Tuesday, May 12, 2009
At 11.45am, Senior Exco Ngeh Koo Ham had to chair the press conference as MB Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin was still at the Istana.
Key announcements made at the pressie, via Kit Siang's tweets:
- All Exco members have started working without wasting time. "We'll redeem the 3 month wasted during Perak crisis," Ngeh said.
- All 14 local councils are to swear in councillors latest by tomorrow in order to function properly.
- This year's Sukan Perak is cancelled - the allocation will be chanelled towards sports at district level.
- Industries in Perak given a boost with InvestPerak to be more active in attracting investments.
- Parking fees to be reduced to 30 sen ASAP. Premier University is to be launched in July '09 with a groundbreaking ceremony. Student intake to target 2,000.
- The Ipoh Central Bus project is to proceed as planned. Sultan Azland Shah Airport is to resume flights ASAP. Airasia is keen to fly from Ipoh Airport, again.
- All 817 village chiefs have been issued letters to carry out their duties.
- Land Offices have been instructed to issue freehold titles.
The Exco will meet again tomorrow at 10am.
Over to BN side at Putrajaya...
Pakatan leaders at a press conference in the State Government complex around noon - Photo by Kinta Kid (Click to expand)
Back to work: Nizar and his exco team along with Speaker V Sivakumar at the MB’s office this morning
Updates from Lim Kit Siang and other contacts and media sources:
1554: Ngeh announces that the suspension of the State Secretary and State Legal Adviser remains valid as the Court of Appeal stay wasgranted after the suspension order issued by the MB.
Earlier, The Edge reports Nizar as saying he and Raja Nazrin did not speak about the Perak impasse and court decisions during this morning’s investiture ceremony. Nizar said they spoke about “general life and weather”. Nizar is also reported as saying he will go into the MB’s office to resume his duties.
1541: Aliran president P Ramakrishnan comments:
Let’s not forget the two issues that had brought about the chaos and uncertainty: the unethical crossovers and the unfortunate refusal to dissolve the Perak State Assembly. These two issues invalidated the mandate of the Perakians and robbed them of their choice of government.
The only sane and sensible thing to undo the damage and bring calm and stability to Perak is to go back to the people to settle this issue once and for all. Let the people decisively decide who should form the government.
There is no other option.
But what to do… Zambry and company are obviously too afraid to face the people in fresh elections.
1528: Nizar is now giving a press conference at the DAP office. He says the Court of Appeal decision raises more questions instead of solving the Perak crisis. The people’s interest must come first, he adds.
1447: Nizar and his exco team leave the State Government building and walk towards the DAP office across the road, about a 100 metres from the Democracy Tree. Nizar greets well-wishers around the DAP office as a crowd gathers around him. - Anil Netto
By Lim Kit Siang
The incipient hope of start of restoration of public confidence in the independence of the judiciary sparked by the courageous and landmark judgment by Justice Abdul Aziz Abdul Rahim in the Nizar vs Zambry case was cruelly crushed in less than 24 hours.
The Court of Appeal’s super-fastracking of the appeal by the usurper and illegitimate Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Zambry Abdul Kadir for a stay of the declaration by Justice Abdul Aziz, with the stay granted by a single judge, has created a firestorm of outrage and disillusionment that justice and fair play can be expected from the present judiciary.
This is one email which I received immediately after the extraordinary speed with which Zambry’s application for stay was granted by the Court of Appeal through a single judge:
“I only wish that the courts act like this in all cases, super fast and super efficient. I am intrigued why in some case, it takes months or even years, when, in the above situation and case, it only took several hours for a panel to be set up.
“Why the double standards?
“The man who steals a loaf of bread has to rot in jail for months before his case is even heard. The rationale behind this and the usual excuse is that there is backlog of cases.”
But is Zambry entitled to return to the Perak Mentri Besar’s Office in Ipoh with the stay by the Court of Appeal.
