Pakatan rubbishes Dr M’s call for assembly to vote out Nizar

By Wong Choon Mei, Suara Keadilan

Pakatan Rakyat leaders have rubbished a recommendation by ex-premier Mahathir Mohamad to call for a state assembly sitting to vote out PAS leader Nizar Jamaluddin as Menteri Besar.

“He should be more responsible in what he says,” Gopeng MP Lee Boon Chye told Suara Keadilan. “The High Court has ruled that Nizar is the rightful Menteri Besar. This means that all decisions made by Zambry with effect from Feb 6 onwards are illegal, including the May 7 sitting.

“If Umno were to call for a sitting now, they would have to go through the proper Speaker, which is still Sivakumar. There are also 10 assemblymen, one of whom is Zambry, who are still suspended by the House committee of special privileges.”

Knowing that his protege, Prime Minister Najib Razak, may suffer stinging losses if fresh election were to be held in northwestern Perak state, Mahathir had scorned the notion of going back to the people.

Mahathir, who himself  was investigated for judge-rigging,  also advised against using the courts to seek a solution. He referred to the public uproar over a recent string of controversial rulings in relation to the Perak crisis. Malaysian courts are notorious for succumbing to political pressure.

Instead, the former Umno strongman urged his party to call for another assembly sitting to force through a no-confidence motion to knock out the immensely popular Nizar.

On May 7, Umno assemblymen convened an explosive assembly sitting where after failing to get their way, they used physical force to eject the Speaker V Sivakumar from the legislative hall. Media coverage of the event, which they tried to bar, captured on film the wild and lawless methods used to suppress their rivals from the Pakatan.

“The outcome is a foregone conclusion. So why should we have fresh elections ?“ Mahathir said, adding that it was also costly to hold fresh polls.

Costly? Let the people have the full figures, then see what they say!

Both Mahathir and Najib have been citing unnecessary costs as a main reason why Malaysians should not demand clean and fair election.

Yet political watchers point it would cost Perak and indeed the rest of the nation much more not to hold fresh polls immediately. They also point to the huge amounts already spent by Najib, when he engineered the coup d’etat that toppled the Pakatan administration in Perak.

With the consent of the Sultan, Najib had installed Umno leader Zambry Kadir as chief minister to replace Nizar. And to increase the 28 seats held by his Umno-BN coalition, he persuaded three former Pakatan assemblymen to defect.

“I think everyone in Perak has heard the story of how RM25 million was paid to one of the assemblymen and RM10 million each to the other two. This alone comes up to RM45 million and we are still wondering, was there any other sums paid to other parties?,”  said a political watcher following the case.

“We really should put it to Malaysians now. Let them decide which is more costly. And whether it is justified.”

Who really has the numbers?

In March, the House committee of special privileges had barred Zambry, six of his executive councillors and three former former Pakatan assemblymen – Hee Yit Foong, Mohd Osman Jailu and Jamaluddin Radzi – from legislative sittings for between 12 and 18 months.

In April, the Federal Court in two highly controversial decisions ruled that Sivakumar did not have the power to suspend the 10 of them.

But as the Pakatan has repeatedly announced – and which the Umno-BN media has kept suppressing – the suspension did not come from Sivakumar, but from the House. As such, both court declarations were wrong in their facts and could not be applied, they explained.

This would leave the Pakatan with 28 seats over the Umno-BN’s 21 in the 59-seat assembly.

“It is the BN press that keeps repeating it is the Umno that has the numbers. What numbers? Siva was acting in his capacity as head of the committee and Dewan and the suspension was issued by the House. It was the Umno lawyers who bungled. This is the plain and simple fact,” said Boon Chye.

Judge Ramly Mohd Ali and his one-man panel decision

All eyes are now on Monday’s court hearing, where Nizar has filed a suit to set aside a stay of execution granted to Zambry by Court of Appeal judge Ramly Mohd Ali, who sat as a one-man panel instead of as part of a traditional three-member bench.

Ramly’s decision – which reeked of bias towards the Umno – has been slammed left, right and centre by his own legal fraternity, who condemned both the federal government and Chief Justice Zaki Azmi, who himself is an Umno leader, for tarnishing the judiciary’s image.

Said Boon Chye: “We can only hope the court will be more independent and deliver justice. Nizar was always MB as the High Court has already declared. This means Zambry was an illegal usurper from Feb 6 onwards. How then can Zambry apply and worst still, get a stay? On what basis?

“Zambry was never MB for a single day. How can he just walk in and demand to be made MB, which is what the stay has effectively done – made Zambry the MB!

“Just as importantly, Malaysians must ask, on what basis did the Court of Appeal judge Ramly allow this? He must be accountable as our entire system of justice must be accountable. Nobody should be let off the hook.”