Feb 12, 2009 By SYLVIA LOOI and CLARA CHOOI
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.