymen and supporters outside the High Court before Sivakumar filed a suit to uphold the resignations of Changkat Jering, Behrang and Jelapang assemblymen and declaring the seats vacant. Pix courtesy of The Star

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 14 — Perak's constitution makes no provisions for the removal of its legislative assembly speaker and Barisan Nasional is stuck with DAP's V. Sivakumar.

In a statement released in Ipoh yesterday, Sivakumar confirmed he remained the speaker of the Perak state assembly.

According to Selangor Speaker Teng Chang Khim today, the Tronoh assemblyman cannot even be removed (as Perak speaker) by a vote of no confidence.

He said that both the federal and Selangor constitution provide that the speaker shall vacate his office — if the assembly at any time so resolves.

However there is no such provision in the Perak constitution.

The Sungai Pinang assemblyman, who is a lawyer, said Sivakumar can only vacate his office when he ceases to be a member of the Perak Legislative Assembly or if he is disqualified from holding other office, or resigns on his own accord.

Effectively the constitutional deadlock griping the silver state is set to continue.

Sivakumar can, if he chooses, bar former Pakatan Rakyat defectors, who have "resigned" from the assembly, which will effectively reduce BN's majority in the House.

The Perak speaker had previously declared that assemblymen Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi, Osman Jailu and Hee Yit Foong had vacated their seats after he received their resignation letters.

Teng said the trio may have to go to court to break the deadlock but even a ruling in their favour will not change the fact that Sivakumar will continue as speaker.

Excluding the trio, BN will have 28 members in the House to PR's 27, with Sivakumar as speaker.

Should Sivakumar vacate his office for any reason, the House will be considered a hung legislature because the Perak constitution provides the assembly shall transact no business while the office of speaker is vacant other than the election of a speaker.

With no clear majority, BN's Menteri Besar Datuk Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir will have no choice but to seek the dissolution of the House and obtain consent from the Perak Ruler for fresh elections.

However the sentiment of the people is clearly against BN and it would want to avoid statewide elections at all cost.

"I believe they will opt to retain Sivakumar," said Teng.

However the Speaker has wide-ranging discretion in the assembly and Sivakumar has the potential to be a very painful thorn in the side of BN and Zambry.

"The speaker's decision on the Standing Orders cannot be challenged except by way of motion (a lengthy process which includes holding a debate in the House)."

Ironically few people know this better than Teng.

On April 25, 2005 , he was suspended from the Selangor Legislative Assembly following an argument with then Speaker Datuk Seri Onn Ismail.

In an act of defiance Teng threw a copy of the Standing Orders into a bin when Onn rejected his motion of no confidence against then Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo.

Teng was suspended with no pay for 30 months.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Nizar fail saman mohon injunksi halang Zambry jalan tugas MB - Harakah

Foto Nasir Sudin
Fri | Feb 13, 09 | 1:01:14 pm MYT

KUALA LUMPUR, 13 Jan (Hrkh) - Menteri Besar Kerajaan Pakatan Rakyat Perak, Dato' Seri Ir Nizar Jamaluddin telah memfailkan saman terhadap Dato' Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir di Mahkamah Tinggi Kuala Lumpur hari ini berikutan 'rampasan kuasa' yang berlaku di Perak.

"Kita failkan saman ini di Mahkamah Tinggi Kuala Lumpur hari ini (13 Februari 2009) untuk nyatakan pendirian kerajaan Pakatan Rakyat Perak bahawa kami dianiaya oleh Umno BN yang dipimpin oleh Najib Altantuya (Dato' Seri Najib Tun Razak)," kata Nizar selepas memfailkan saman ke atas Zambry di Mahkamah Tinggi Kuala Lumpur dekat Jalan Duta.

Beliau memfailkan saman bernombor MK25-25-09 di bahagian Pendaftaran Rayuan dan Kuasa-kuas Khas di tingkat satu mahkamah tersebut.

Turut hadir bersama beliau ialah, para peguam antaranya Hanipa Maiden; Exco Kerajaan Pakatan Rakyat Perak, Dato' Ngeh Koo Ham; Nga Kor Ming; ahli Parlimen Titiwangsa, Dr Lo ImageLo Ghazali, Ir Khalid Samad (MP Shah Alam); Dato' Kamarul Baharin Abbas (MP Telok Kemang); Ketua Pemuda PAS Negeri Sembilan, Mohd Taufek Abdul Ghani (Adun Paroi) dan Ahli MT KeADILan, Badrul Hisham Shaharin selain 200 penyokong.

Bercakap lanjut pada sidang media selepas memfailkan saman pada jam 11.30 pagi tadi, Nizar menegaskan beliau dan ahli Exco memfailkan saman untuk menuntut hak mereka selaku kerajaan yang diberi mandat oleh rakyat Perak pada pilihan raya umum lalu secara sah.

"Umno/BN telah melaksanakan rampasan kuasa jadi untuk itu saya ambil tindakan mahkamah untuk menuntut deklerasi atau Imageisytihar perintah bahawa saya adalah dari setiap masa dan material masih MB Perak," tegasnya.

Perintah deklerasi ini katanya sejajar dengan tafsiran fasal 16 (6) daripada Undang-undang Tubuh Kerajaan Negeri Perak, katanya.

Pertamanya beliau menuntut atas sebab dan dalam keadaan keadaan pertamanya beliau selaku MB Perak ingin dan telah memberi naishat kepada Sultan untuk pembubaran Dun Perak.

Keduanya kata beliau tidak terdapat pembubaran Dun Perak sehingga kini, dan ketiga tidak terdapat usul tidak percaya Imageyang diambil dan terima pakai dalam atau oleh Dun Perak, terhadap MB Perak (Nizar).

Seterusnya, keempat tidak terdapat perletakan jawatan MB samada oleh atau telah dikosongkan sehingga kini, katanya.

Justeru writ dikeluarkan kepada responden (Dr Zambry Kadir) memerintahkan responden untuk meminta responden menunjukkan sebab bagaimana di bawah dasar dan di dasar atau kuasa mana responden berhak pegang jawatan MB perak.

Selain responden kononnya bertindak atau menjalankan atau melaksanakan tanggungjawab fungsi MB, katanya.

"Yang keempat responden tidak berhak atau untuk menjawat MB pada bila-bila masa yang material, dan yang kelima perintah injunksi untuk halang responden, agen-agen responden atau pengkhidmmat responden dari bertindak atau jalankan tugas-tugas MB Perak," katanya.

