When traitors called Nizar traitor

When Umno kept on playing those words to support its theory that Nizar was a traitor, the PR retaliated. PR made a counter attack by producing the damaging statement by Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Tamby Chik. In 1993 Rahim suggested that the people should drop the word “patik” in addressing the Sultan.

Mohamed Hanipa Maidin, The Malaysian Insider

Since Umno enacted the Perak crisis, the party has been continuously accusing Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin as being a traitor.

It goes without saying that hitherto Umno has never been able to come up with any evidence to back up this wild allegation. It solely relies on a surmise and conjecture. Of course Umno is good — no, excellent at manufacturing lies.

The end justifies the means has been the basic tenet of Umno’s politics.  Thus winning at all cost was the sole end of Umno’s struggle in Bukit Gantang. The traitor’s issue had dominated the Bukit Gantang by-election. In fact that was the only issue left for Umno. The traitor’s issue was meant for voters in Saluran 3 — the old folks who live in this world believing that the only political party that exists on this planet is Umno.

Armed with arsenals of evidence at its disposal, Pakatan Rakyat ably adduces compelling evidence to rebut Umno’s unfounded allegation against Nizar. Knowing very well of Umno’s political game, the PR machinery led by PAS put counter arguments by producing a plethora of statements made by Umno leaders on this very derhaka issue. The evidence showed beyond any shadow of doubt that Umno has been the traitor par excellence.

When the PR machinery started churning out paper cuttings from the Umno-controlled newspapers, Umno leaders reluctantly conceded that they were being mercilessly slaughtered by PR’s efficient machinery. The more Umno spoke on the issue, the more evidence detrimental to it surfaced and haunted each and every Umno’s leaders. In one instance, Utusan, in executing Umno’s mischievous campaigns against the Sultan in 1993, carried the following startling caption viz “Ismail wajar turun takhta”. Ismail was referring to the Sultan of Kelantan.

Nizar’s now famous utterance i.e “Patik mohon sembah derhaka” was the only evidence Umno had as a basis to charge Nizar as a traitor. To even suggest such a statement qualified Nizar to be categorised as a traitor was completely naïve. Those were the proper words to address the King in the event you have disagreements with the former. In fact the phrase “patik mohon sembah derhaka” is the most respectful way of addressing the Sultan in such circumstances.

When Umno kept on playing those words to support its theory that Nizar was a traitor, the PR retaliated.  PR made a counter attack by producing the damaging statement by Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Tamby Chik. In 1993 Rahim suggested that the people should drop the word “patik” in addressing the Sultan. Let's pause here. Let assume if Rahim was in Nizar’s shoes. No doubt in displaying his disagreements with the Sultan, one could expect the former chief minister of Malacca would address the Sultan with the following remark “Aku mohon sembah derhaka”.

Before Umno even fully recovered from the ailment of its own making, then came the decision of the Kuala Lumpur High Court on April 3, 2009. It was another salvo for Umno. On that date, the court, in granting leave to Nizar’s application for a judicial review against Datuk Zambry Abdul Kadir, held that such an application was not frivolous. The court concurred with Nizar’s lawyers that he has passed the minimum threshold required in the leave application.

The judgment of the court simply means Nizar has able to establish an arguable case against Zambry. Nevertheless the judgment did not end there. It also contained something which caused irreparable damage to Umno in Bukit Gantang. The judgment was fully utilised by PR’s machinery to silence the Umno’s malevolent propaganda.

The judge declined to uphold the Attorney-General’s strenuous objection. The A-G vehemently protested Nizar’s application on the ground that Nizar was in fact challenging the decision of the Sultan. Rejecting the said argument, the learned High Court judge held that Nizar has every right to assert on what authority Zambry could say that he is the lawful mentri besar when Nizar claims himself as the legitimate mentri besar of Perak.

The judgment impliedly affirms that the writ of quo warranto is the proper remedy in this case. The writ of quo warranto allows Nizar to challenge the legal status of the appointee of the public office (i.e. Zambry in this case) without even bringing in and challenging the decision of the appointing authority (the Sultan of Perak).

The court also held that the issue of whether Nizar has ceased to enjoy the confidence of the majority of the state assemblymen needs to be established first before Zambry could mount an argument that he is the lawful MB.

The upshot of such a court’s decision is simply this. It is clear now that the allegation that Nizar was challenging the discretion of the Sultan is not an issue. Nizar has never challenged the decision of the Sultan. By not challenging the decision of the Sultan, it is equally loud and clear that Nizar has never been a traitor as maliciously claimed by Umno.

The Bukit Gantang by-election reaffirms that the people have changed but Umno has not.

Mohamed Hanipa Maidin sits on the Pas central committee and is the Pas legal adviser. He is also a lawyer who blogs at peguampas.blogspot.com