The Court of Appeal “stay” does not make an unlawful and illegitimate Mentri Besar a lawful and legitimate one. All it means is that while Nizar cannot claim back his office at the Perak state secretariat (SUK), Zambry has neither lawful nor legitimate claim either!
From a constitutional crisis with two Mentris Besar, Perak has been plunged into a ludicrous situation where no one can legitimately occupy the Mentri Besar’s office until the Court of Appeal has fully disposed of Zambry’s appeal application or the Assembly is dissolved for new state general elections.
Why all this rigmarole in the courts when only the Perak voters can make the truly legitimate decision who is the MB of Perak?
(AFP) - A political crisis over control of a Malaysian state deepened Tuesday as a court agreed to review a controversial ruling that handed power back to the opposition alliance.
In the latest twist in the battle for northern Perak state, the Barisan Nasional coalition, which rules nationally, won a "stay order" against Monday's High Court decision that its takeover in February was illegal.
"The circumstances of this case are very unique because it not only involves the applicant and respondent but the whole state," said appeals court judge Ramly Mohamad Ali, saying a date would be fixed for the appeal hearing.
Perak has been in limbo since defections cost the Pakatan Rakyat opposition its balance of power in the state which it won in general elections last year, and its chief minister Nizar Jamaluddin was sacked by the state's sultan.
Barisan Nasional ruled out holding fresh polls, installed its own leader, Zambry Abdul Kadir, and reconvened the state assembly last week in a move which triggered brawling inside the chamber and dozens of arrests outside.
"Until the appeal is heard, Zambry is the chief minister," Barisan Nasional lawyer Mohamad Hafarizam Harun said outside the court. "I urge Nizar to vacate his office and Zambry to enter the office," he told reporters.
An aide to Nizar, who had been back in office for less than 24 hours, said he was holding talks with his lawyers and state legislators over whether to appeal the decision.
On Monday Nizar said he wanted to petition the sultan to dissolve the assembly to pave the way for fresh elections, which the Pakatan Rakyat would likely have won.
Malaysia's top legal body has warned against a lengthy legal process and said that only new elections would resolve the impasse.
"Power has to be returned to where it rightly belongs--in the hands of the people," the Bar Council said.
There were chaotic scenes in the Perak state capital Ipoh last Thursday as the assembly convened for the first time since February. Legislators scuffled and hurled insults while dozens of protesters were arrested outside.The opposition's speaker, V. Sivakumar, was forcibly removed from his chair and dragged out of the parliament, triggering a melee as opposition legislators tried to shield him.
Today, we shall break away from Malaysian politics for a short while. After all, every man and his dog is commenting on the Perak crisis so there is really no need for Malaysia Today to also jump into the fray. After the recent tragedy of the 300-400 Pulau Ketam dogs banished onto a deserted island to die of starvation and thirst, let us now see how political instability can also be deadly to frogs.
NO HOLDS BARRED
Raja Petra Kamarudin
Approximately 200 new frogs discovered in Madagascar threatened by political instability
Amid the amphibian extinction crisis—where amphibians worldwide are disappearing due to habitat loss, pollution, and a devastating fungal epidemic—the Spanish Scientific Research Council (CSIC) has announced some good news. In a survey of the island-nation of Madagascar they have identified between 129 and 221 new species of frogs. The discovery of so many new species nearly doubles the island’s total number of frogs.
“During the past 15 years, we discovered and described over 100 new frog species from Madagascar, which led us to believe that our species inventory is almost complete. But as our new surveys show, there are many more species than we suspected,” said Dr. Frank Glaw, curator of herpetology at the Zoologische Staatssammlung in Munich.
The survey’s findings, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, have led researchers to wonder how many undiscovered species still remain in Madagascar—and worldwide.
"People think that we know which plant and animal species live on this planet. But the century of discoveries has only just begun – the majority of life forms on Earth is still awaiting scientific recognition," said Dr. Miguel Vences, professor at the Technical University of Braunschweig.