Maka kata Nizar. beliau hadir dengan ahli Exco dan Adun Pakatan Rakyat untuk meminta hak diberikan semula kepada rakyat Perak agar dibubarkan Dun Perak seterusnya menjalankan pilihan raya kecil Dun Perak.

"Saya berterima kasih atas sokongan seluruh, dan kita tunggu keputusan mahkamah secepat mungkin," katanya.

Sebelum mengadakan sidang akhbar, Nizar sempat mengetuai bacaan doa di atas tangga tingkat satu Mahkamah Tinggi tersebut sambil diaminkan para penyokong.

Selesai mengadakan sidang akhbar itu, Nizar bersalaman dengan para penyokong dan pimpinan Pakatan Rakyat yang hadir bagi memberikan sokongan kepada beliau.

Nizar meninggalkan perkarangan mahkamah dengan sempat melambai tangan kepada penyokong sambil melaungkan 'takbir, reformasi dan makkal sakhti' kepada penyokong.

Harakahdaily difahamkan bahawa Nizar akan menyertai solat jumaat di Masjid Kampung Baru tengahari ini./wann

Vote for by-elections fixed for April 7 - Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 13 — The Election Commission today fixed nomination day for the vacant Bukit Gantang parliamentary seat and Bukit Selambau state seat simultaneously for March 29. If there is a contest, voting will be held on April 7.

The nomination day is significant as it falls one day after Datuk Seri Najib Razak becomes Umno president. And polling will be held after Najib becomes PM.

Meanwhile, Perak DAP chief Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham said a scandal-ridden Najib as Umno president will work to Pakatan Rakyat's advantage in both by-elections.

"Under normal circumstances, a new leader would be to Umno's advantage but in this case, because of the scandals connected to him and what he has done in Perak, it will be to our advantage," Ngeh said, referring to Najib's role in unseating the Pakatan Rakyat government in Perak.

He was also hinting to persistent speculation linking Najib to abuse of power in the murder of Mongolian model Altantuya Shariibuu and the billion-ringgit defence purchases.

"There have been so many allegations but he has not allowed any inquiry into them. So he has not cleared his name and it will be to his detriment," Ngeh said.

The senior state executive councillor in the Perak Pakatan Rakyat government expressed confidence that Najib's links to the scandals and what the coalition perceives as a coup d'etat in Perak will be to Barisan Nasional's detriment in both by-elections.

But DAP strongman Lim Kit Siang slammed the Election Commission for setting the date of the by-elections, saying its “another example of its craven subservience to serve Umno interests”.

“Clearly, the fractious and internecine Umno party elections until March 28 had been the primary consideration of the Election Commission when deciding on the two by-election dates,” he said in a statement, pointing out it will be held after Umno party elections and Najib officially taking over Umno and becoming prime minister.

“But these are the very considerations which an independent and self-respecting Election Commission has no business to take into account when fixing election dates, as it has only reinforced strong public perceptions that the Election Commission is a mere Umno creature at the beck and call of the top Umno leadership,” the Ipoh Timur MP said.

He also charged that in the six weeks of being the new Election Commission chairman, Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof made two decisions that have undermined public confidence in the independence, professionalism and integrity of the commission by rejecting the Perak state speaker’s decision on accepting the resignation of two lawmakers and by deciding the by-election dates for Bukit Gantang and Bukit Selambau.

“The Election Commission should reconsider to fix earlier by-election dates to demonstrate that it is not beholden to any political party’s dictates — even coming from Umno!” Lim declared.

Nizar files suit, supporters throng court - Malaysiakini

Feb 13, 09 11:18am

Hafiz Yatim and S Pathmawathy | Feb 13, 09 11:18am

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.

By-elections: Nomination on March 29, polling April 7 - Star

Feb 13, 2009

PUTRAJAYA: Voters go to the ballots on April 7 for both the Bukit Gantang parliamentary and Bukit Selambau state by-elections, the Election Commission announced Friday.

Nomination day would be on March 29, Commission chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof said.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Rulers can be sued, says Kit Siang - Malaysian Insider

PETALING JAYA, Feb 12 — DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang has condemned the spate of police reports over party chairman Karpal Singh's stand that Rulers can be taken to court.

The 89 reports accusing Karpal of treason led to him being questioned by police for two hours yesterday.

"This is the height of nonsense in the police and the Home Ministry," said the Ipoh Timur MP in a press statement today, adding that the Rulers can be sued under Malaysia's constitutional monarchy.

The two DAP big guns appeared to have a falling out when Karpal's insisted on suing Sultan Azlan Shah for declaring that Barisan Nasional could form the government in Perak but did not get Lim's support.

After Karpal had criticised Lim at a press conference, the two met to bury the hatchet and while Lim still does not support suing the Perak Ruler in this case, he stated today that it is legal and not an act of treason to bring a monarch to court.

"Are all the law professors and lecturers going to be questioned by the police for teaching their students that Rulers can be sued in court in their official capacities? Are all the judges and the lawyers in the country going to be charged with treason for holding that Rulers can be sued in their official capacities?" he asked.

Instead, the DAP stalwart called on the 89 people who lodged the reports to have investigations opened against them for making "false police reports".

He cited an article in the Star yesterday, where Universiti Teknologi Mara law professor Dr Shad Faruqi wrote that "from Day One of Merdeka, the King and the Sultans were open to civil suit for their official actions. They were only immune personally. In 1993 even the personal immunity was taken away. In sum it is not a violation of the Constitution to resort to the courts to seek an authoritative opinion on one's rights and duties".

"The illegitimate Perak state exco member, Dr Mah Hang Soon, is one of the 89 who should be investigated for lodging a false report against Karpal in his capacity as Perak MCA Youth leader," Lim added.

Pakatan hits out at judicial leaks - Malaysian Insider

By Lee Wei Lian

IPOH, Feb 12 — Pakatan Rakyat senior state executive councillor Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham today slammed a New Straits Times report quoting judicial sources that called its suit to declare vacant two state seats a “political ploy”, saying it was unacceptable for judicial services to leak information.

The report quoted the judicial sources as saying the suit filed by Pakatan Rakyat last week to prevent Barisan Nasional form taking over the state “was nothing but a mere eye wash to appease its supporters” and contained flaws to blame delays on the courts.

Responding to the allegations, Ngeh said Pakatan Rakyat has never accused the courts of any delay and that it was “untenable if the judiciary is leaking information”.

“If any supporting documents are needed, they must ask the applicant,” Ngeh told The Malaysian Insider.

