Monday, February 23, 2009

Its Official; UMNO realised that Perak rampasan kuasa is illegal

Interesting when I read this piece of reporting in Malaysiakini. I shall reproduce it here, with complement from Malaysiakini.

PKR is right all along not to succumb to pressure and stand tall. Good on Datuk Nizar, be honest, be humble, because you are right.

This debacle shows the true colours of Najib, and shows that he is not fit to lead Malaysia. Even simple villagers who used to support BN has now realised who they are. The support base in rural Malaysia is fast eroded and diminishing.

Not that long ago, about a fortnight, I was talking to a Ketua Penerangan UMNO Bahagian who said that Najib is bad for engineering this rampasan kuasa in Perak. It stands out like a sore thumb, that UMNO and BN people are corrupt lot. And they would do anything to grab power.

Malaysians understand that money has been used to buy these ADUNs to change sides. In kampungs, the Malays would not vote for BN anymore.

According to this news, UMNO big wigs are scrambling to London to find QC, that is to find ways and argument to say that their rampasan kuasa is legal and can stand in the court of law.

kata pepatah Melayu,

"Macam menegakkan benang basah"

Perak tussle: Umno seeks QC's opinion

Umno is seeking the opinion of a Queen's Counsel (QC) on the constitutional issues which have bedeviled Barisan Nasional's takeover of the Perak state government from Pakatan Rakyat.

A senior constitutional lawyer left Kuala Lumpur yesterday for London to engage the services of a QC on behalf of Umno to advise the party on a host of questions that is roiling debate in the country.

BN seized power in the state earlier this month with the help of four defectors who upset the delicate balance of power.

Following the defections, Perak's sultan ordered Pakatan to quit its leadership of the state assembly, and swore in a new leadership, but ousted mentri besar Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin insists he is still in power.

Mohd Nizar has subsequently gone to court seeking an interpretation of the Perak constitution on whether the menteri besar's post can be vacated when:

(a) The menteri besar had advised the ruler on dissolution of the state legislative assembly;

(b) There was no dissolution of the assembly;

(c) There was no motion of confidence against the menteri besar in the state legislative assembly;

(d) The menteri besar did not resign.

Hearing for the court case kicked off on Wednesday and High Court judicial commissioner Mohamad Arif Md Yusof has set tomorrow for both sides to argue whether he should disqualify himself from the trial.

Mohamad Arif had told the court that he had acted for PAS when he was a lawyer before his appointment as judicial commissioner.

The court will also be considering whether the case should be referred to the Federal Court over question of law on the interpretation of Article 16(6) of the Perak Constitution.

Article 16 (6) states that if "the Mentri Besar ceases to command the confidence of the majority of the members of the Legislative Assembly, then unless at his request His Royal Highness dissolve the legislative assembly he shall tender the resignation of executive council".

In addition to the court case, Perak assembly speaker V Sivakumar's move to suspend new Menteri Besar Zambry Abdul Kadir and all his cabinet members, has caused an uproar, triggering a debate among constitutional lawyers over whether he acted within his powers.

Three high-profile QCs

Sources say the QC that will be engaged by Umno is likely to be someone who has already appeared in the courts here in a span going back almost three decades.

It is believed that a QC who has appeared in cases in Singapore is also on the shortlist.

Three high-profile QCs who have previously appeared in Malaysia and Singapore to argue on complex issues of law have been Michael Beloff, Anthony Lester and Geoffrey Robertson.

Beloff appeared in the Federal Court for proponents of the Merdeka University in 1982. He was unsuccessful in the Merdeka University appeal.

Lester was engaged by the Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) as counsel when the late Mustapha Datu Harun sued Sabah governor Adnan Roberts and Chief Minister Pairin Kitingan for restoration as chief minister in 1985. Mustapha lost the case.

The judgment handed down was then viewed as having established the precedents that a ruler can appoint as chief minister a member of the legislative assembly who in his opinion commands the confidence of a majority in the House, and that once appointed, a chief minister is obliged to quit if he loses a no-confidence motion in the legislature.

Robertson appeared for regional weekly magazine Far Eastern Economic Review in a matter arising from a report the journal carried on arrests in Singapore in 1987 when the government there cracked down on social activists – 'Marxists in clerical collars', was the pithy description of the late S Rajaratnam, then foreign minister of the island republic.

Robertson, who memorably cross-examined then prime minister Lee Kuan Yew in the case, was like Beloff, unable to shift the court in his client's favour.

Umno's engagement of a QC indicates the complexity and gravity of the legal questions involved in the Perak political crisis.

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