The discovery of so many species, including nearly a quarter of which have not been found in any of Madagascar’s protected areas, raises conservation alarm bells. Having already lost nearly 80 percent of its original forest cover, Madagascar is currently experiencing an environmental crisis due to political instability.
In mid-March Andry Rajoelina seized power from former president Marc Ravalomanana, creating a political vacuum that has led to armed gangs entering Madagascar’s remaining forests for rosewood. Paid by Chinese timber traders these gangs have been reported logging forests in Madagascar’s National Parks, threatening habitat for thousands of species including the newly discovered frogs.
“Although a lot of reserves and national parks have been created in Madagascar during the last decade, the actual situation of political instability is allowing the cut of the forest within national parks, generating a lot of uncertainty about the future of the planned network of protected areas,” says David R. Vieities with the CSIC.
| By Lee Wei Lian - The Malaysian Insider |
PUTRAJAYA, May 12 - Approximately 22 hours after the Kuala Lumpur High Court ruled that he was the rightful mentri besar of Perak, Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin is now unable to act as mentri besar again after the Court of Appeal granted an unconditional stay of yesterday's High Court order.
Judge Datuk Ramly Haji Ali said that he was satisfied that there were special circumstances and granted the stay order to Datuk Seri Zambry Abdul Kadir at about 1.15 pm.
The effect of the stay order is that Nizar cannot act as mentri besar pending the appeal of yesterday's High Court decision by Zambry.
The date of appeal was not determined but Ramly said that he will set an early appeal date.
Datuk Cecil Abraham, the lead counsel for Zambry said that since Nizar, was seeking to use his position as mentri besar to seek a dissolution of the state assembly, it would render the actual appeal by Zambry unnecessary and thus a stay of yesterday's order was required.
Sulaiman Abdullah, the lead counsel for Nizar argued however, that the decision to dissolve the state assembly was the perrogative of the Sultan of Perak and that there was no guarantee that the Sultan would agree to a dissolution pending Zambry's appeal.
Nizar's lawyers are now exploring the possibility of setting aside the stay order but will seek instructions from their client first.
Mohd Hafarizam Harun who was holding a watching brief for Barisan Nasional told reporters that Nizar should now do what Zambry had done and respect the court's decision and vacate the office of mentri besar honorably.
Nizar's lawyers were unhappy that there was insufficient notice given for today's hearing as the notice was served on them only this morning.
Translation by Sharmila Valli Narayanan
FOR the week of 4 to 10 May 2009, the release of the Hindraf three dominated the headlines of Tamil papers.
Other stories included Datuk S Subramaniam's announcement that he would contest the MIC deputy presidency, and the inquest into the death of Tamil TV drama actress K Sujatha.
Free at last
The release of the last three Hindraf leaders — P Uthayakumar, M Manoharan and K Vasanthakumar — dominated the headlines of all the Tamil papers on 10 May. The stories were accompanied by many pictures in the back and inside pages.
Malaysia Nanban's headline read Joy. It had a large picture of Uthayakumar being hoisted by supporters. The other pictures were of a smiling Manoharan, and Vasanthakumar being kissed by his wife accompanied by their two daughters.
Of the three, Uthayakumar received the most attention because he was the most pugnacious. In the front-page story titled They brought me out like a sack: Uthayakumar, he revealed that he refused to sign the papers for his conditional release. "I told the authorities that they had to release me unconditionally; if not, I will stay on in this detention centre," he said defiantly.
"I am not going to thank the government for freeing me because they should have charged me in court for my alleged crimes."
Commenting on his dishevelled appearance, he said he had vowed not to shave or cut his hair while in detention and would only do so after his release. "See, I am wearing the same prison garb since the time I was detained. I might look like a mad man to you. But the detention gave me a lot of time to think. I have thought of a lot of plans to uplift the condition of Indian [Malaysians]."