“Based on the story in the NST, it looks like they have pre-judged the case as irregular. It creates an impression that they are leaking things out and that the court wants to be political.”

Ngeh also said if the sources are judges, they should be sacked. “Judges are not supposed to express views until they have heard both sides,” he pointed out.

The New Straits Times report quoting sources said the courts could not proceed with Pakatan’s civil suit based on the following grounds:

- No supporting affidavit was provided. Sources said that without an affidavit to support the originating summons (OS), the deputy registrar was not able to set a hearing date.

- No certificate of urgency was attached to the OS for the High Court to hear the matter urgently.

- Plaintiffs failed to extract sealed copies of the OS to be served to the three respondents. Until the copies are extracted and served, the High Court may not proceed with a hearing.

“There is no way the High Court can proceed given the flaws in the case,” the judicial sources said.

Ngeh responded that there was nothing legally wrong with the documents.

“Because of the urgency, we filed applications without affidavits because affidavits can be filed within 14 days,” he disclosed.

“The certificate of urgency can be filed anytime as and when necessary when we need to be heard immediately.,” the Perak DAP chief said, adding a Pakatan legal team had advised to stay the suit after it was filed last Friday.

“This speculation that we accuse the court of delays is purely a creation of parties out to damage the image and reputation of Pakatan Rakyat.

“The judicial’s role is to hear both sides before making a decision. The sources are disseminating a pre-judged opinion to the media which may border on contempt of court. I urge the chief justice to investigate the matter,” Ngeh said.

Umno penderhaka agung - Harakah

Mohamed Hanipa Maidin
Thu | Feb 12, 09 | 4:16:38 pm MYT

Kini, hampir setiap hari kita mendengar media massa yang dikongkong oleh Umno menuduh Dato' Seri Nizar Jamaluddin sebagai penderhaka. Laporan polis juga telah dilaporkan dibuat ke atas Nizar.

Inilah politik kotor yang dimainkan oleh 'parti kotor' seperti Umno. Baik dulu, kini dan selamanya Umno sering terjebak dalam politik kotor. Politik orang yang tidak bertamadun dan parti yang tidak bermaruah.

Umno penderhaka agung

Jika Umno tidak diserang penyakit 'amnesia' (penyakit mudah lupa) sudah tentu parti tersebut patutnya merasa malu untuk bermain isu derhaka ini. Kerana apa? Kerana jika satu jari Umno menuduh Nizar sebagai penderhaka, maka empat jari Umno yang lain sebenarnya sedang menuding kepada Umno sendiri sebagai "penderhaka par excellence" (penderhaka agung).

Bagaimanakah pemimpin Umno seperti Muhammad Taib boleh dengan tidak malu tumpang sekaki menuduh Nizar sebagai penderhaka sedangkan semua orang tahu beliau adalah "kepala penderhaka" apabila dengan tanpa segan silu sanggup melarikan anak Raja.

Siapakah yang tergila-gila sanggup berarak untuk membawa Tengku Ibrahim dari Kuala Lumpur ke Kota Bharu bagi menggantikan Sultan Kelantan? Siapa lagi kalau bukan penderhaka Umno. Mungkin parti itu menganggap mengganti sultan semudah menukar pengerusi JKKK.

Siapakah yang telah mewujudkan krisis Perlembagaan pada tahun 1983 kalau bukan Umno. Kerakusan Umno mempertahankan kuasa telah mendorong Umno mencadangkan satu pindaan Perlembagaan Persekutuan bagi meminda peruntukkan yang berkaitan dengan kuasa perkenan Yang di-Pertuan Agong dan Raja-Raja serta kuasa Yang DiPertuan Agung untuk mengisytiharkan darurat.

krisis perlembagaan 1983

Pindaan yang dkemukakan pada pertengahan tahun 1983 diluluskan oleh Dewan Rakyat dan Dewan Negara tetapi Yang di-Pertuan Agong enggan menandatangani rang undang-undang Perlembagaan (Pindaan 1983) tersebut setelah baginda berbincang dengan raja-raja yang lain.

Pindaan Perlembagaan 1983 tersebut bukan sahaja mewujudkan krisis perlembagaan tetapi buat kali pertamanya selepas Merdeka raja-raja dan pemimpin kerajaan yang dikuasai oleh Umno mengadakan rapat umum untuk menghentam raja-raja. Rapat umum yang dianjurkan oleh Umno telah meletakkan kedudukan raja dipandang hina masyarakat awam.

Tidak cukup menghina raja-raja pada tahun 1983, Umno sekali lagi dengan rakus bertembung dengan raja-raja pada tahun 1990. Pertembungan tersebut berlaku selepas Umno kalah teruk di Kelantan pada Pilihan Raya Umum (PRU) 1990. Mana-mana orang yang tidak buta sejarah seperti pemimpin Umno tentu tidak dapat melupakan bagaimana Perhimpunan Agung Umno pada tahun 1991 menyaksikan kritikan-kritikan yang pedas, tajam, kurang ajar dan tidak beradab terhadap raja-raja Melayu.

Pihak istana Kelantan dibidas dengan terbuka dan dituduh bertanggungjawab terhadap kekalahan calon-calon BN di tangan calon-calon Angkatan Perpaduan Ummah (APU). Bukan sahaja Sultan Kelantan dibidas dengan tajam dan pedas, raja-raja lain turut menjadi bahan kritikan dengan pelbagai tuduhan seperti menyalahgunakan kedudukan untuk mendapat kelebihan dan peluang perniagaan, mencampuri hal ehwal pentadbiran dan sebagainya (lihat Far Eastern Economic Review 28/11/1991 m.s. 13).

Semasa krisis itu juga, media-media massa tajaan Umno membangkitkan kembali krisis beberapa orang Sultan dan Menteri Besar Umno seperti yang berlaku di Perak pada tahun 1997; (Tan Sri Ghazali Jawi enggan meletak jawatan apabila diperintah oleh Sultan Perak mendorong baginda enggan bercukur jambang sehingga Menteri Besar tersebut meletakkan jawatan); dan di Pahang pada tahun 1979 (membabitkan Datuk Rahim Abu Bakar).

juara menderhaka

Kalau tidak cukup bukti-bukti di atas yang secara jelas menunjukkan Umno sebagai juara menderhaka kepada raja, saya ingin membawa para pembaca pula kepada pindaan Perlembagaan tahun 1993.

