‘Nizar’s actions conflicted with public interest’

(NST) KUALA LUMPUR: Ousted Perak menteri besar Datuk Seri Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin filed a judicial review application with an ulterior motive of preventing Datuk Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir from governing the state.

"His (Nizar) conduct is contrary to public interest, the Perak Constitution and laws of the state," Zambry said in his affidavit-in-reply filed by his solicitors, Messrs Zul Rafique and Partners, at the High Court on Monday.

Nizar, who filed his application on Feb 13, is challenging Zambry's appointment and has sought several declarations pertaining to the interpretation of Article 16 (6) of the Perak Constitution.

Sultan of Perak Sultan Azlan Shah appointed Zambry as menteri besar on Feb 6 as Nizar was deemed to have lost the confidence of the majority of assemblymen.

Zambry's case is footed on the premise that Nizar had lost the confidence of the majority and the sultan's discretion not to dissolve the assembly could not be questioned.

However, Nizar still claims to be the rightful chief executive of the state on grounds that there was no dissolution of the state legislature, no motion of confidence was taken in the house against him and he did not resign from the post.

Nizar also issued a writ of quo warranto asking Zambry to show cause by what authority he was occupying the post of menteri besar.

Detailing events that led to his appointment, Zambry said on Feb 4 Changkat Jering assemblyman Mohd Osman Jailu, Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi(Behrang) and Hee Yit Foong (Jelapang) wrote to the sultan to inform that they had lost confidence in Nizar and instead supported Barisan Nasional.

He said the then deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, in his capacity as Perak BN chairman, met the sultan about 10am on Feb 5 at Istana Kinta to inform that the coalition commanded the majority and intended to form the government.

Zambry said Najib returned at 11.15am to the palace, together with 31 members of the assembly, and pledged their support to BN in the presence of the sultan.

He said the sultan was convinced that Nizar had ceased to command the confidence of the majority after meeting the assemblymen.

Following the switch by the three independents, Pakatan Rakyat led by Nizar had the support of only 28 assemblymen.

Zambry said Article 16 (6) provided that in the event the sultan declined to dissolve the legislature, Nizar "shall" resign his post as he no longer had the support of the majority.

"Accordingly, the Perak Constitution provides that the applicant (Nizar) must step down as MB, rendering the position vacant."

Zambry said the sultan's decision to refuse Nizar's request to dissolve the assembly was an exercise of the ruler's prerogative made in accordance with Article 18(2), was non-justifiable and was correctly made in the circumstances.

Zambry said in appointing him as menteri besar, the sultan was satisfied that he (Zambry) had the support of 28 BN assemblymen and the three independents friendly to BN.

"There is no express provision in the Perak Constitution requiring a motion of no confidence to be taken in the legislative assembly before the sultan can appoint me as menteri besar."

He said Nizar's contention that neither Pakatan Rakyat nor BN had the necessary majority to command support in the legislature was misconceived.

"The applicants assertion that he continues to be menteri besar is nothing more than a ploy to cling on to power," Zambry said.

In the circumstances, Zambry said, Nizar's application seeking declaratory orders, writ of quo warranto and damages had no legal basis.

State legal adviser Datuk Ahmad Kamal Md Shahid, in his affidavit in support of Zambry, said Nizar did not inform the sultan that a motion of no confidence must be held in the assembly before the ruler appointed the respondent (Zambry).