Uthayakumar addressing his supporters after being released on 9 May (Pic courtesy of Hindraf)
Tamil Nesan's story Hindraf leaders freed quoted Uthayakumar as saying the authorities had pestered him to sign the documents since 9am the day before his release. In another story titled I will continue to voice out the rights of Indian [Malaysians], Uthayakumar vividly described the authorities' reaction when they could not force him to sign his conditional release papers.
"One of them who was very angry with me grabbed me by my neck and dragged me all the way to the van where some of the guards were waiting for me," he said.
Makkal Osai in a follow-up story titled Uthayakumar to jump into politics stated that rumours are rife among some Makkal Sakthi followers that he might soon start a new political party.
Subra in the ring
After months of speculation, Subramaniam has finally decided that he will contest for the MIC deputy presidency. His announcement pushed the story of the Hindraf leaders' release to the second headline in Makkal Osai on 10 May. The paper is run by Subramaniam's supporters (the paper always refers to him as "the people's leader").
In Datuk Subra to contest for the post of MIC deputy president, the paper quoted him as saying: "As far as politics is concerned, I have no enemies in the MIC. I just wish for all Indian [Malaysians] to be on the MIC's side and to support the party."
Palanivel (Source: Wiki-
media commons) Malaysia Nanban also carried Subramaniam's announcement on the front page under the headline Contest for deputy president: Subra. It also carried another story on the reaction of incumbent deputy president Datuk G Palanivel. The story, titled I will announce my decision at the last minute, quoted Palanivel as saying that since the MIC elections are in September, there is still time for him to decide whether he would run or not.
"Even in the last elections (in 2006), I only made my decision to run at the last minute. So please be patient until then," he told the paper via a telephone interview.
When told that former MIC deputy president Subramaniam had announced his candidacy for the post, the paper reported that Palanivel muttered, "Really?" in surprise, and then refused to comment any further on the matter.
Subramaniam lost the No. 2 post to Palanivel in the 2006 MIC elections after holding on to the post for nearly a decade.
An actress's death, part two
A beautiful TV Tamil drama actress who was also the personal secretary of the son of a top politician. A bottle of paraquat. And the death of the actress. The question remains unanswered: Was it suicide, or was there foul play?
No, this is not the latest Tamil movie to hit town. The mystery surrounding the death of K Sujatha is to be solved at an inquest into her death.
For three days from 6 to 8 May, Sujatha hogged the headlines. Even the chaos in the Perak state assembly could not get this off the front page.
Tamil Nesan downplayed the story in the inside pages when an inquest was previously held in March. The paper is aligned to MIC president Datuk Seri S Samy Vellu. His son, S Vell Paari, is chief executive officer of Maika Holdings, and was Sujatha's boss. Vell Paari was the one who took her to the hospital after he discovered she had imbibed paraquat. She died a few days later.
SujathaTamil Nesan reported on Sujatha with either muted headlines, or headlines that implicated others and put them in a bad light. The paper's headline on 6 May read: They tried to buy me via bribes: Sujatha's brother Surenthiran testifies.
In his testimony, Surenthiran said Kapar Member of Parliament S Manikavasagam tried to entice him to testify against Vell Paari by promising him contracts. Malaysia Nanban and Makkal Osai subsequently ran stories of Manikavasagam lodging a police report against Surenthiran for perjury. The Parti Keadilan Rakyat politician said he would also sue Surenthiran.
The headline of Malaysia Nanban on the same day read I bought the paraquat for my sister Sujatha in Ipoh, testifies Surenthiran; while Makkal Osai's headline was Sujatha's blood sample goes missing at the Klang General Hospital.
On 7 May, Malaysia Nanban's headline read My sister committed suicide: Sujatha's brother testifies. During the first inquest, it was argued that Sujatha "accidentally" drank the paraquat and did not mean to kill herself.The inquest resumes in June.
This will put on hold the decision of the High Court pending an appeal by Perak BN Menteri Besar Zambry Abd Kadir.