Pindaan Perlembagaan tahun 1993 melibatkan isu cubaan Umno untuk menghapuskan imuniti raja-raja. Keputusan Majlis Raja-Raja yang meminta masa untuk mengkaji cadangan pindaan tersebut tidak disenangi oleh Umno. Apa yang berlaku selepas itu seperti mana yang diketahui umum; media-media massa yang dikawal oleh Umno menyiarkan kenyataan tidak bersopan dan beradab beberapa orang Menteri yang mendedahkan apa yang didakwa sebagai salah laku raja-raja dan anggota kerabat Diraja tertentu.

mengaibkan raja-raja

Sekali lagi Umno mengulangi taktik mengaibkan raja-raja seperti mana yang dilakukan semasa krisis Perlembagaan tahun 1983.

Bersandarkan bukti-bukti di atas, kini sipenderhaka Umno yang sama tanpa segan silu menuduh Nizar pula sebagai penderhaka.

Ya, memang benar Nizar mengakui telah "menyembah sembah derhaka" semasa beliau diminta oleh Yang Mulia Tuanku Sultan untuk mengundur diri daripada jawatan Menteri Besar Perak. Apabila seseorang tidak bersetuju dengan titah sultan menjadi adat dan bahasa istana seseorang akan menyatakan "hamba memohon untuk menyembah sembah derhaka".

"Sembah derhaka" bermaksud tidak bersetuju dalam bahasa rakyat. Di dalam mesyuarat Majlis Raja-Raja Menteri-Menteri Besar saya difahamkan dipanggil "hamba tua" . Ini bahasa istana dan nak buat macam mana?

jahil bahasa istana

Malangnya Umno yang jahil dengan bahasa istana menganggap Nizar sebagai derhaka apabila memohon "menyembah sembah derhaka� . Naif dan ceteknya pemikiran Umno.

Nizar memohon menyembah derhaka kepada Yang Mulia Tuanku Sultan kerana beliau berpandangan Sultan tidak mempunyai kuasa memecatnya. Ini kerana berdasarkan Perkara 16(7) Perlembagaan Negeri Perak, secara jelas memperuntukkan bahawa tidak sepertimana ahli-ahli Exco Kerajaan Negeri yang memegang jawatan dengan kerelaan sultan (at his pleasure) yang membolehkan para exco boleh dilantik dan dipecat oleh Sultan pada bila-bila masa, jawatan Menteri Besar adalah berbeza dengan jawatan exco. Dengan lain perkataan jawatan Menteri Besar tidak dipegang di atas keredaan sultan.

Menteri Besar seperti Nizar hanya boleh diminta untuk meletakkan jawatan sebagai Menteri Besar sekiranya beliau telah tidak lagi mendapat kepercayaan (ceases command of confidence) kebanyakan ahli-ahli Dewan Undangan Negeri Perak seperti mana yang diperuntukkan di dalam Perkara 16(6) Perlembagaan Negeri Perak.

Persoalannya bagaimanakah kaedah untuk menentukan seseorang Menteri Besar itu telah tidak lagi mendapat kepercayaan kebanyakan ahli-ahli Dewan Undangan Negeri menurut perpektif undang-undang?

Apa yang berlaku pada kes Nizar ini samalah seperti yang berlaku kepada Ketua Menteri Sarawak pada tahun 1966. Di dalam kes Stephen Kalong Ningkan lwn Tun Abang Haji Openg & Tawi Sli (1966) 2 MLJ 187, Mahkamah Tinggi Borneo telah memutuskan bahawa di bawah Perlembagaan Negeri Sarawak (sama seperti Perlembagaan Negeri Perak) "lack of confidence may be demonstrated only by a vote in the Council Negeri" (kehilangan kepercayaan hanya boleh ditunjukkan melalui undi tidak percaya di dalam sidang Majlis Negeri (sama seperti Dewan Undangan Negeri)).

undi tidak percaya

Oleh itu Nizar mempunyai sebab yang kukuh untuk enggan meletakkan jawatan. Di dalam kes di Perak kekuatan BN dan Pakatan Rakyat sama iaitu masing-masing 28 kerusi. Ketiga-tiga bekas Adun Pakatan Rakyat hanya menjadi Adun Bebas dan bukannya Adun BN. Maka isu sama ada ketiga-tiga Adun berkenaan dikatakan menyokong BN mestilah dibuktikan melalui undi tidak percaya di dalam sidang Dun.

Terdapat keraguan sepertimana yang diakui oleh SPR sama ada ketiga-tiga Adun ini masih boleh dianggap sebagai Adun kerana terdapat bukti yang kukuh mereka telah meletakkan jawatan sebagai Adun seperti mana surat mereka yang telah ditandatangani dan dialamatkan kepada Tuan Speaker.

Berdasarkan Perkara 35 Perlembagaan Negeri Perak, surat perletakan jawatan ketiga-tiga Adun tersebut adalah sah. Hatta jika terdapat keraguan sekalipun sama ada ketiga-tiga Adun tersebut masih boleh dikira Adun atau tidak, badan yang boleh menentukan kelayakan ketiga-tiga Adun tersebut hanyalah Dun Perak seperti mana yang diperuntukkan di bawah Perkara 33(1) Perlembagaan Negeri Perak yang secara jelas menyatakan: "Jikalau berbangkit sebarang masalah adakah seseorang ahli Dun itu telah kehilangan syarat menjadi ahli, maka keputusan dewan itu hendaklah diambil dan hendaklah muktamad".

Dun tentukan status Adun

Jelas Dun Negeri Perak dan bukannya SPR yang berhak menentukan sama ada ketiga-tiga Adun tersebut masih layak sebagai Adun atau tidak dan keputusan Dun tersebut adalah muktamad. Apa yang malang tatkala Y.M. Sultan melantik Menteri Besar yang baru, Dun Perak masih belum lagi memutuskan tentang status kelayakan ketiga-tiga Adun tersebut. Dalam keadaan tersebut terdapat keraguan yang munasabah sama ada Nizar telah dikatakan hilang keyakinan majoriti ahli-ahli Dun Perak.

Atas dasar itulah Nizar mempunyai asas yang kukuh di sisi undang-undang untuk memohon kepada Tuanku Y.M. Sultan untuk "memohon menyembah sembah derhaka" untuk enggan meletakkan jawatan sebagai MB Perak. Malangnya "sembah derhaka" tersebut difahami oleh sipenderhaka Umno sebagai derhaka.

Nizar to vacate official residence in 10 days


Statement to the media: Nizar speaking during his press conference at the Mentri Besar’s official residence in Ipoh yesterday. With him are (seated from left) former senior executive council member Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham, former state executive councillor A. Sivanesan and Nga Kor Ming.

