By Giam Say Khoon
KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 6, 2009): DAP chairman and Bukit Gelugor MP Karpal Singh(pix) today gave notice that he will file a lawsuit on Tuesday against the Sultan of Perak and the new Barisan Nasional (BN) state government for acting beyond the state Constitution should the new Mentri Besar be sworn in today.
DAP chairman and Bukit Gelugor MP Karpal Singh will sue the Sultan of Perak and the new BN government for acting beyond the state constitution.
He told a press conference here that since the Election Commission had ruled that there was doubt over the vacancy of the state seats of Changkat Jering (Mohd Osman Jailu) and Behrang (Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi) after the pre-signed letters submitted by Assembly Speaker V. Sivakumar in relation to their resignation were contradicted by denials from both assemblymen, it triggered the provision of Article 33 (1) that "if any question arises whether a member of the state Legislative Assembly has become disqualified for membership, the decision of the assembly shall be taken and shall be final".
"It was, therefore, for the assembly to decide on the status of the three assemblymen (including Jelapan assemblyman Hee Yit Foong who quit DAP) and not the Sultan, who determined that they remained independent assemblymen despite having submitted undated resignation letters to the Speaker.
"In my view, the trio remained PKR and DAP assemblymen until their resignation letters were subjected to determination by the assembly pursuant to Article 33(1)," he said.
Karpal said the removal of Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin by Sultan Azlan Shah was purportedly pursuant to Article 16 of the state Constitution which states that "if the MB ceases to command the confidence of the majority of the members of the state legislative assembly, then unless at his request His Royal Highness dissolves the Legislative Assembly, he shall tender the resignation of the executive council" and the Sultan's action is "clearly ultra vires" the provision of this article.
"The decision of the Sultan can be questioned in a court of law. As far back as 1977, a strong five-man bench of the Federal Court had ruled that the decision of the King to confirm three detention orders under the Emergency Ordinance 1969 was amendable to judicial review if it was ultra vires the provisions of the Federal Constitution.
"With that ruling of the Federal Court which has stood the test of time for 32 years, beyond a pale of doubt, the Sultan has contravened Article 16(6)," he said.
Karpal added that it was clear enough that the Sultan cannot invoke his powers under Article 16(1) to appoint a BN executive council with a new MB as Nizar's government still has the constitutional supremacy and legitimacy and "the actions of the Sultan of Perak are, clearly, premature".
He said the PR government should be allowed to invoke Article 33(1) without any hindrance.
"If the Sultan persists in appointing a BN executive council and MB, the PR will have no alternative but to seek judicial pronouncement in the interests of the people in Perak. The judicial proceedings will inevitably include the new state government," he said.
At the same event, Karpal also condemned Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak for supporting party hopping to form governments. (Najib had in fact blamed Anwar for starting it first with his Sept 16 campaign.)
"Anwar Ibrahim was wrong to start a campaign to take power on a strength of crossover. Likewise Najib is wrong. You must get power from the people in a constitutional manner... It is all wrong to take power from the strength of crossover.
"Crossing over should be made a criminal offence because it is cheating the public," he said, adding that the Federal Constitution should be amended and DAP would support BN in this matter.