IPOH: After almost two weeks of staying on in the Mentri Besar’s official residence, former Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin has agreed to vacate the house within 10 days.

Nizar told reporters at a press conference at the official residence here on Thursday, he wanted to leave with dignity.

“My family and I will rent a place in Ipoh near my children’s school,” he said, adding that he was giving up the house in accordance with the law.

“By me surrendering the house, it will not jeopardise the case that we are filing at the High Court tomorrow (Friday),” he added, noting that he and the Pakatan Rakyat excos would operate from his rented place and the PR state headquarters.

To a question, Nizar said state secretary Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Hashim had called him on Wednesday requesting him (Nizar) to relinquish the house.

“Out of respect, I agreed to leave,” he said, adding that incidents in the past week had turned the official residence into a symbol of the legitimacy of the Pakatan state government.

Nizar also said all the state’s former Pakatan Exco members would leave the 11 remaining Toyota Camrys for safe keeping at the official residence on Saturday.

“We are doing so as we respect the laws that we have,” he said, adding that the Pakatan Excos were no longer using the cars.

“After handing over the cars, we will use public transport, motorcycles or our own cars for official duties,” he added.

Asked why the former Excos did not hand over the cars at the state secretariat, Nizar said: “We felt that the official residence was the most appropriate place to hand over the rakyat’s belongings.”

He added that it was up to the Barisan Nasional state government to come to the official residence to claim the cars.

On another matter, Nizar stressed that Pakatan was not involved in the mammoth gathering said to be planned for Friday at Kuala Kangsar.

However, when asked if he would urge supporters not to attend the assembly, Nizar said it was their choice.

K'jaan Pakatan Perak berjaya selesai isu-isu tertunggak... - Malaysiakini

Feb 11, 09 1:40pm

Sepanjang 10 bulan mentadbir Perak, kerajaan negeri telah dapat menyelesaikan dalam masa yang singkat, isu-isu yang sudah lama tertunggak, kata Presiden Majlis Peguam, Datuk S Ambiga.

Katanya, antara isu-isu yang dapat diselesaikan oleh kerajaan negeri Pakatan Rakyat Perak ialah:

* Sebagai menteri besar, Datuk Seri Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin membatalkan kesemua aktiviti membalak dan perladangan di kawasan Orang Asli di sekitar Gopeng yang menjejaskan lebih 2,000 penduduk Orang Asli.

* YB Sivanesan mengumumkan pemulangan kira-kira 400 ekar tanah nenek moyang Orang Asli kepada masyarakat tersebut, yang telah diperuntukan untuk aktiviti pembalakan oleh kerajaan sebelumnya di Mukim Teja dekat Gopeng.

* Kerajaan negeri telah mengumumkan pemulangan kira-kira 500 ekar tanah nenek moyang Orang Asli kepada masyarakat Orang Asli Kampung Chang Sungai Gepai di Bidor, yang telah diperuntukkan sebagai tapak Taman Botani, oleh kerajaan sebelumnya.

* Sebuah pasukan khas mengenai hak tanah Orang Asli ditubuhkan untuk mengiktiraf secara rasmi semua tanah adat Orang Asli di Perak. Pasukan itu mempunyai dua peringkat. Peringkat kedua dikendalikan secara eksklusif oleh masyarakat Orang Asli sendiri dan dewan mesyuarat di bangunan SUK disediakan untuk kegunaan Orang Asli.

* Kerajaan negeri telah melantik seorang pegawai khas Orang Asli bagi negeri Perak yang ditugas untuk menyelesaikan semua masalah yang dihadapi Orang Asli di negeri tersebut.

* Mengadakan siri perbincangan dengan rakyat dan NGO mengenai aktiviti pembangunan di Ipoh. Sebagai contohnya, pandangan awam diminta berhubung cadangan pembangunan Pasar Yau Tet Shin.

* Penduduk Melayu dan Cina di kampung baru dan kampung tersusun diberi hakmilik kekal secara berperingkat.

Ambiga berkata, Majlis Peguam gembira melihat hasil-hasil yang positif yang dicapai dalam tempoh masa yang singkat untuk menangani isu-isu terbabit.

"Kita berharap kepentingan yang sama akan diberikan terhadap perkara-perkara berkenaan dan terus dilaksanakan tanpa sebarang kelewatan," katanya dalam satu kenyataan hari ini..

"Malah, kita menggesa kerajaan negeri supaya bersikap pro-aktif berhubung isu-isu yang membabitkan Orang Asli, masyarakat yang terpinggir dan kurang bernasib baik," katanya.

PAS: Sultan perkenan Arumugam berundur - Malaysiakini

Jimadie Shah Othman | Feb 11, 09 8:11pm

PAS mendakwa Sultan Kedah memperkenankan V Arumugam berundur dan "tidak timbul sebarang keraguan" berhubung kesahihan pelepasan jawatannya sebagai exco kerajaan negeri dan wakil rakyat Bukit Selambau.

Ketua Penerangan PAS Datuk Mahfuz Omar berkata, Istana Anak Bukit telah mengeluarkan surat perkenan berhubung peletakan jawatan Arumugam.

Kandungan surat itu yang dikeluarkan Isnin lalu bagaimanapun tidak dijelaskan.

Mahfuz diminta mengulas laporan sebuah akhbar harian yang menyatakan Arumugam diperintah hadir menghadap baginda, bimbang peletakan jawatannya tidak dibuat dengan sukarela.

Setiausaha kanan kepada menteri besar Kedah ketika dihubungi Malaysiakini mengesahkan menerima surat perkenan itu kelmarin.

"Sultan telah perkenan pada 9 Februari. Ada surat daripada pejabat Tuanku pada jam 6.30 petang. Tidak timbul Tuanku hendak memanggilnya (Arumugam) menghadapnya," kata Sanusi Mohd Noor.

Pada hari yang sama, Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Azizan Razak mempersembahkan surat Arumugam bersama akuan berkanunnya kepada Sultan Kedah dan seterusnya mengumumkannya kepada media.

Pengumuman itu bagaimanapun tidak dibuat serentak, sebaliknya pada dua majlis berasingan – satu di sebelah petang, manakala satu lagi malam.

Speaker Dewan Undangan Negeri (DUN) Datuk Dr Abd Isa Ismail dilaporkan berkata, Azizan telah menyembahkan perkara itu kepada Sultan Kedah pada hari yang sama.

Ditanya sama ada surat dari istana itu perlu dikemukakan kepada Suruhanjaya Pilihanraya (SPR) supaya tidak timbul sebarang keraguan mengenai peletakkan jawatan Adun berkenaan, Sanusi berkata "tidak perlu".

Sebaliknya, menurut beliau, Speaker hanya perlu mengeluarkan surat memaklumkan kekosongan itu kepada suruhanjaya itu.

Dihubungi petang ini, Dr Abdul Isa berkata beliau berpuas hati dengan surat Arumugam yang diterimanya.

Tambahnya, surat itu turut disokong oleh akuan bersumpah beliau, menyebabkan tidak ada sebab untuk meragui isi surat tersebut.

"Mengikut peraturannya, SPR kena ikut sahaja. Apabila speaker kata kosong, speaker kena ambil tanggungjawab itu," katanya.

Sementara itu, setiausaha PAS Kedah Muhammad Yusuf Husin pula enggan mengulas mengenai laporan akhbar itu kerana tidak mengetahuinya.

Senator itu berkata, pihaknya juga tidak cuba berhubung dengan bekas Adun itu, tetapi beliau tidak pasti jika pejabat menteri besar pernah berusaha berbuat demikian.

Beliau berkata, tidak ada keperluan menghubungi Arumugam kerana beliau "telah letak jawatan".

"Beliau tidak mahu diganggu. Kita tidak perlulah ganggu dia," katanya.

Osman goes missing after leaving hospital - Star

Feb 12, 2009

IPOH: Changkat Jering assemblyman Mohd Osman Jailu, who has been issued with an arrest warrant after failing to turn up at his corruption trial, seems to have gone missing.

The PKR-turned-independent as-semblyman had not made it to the magistrates court here on Tuesday as he was apparently under observation for a heart ailment at the intensive care unit of a hospital in Kuala Lumpur.

However, checks with the registration unit of the Selayang Hospital, where his lawyer had claimed he was being warded, showed that he had been discharged at about 12.35pm the same day of the trial.

Yesterday, calls made to Mohd Osman’s mobile phone and that of lawyer Abdul Roni Rahman proved futile as the phones had been switched off.

Former PKR colleagues claimed that they had not heard from Mohd Osman since the time he defected.

His name was also not found on the guest lists of the several hotels here after he had been rumoured to be staying at.

A Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission official confirmed yesterday that a warrant of arrest issued against Mohd Osman had not been cancelled.

He said no medical certificate had been faxed to the court or the commission by Mohd Osman or the hospital.

More than 84 reports: Police quiz Karpal - Malaysiakini

S Pathmawathy | Feb 11, 09 5:10pm

DAP veteran Karpal Singh was today summoned to the Kuala Lumpur police headquarters in connection with the avalanche of police reports filed against him.

Kuala Lumpur police chief Muhammad Sabtu Osman said more than 84 police reports have been filed throughout the country against the opposition leader.

The reports were in response to the veteran lawyer's intention to file a legal suit against Perak ruler Sultan Azlan Shah over the political turmoil in the state.

The wheelchair-bound politician, who spent more than two hours at the police headquarters, told reporters that he was called in pertaining to two reports lodged in Kuala Lumpur and Penang respectively.

"I have done what is in my capacity as a people's representative and for the good of the country, now it depends on the attorney-general to take the necessary action," he said.

Umno Youth warned

Karpal also warned Umno Youth, which staged a demonstration outside his office yesterday, to be prepared to face the consequences of their action.

"If it is found that what I have done does not contravene any law, then they who filed the police reports stand for lodging false police reports," he said.

The veteran politician also called on Inspector-General of Police Musa Hassan to carefully evaluate the reports before taking any action.

As for taking the sultan to court, Karpal said: "As far as I am concerned the sultan can be taken to court as I was initially charged to look into the matter but (Opposition Leader) Anwar (Ibrahim) and Pakatan Rakyat feel that the sultan must not be sued."

"In my opinion, he (the sultan) must be sued because there is no other way out to put out that the sultan's action were unconstitutional," he added.

He said Pakatan Rakyat leaders have instructed another panel of lawyers to look into the legal avenues of the crisis in Perak

Stressing that his stand remained the same, Karpal however noted that he cannot file the suit against the sultan in his personal capacity.

He also called on Sultan Azlan, who was once a lord president, to clear the air on whether he could be sued.

'We were there to protect him'

During a press conference at the same venue earlier, Muhammad Sabtu slammed Karpal for making false remarks about the police.

He was referring to Karpal's allegation that the police were 'cooperating' with the protesters who gathered outside his office.

"He (Karpal) had alleged that one of my police officers had told him that although the protest was illegal, the police had orders from their superiors not to disperse the crowd," he said.

Refuting this, Muhammad Sabtu said the police were there to protect Karpal, his staff and his property.

"Karpal made a personal statement... the police have investigated the protest which did not have a permit and a police report was lodged yesterday," he added.

He said the police have identified the organiser of the protest who is Bukit Bintang Umno Youth chief Tengku Azman Tengku Zainal Abidin.

Muhammad Sabtu said the organiser and those behind the protest would be called in for questioning over the next few days.

"The police is colour blind in performing our duties, we don't differentiate according to race. Imagine if the police were not there to keep the peace and protect him (Karpal) ... what would have happened if the crowd grew unruly?" he asked.

He also said that if Karpal files an application for police protection, the police would definitely consider this.

However, Karpal later refuted the police chief's remark about the police not being ordered to allow the demonstration to proceed.

"I cannot be intimated, I won't be intimated. Protest is not our culture, be a gentleman and submit a memorandum," he said.

ADUN Changkat Jering tidak dimasukkan ke HKL - Pengarah - MStar

Feb 12, 2009

KUALA LUMPUR: Pengarah Hospital Kuala Lumpur (HKL), Datuk Dr. Zaininah Mohd Zain hari ini menafikan bahawa Ahli Dewan Undangan Negeri (ADUN) Changkat Jering, Mohd Osman Jailu telah dimasukkan ke hospital itu baru-baru ini.

"Dia tidak pernah dimasukkan ke HKL," katanya ketika mengulas dakwaan adik Mohd Osman bahawa abangnya gagal hadir perbicaraan kes rasuahnya di Mahkamah Majistret di Ipoh semalam kerana dia dimasukkan ke HKL.

Menurut Norliza, abangya dimasukkan ke unit rawatan rapi pada malam Isnin.

Bagaimanapun, Norliza gagal menunjukkan sijil cuti sakit dengan mendakwa abangnya berada di bawah pengawasan doktor.

Majistret Sharmila Abdul Samad mengeluarkan waran tangkap ke atas Mohd Osman selepas Norliza memberitahu mahkamah bahawa abangnya dimasukkan ke hospital kerana masalah jantung. BERNAMA

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Pakatan to defy ceramah ban in Perak - Malaysian Insider

Feb 11, 2009 By Adib Zalkapli and Lee Wei Lian

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 11 — Despite a state-wide ban on political ceramahs, Pakatan Rakyat leaders vowed to defy police orders in Perak and said the ban was a sign of Barisan Nasional’s desperation to win the upcoming Bukit Gantang by election.

“We will defy this unfair rule. This is a calculated move to curb dissenting voices,” said PKR information chief Chua Tian Chang, adding that the ban would not stop the party from campaigning.

“I have expected the whole scenario; it is like a replay of Mahathir era in 1999 to 2000. This is a start of the series of crackdown. They want to have an unfair edge,” the Batu MP told The Malaysian Insider.

“It is a reflection of how desperate the government is,” said PKR vice president Dr Lee Boon Chye.

The Gopeng MP said the party would proceed with all the planned rallies in the state, but admitted that the ban would affect the party’s machinery in the Bukit Gantang by-election.

“Certainly it will affect our machinery with attacks from mainstream media, we will be at a disadvantage, but I don’t think voters will be fooled,” said Lee.

Meanwhile, Pas’ Asmuni Awi said the ban should not include ceramahs inside the party’s premises.

“Then it is too much and would be like putting Perak under siege. It won’t do any good. They are doing this due to impending elections in Bukit Gantang. We always do ceramahs well in advance and do not wait till after nomination day,” said the Perak Pas deputy chief.

Asmuni said ceramahs are the only way for the party to reach out to the public.

“The mainstream media is slandering us saying things like we are betraying the Sultan. But it is our right to defend ourselves. The mainstream media is very much influenced by the ruling party,” he said.

However Perak Umno believes that holding ceramahs is not the only way to campaign in a by-election.

“We can always do house to house visits, ceramah is only one of many things you can do in a campaign,” said Perak Umno secretary Datuk Ramly Zahari in urging all parties to abide by the rules.

Earlier today, Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan reportedly said that the police have banned any political rally in Perak until the political situation in the state improves.

Perak is in a constitutional crisis and political impasse as Pakatan Rakyat Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin has refused a royal command to resign after the coalition lost its slim majority to Barisan Nasional when three lawmakers defected.

Sultan Azlan Shah has sworn in Barisan Nasional’s Datuk Zambry Abdul Kadir as the state’s 11th Menteri Besar.

Perak Pakatan to file suit in KL - Star

Feb 11, 2009 By SYLVIA LOOI

IPOH: Perak Pakatan Rakyat will file a legal suit to challenge the validity of Datuk Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir as Mentri Besar in Kuala Lumpur Thursday.

State DAP secretary Nga Kor Ming said Pakatan was worried about the impartiality of High Court judges in Ipoh if the case were to be filed here.

“All documents related to the suit is ready,” he said on Wednesday.

Pakatan is seeking a declaration that the swearing-in of Dr Zambry as mentri besar was illegal and wrong in the eyes of the law.

Under the Perak Constitution, unless there is a vote of no confidence against Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin in the state assembly, he would still be considered the mentri besar, Nga said.

He argued that any government formed without the approval of the assembly would be considered illegal.

Nga, who is also Pantai Remis assemblyman, also claimed that in this case, any agreements signed by the Barisan Nasional state government might be considered illegal as well.

Political stalemate in Perak to harden as Bt Gantang By-Election looms - Suara Keadilan

Feb 11, 2009

By Wong Choon Mei

The political stalemate in Perak is set to deepen as arch rivals Pakatan Rakyat and Barisan Nasional begin preparations for the Bukit Gantang parliamentary by-election.

Sharply in focus and under the microscope will be the roles played by the Perak Sultan and Deputy Premier Najib Abdul Razak - both of whom many Perakians blame for stage-managing the ouster of popular Pakatan Menteri Besar Nizar Jamaluddin and his team.

Against this background of increasing public animosity, the BN Menteri Besar Zambry Kadir proposed by Najib and confirmed by the Sultan, may find it tough to govern the state, especially with Bukit Gantang looming large in the conscience of Perakians.

“It was a modern-day coup,” said Pakatan leader Tian Chua. “The Perak people were robbed of their democratic rights to elect the leadership they wanted. The BN line-up is also completely unrepresentative of the state’s demographic make-up.

As both coalitions raise the rhetoric in the run-up to the by-election due to be held within the next 60 days, all eyes will also be on how Nizar and his team fare in the coming weeks. So far, there has been only one major incidence of violence breaking out during a street protest.

But there is increasing concern that a desperate Najib might order even more aggressive police action to evict the immensely popular Nizar from his official chief minister’s residence, where thousands of supporters have gathered for mammoth rallies and ceramahs.

“Nizar has no choice. He is duty-bound to keep fighting for the rights of the Perak people and keep insisting on the snap election that he was entitled to, but was mysteriously denied by the Sultan,” said Tian.

A public judgement on Najib, Perak Sultan

The Bukit Gantang by-election is seen as an acid test for both BN and Pakatan.

It will also be a sharp reflection of how Perakians and by extension, the rest of the nation, feel about Najib’s suitability as a leader for the country. Sadly and additionally, it will be seen as a public judgement on the Sultan’s conduct in the entire episode.

Both have been denounced by civil society groups, critics, and the public to the extent that high-profile functions earlier scheduled and featuring either had to be skipped or postponed.

Said law professor Abdul Aziz Bari: “What was done by the BN in Perak was some kind of blitzkrieg, to use Hitler’s strategy during World War II.

But there was no need to do that as there was still a government (Nizar and team) and they had just filed an application in court to determine the status of the three lawmakers (who defected from Pakatan to support Najib).

“Here lies the role of the Sultan; namely to weigh the options properly and avoid being seen as taking side. As of now, one cannot see how the palace can say it is neutral and impartial.

“It is time for BN to stop using the palace. It must now learn how to survive on its own as required by both the Ccnstitution and democracy.”

Playing the racial card, hiding behind the Palace

A small coastal town near the northern tip of Peninsular Malaysia, it has a voter base of about 55,471 - of which 64 percent are Malays, 27 percent Chinese and nine percent Indian. The seat fell vacant following the sudden death of its PAS MP Roslan Shahrum on Monday.

Opinion has been mixed about whether the Malay or non-Malay vote will decide the winner come polling day, due to be set by the Election Commission on Friday.

But more fore-telling of the future will be the way the Malays vote here, a core Umno heartland until the March 2008 general election.

The late Roslan wrested the seat from Umno treasurer and corporate bigwig Azim Zabidi with a majority of 1,566 votes, but Umno-BN can be relied on to play on racial sentiments to gain the upperhand.

Already, Umno has been loudly championing and defending Perak Sultan’s controversial decision in its favour, hoping this can galvanise the community - which traditionally revers the monarchy - against the more progressive philosophies of the Pakatan..

Said political analyst Ong Kian Ming: “Some may argue that the Malay vote in Bukit Gantang is fully capable of swinging at least a few percentage points in favour of the BN.

“The BN would campaign on the basis that the Perak government is now firmly back in the hands of the ‘Malays’, making the not so subtle point that DAP was dominating the previous state government.”

Mini-budget to fund election goodies?

Who will be fielded to battle it out in Bukit Gantang is also the topic of hot debate throughout the state and country.

There have been calls for Nizar to take on Zambry for the parliamentary seat. Currently, both only hold state seats, and therefore are eligible to contest.

If their parties do decide to field them, then chances favour Nizar although it is still too early to tell, given that Najib and Umno-BN control the vast federal machinery and can use it to their advantage.

“To me, it is not right for the Perak MB to contest as he is already an elected representative,” said PAS spiritual adviser Nik Aziz Nik Mat, downplaying talk that Nizar would get the slot.

Meanwhile, Najib, who is also finance minister, can be expected to announce a string of election goodies, worth hundreds of millions of ringgit to entice the Chinese and Indian voters in Bukit Gantang, just as he did in last month’s Kuala Terengganu by-election.

Already, there are reports in the BN media of a soon-to-be unveiled mini-budget that could top the RM10 billion mark, and push the national fiscal deficit way above the record high of 5.5 percent.

“Najib was not shy to use funds from the previous RM7 billion economic stimulus package to allocate project funds to Umno assemblymen in Perak to ensure their allegiance,” said a political analyst.

“Now with so much more on the line in Bukit Gantang, and another by-election in Bukit Selambau in Kedah due around the same time, do you wonder why a second economic stimulus package is not enough but a full-fledged mini-budget has to be undertaken?”

Long trail of power grabs in Malaysian states - Sun

Comment by Zainon Ahmad

WHAT is happening in Perak has a striking similarity to what happened in Sarawak in 1966. Less striking but similar are the train of events that led to the collapse of the PAS government in Terengganu in 1961 and the Parti Bersatu Sabah government in Sabah in 1994.

The Alliance government that ruled Sarawak after it became part of Malaysia was led by SNAP secretary-general Datuk Stephen Kalong Ningkan, an Iban. His independent ways led to strained relations with the federal government. Matters came to a head after he sacked Taib Mahmud (now Tan Sri), a member of his state cabinet, accusing him of undermining his government. Taib, at the head of a delegation of 21 Council Negeri members (state assembly members), flew to Kuala Lumpur on June 12.

With the support of the federal Alliance leaders, a letter signed by the 21 was dispatched to state governor Tun Abang Haji Openg prevailing upon him to sack Ningkan which he subsequently did. The chief minister protested and refused to budge until after a new chief minister, Penghulu Tawi Sli, was sworn in.

In July he pulled SNAP out of the Alliance and filed a suit against the governor and the new chief minister that in sacking him they had violated the state constitution. On Sept 7, 1966 the High Court ruled that that Ningkan continued to be the lawful chief minister of Sarawak since he had not suffered a vote of no confidence in the Council Negeri. It said the "no-confidence letter" shown to the governor was no substitution for the confidence vote in the Council Negeri.

But by the time Ningkan resumed the office of chief minister some of his supporters in the Council Negeri had crossed over to "the other side". He unsuccessfully appealed to the governor to dissolve the council.

Meanwhile, another "no-confidence letter" signed by 25 Council Negeri members was submitted to the governor who then requested the chief minister to resign which he refused. The federal government declared a state of emergency in Sarawak giving as reason the communist threat in the state. Using the wide discretionary powers he had during the emergency, the governor sacked Ningkan. Penghulu Tawi Sli returned as chief minister with Taib as his deputy.

In Terengganu PAS had won the 1959 state elections but had only a narrow majority of two in the 24-seat state assembly. But it was riven with all kinds of problems and in-fighting and subsequently it was this that brought about its downfall.

After two PAS members defected to the Alliance in 1961, Mentri Besar Mohd Daud Samad requested the sultan dissolve the state assembly but he was rebuffed. He continued to lead a minority government without calling for the meeting of the state assembly for as long as he could while negotiating for support from Party Negara members. On Oct 30, 1961 when the assembly met the PAS government fell in the ensuing vote of no-confidence taken against it. In the vote two more PAS members betrayed their party by abstaining.

In Sabah the PBS government fell in 1994 after several of its assemblymen defected to the BN shortly after the state elections in which Umno participated for the first time. Led by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Umno did splendidly but its other partners failed it.

When his party lost its majority, Datuk Seri Pairin Kitingan asked the governor – whose son won a seat on an Umno ticket – to dissolve the state assembly but he was snubbed. He, therefore, had no choice but to resign his government.

PAS won Kelantan for the first time in 1959 but was ousted in 1978 after its rebellious mentri besar, Datuk Seri Mohamed Nasir, chose to defy the party leaders who were away in Kuala Lumpur as members of the BN government. He froze many of the logging concessions given out by the party leaders and threatened to expose some of their underhand dealings. The party leaders met and sacked him.

Because of his popular policies, the people demonstrated their support for him. Soon the demonstrations degenerated into violence and looting and an emergency was declared and federal rule was imposed.

After it was lifted a state election was called on March 11, 1978. PAS was almost wiped out and a BN government headed by Mohamed Nasir as leader of a hastily formed Berjasa ruled Kelantan. One of the architects of the PAS ouster then was also the person who later played a role in ending BN rule in the state in 1990.

Perhaps an amusing anecdote to all these cases in the nation’s political history is the power-grab attempt by a group of 28 Sarawak state assemblymen which has been referred to as the "Ming Court Hotel incident".

The group, which represented a majority in the 48-seat Council Negeri, gathered in Kuala Lumpur to seek federal support to oust Taib. They failed. They also attempted to see the governor who was unavailable as he was either away fishing or was sick. Taib easily got the governor to dissolve the Council Negeri and in the ensuing state elections his BN coalition won 28 of the 48 seats.