This means that rival MB, Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin, cannot seek the sultan's consent to dissolve the state assembly until the appeal has been heard.
Today's decision puts an end to Nizar's bid to return as the lawful MB. He has been in office for less than 24 hours since the High Court decision.
Zambry filed his appeal this morning and the issue will be heard on a date to be set by the Court of Appeal.
The Court of Appeal's decision has once again plunged Perak in limbo with both Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat fighting to claim power.
Court of Appeal judge Ramly Mohd Ali today heard the stay application on his own, departing from the usual practice of a three-member panel.
Such a departure is acceptable and has been done previously for various grounds.
Zambry's lawyers argued that the stay is important to stop Nizar from trying to seek the approval of the Perak sultan to dissolve the state assembly.
His lead counsel Cecil Abraham added that if the dissolution were granted, Zambry's appeal would be academic.
Meanwhile, Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail, who was also in court today, supported the motion.
He argued that the suspension of the state secretary and state legal adviser by Nizar late last night was illegal as these are federal appointments.
Decision made at 1pm
Nizar's lawyer Sulaiman Abdullah urged the court to fix an early date for the appeal hearing.
Counsels Cecil and Sunil Abraham represented Zambry while Nizar was represented by Sulaiman, Ranjit Singh and Edmund Bon.
In addition to Gani, AG's Chambers prosecution division chief Abdul Majid Hamzah was in court.
BN and Umno lawyers, Hafarizam Harun and Firoz Hussein Ahmad Jamaluddin, held a watching brief.
Also in court were two PKR assemblypersons turned BN-friendly Independents - Mohd Osman Jailu (Changkat Jering) and Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi (Behrang). Their defections had made it possible for BN to take over the Perak government.
After the decision, which was delivered at about 1pm, Hafarizam urged Nizar to vacate his office to allow Zambry to move in.
Sulaiman meanwhile said he had to take instructions from Nizar on what to do next and on whether to file a review on the stay order.
In an immediate response, Nizar said he would seek legal advice on what to do next.
"We'll see the consequences of it (the stay order)," he added.
"Whatever court action taken (by both sides), we have to sincerely and quickly stop the political impasse," he said.
Nizar also did not express alarm over the increased presence of police personnel outside the state secretariat building following the Court of Appeal's ruling.
KLANG: Kejahilan ibu bapa selain masalah keluarga dikesan menjadi punca apabila sebahagian kanak-kanak di rumah Lot, Jalan Tap, dekat Kapar, di sini, gagal mendapat sijil kelahiran, sekali gus menyebabkan mereka tidak dapat meneruskan persekolahan seperti kanak-kanak sebaya yang lain.
Difahamkan, di kawasan perumahan terbabit ada antara lima hingga 10 kanak-kanak berusia tujuh hingga 15 tahun tiada sijil kelahiran.
Kebanyakan mereka adalah anak pekerja Estet Bukit Raja yang dipindahkan ke situ berikutan estet terbabit ditutup untuk dijadikan kawasan perumahan.
Rahimah Abdullah, 30, berkata tiga daripada lima anaknya tiada sijil kelahiran kerana masalah kewangan selain tidak tahu prosedur mendaftarkan kelahiran.
Dia yang berkahwin dengan lelaki Bangladesh berkata, masalah bertambah rumit apabila suaminya pulang ke negara asal lima tahun lalu, menyebabkan dia terpaksa menanggung segala perbelanjaan harian keluarganya.
“Bagaimanapun, usaha saya melalui pejabat Ahli Parlimen Kapar untuk mendapatkan sijil kelahiran bagi dua anak saya kini dalam proses akhir dan dijangka diperoleh dalam masa terdekat.
“Cuma saya risaukan seorang lagi anak saya berusia tujuh tahun kerana proses mendapatkan sijil kelahiran agak lama, dan saya kini bergantung sepenuhnya kepada pejabat Ahli Parlimen untuk membantu supaya dia dapat bersekolah,” katanya di sini, semalam.
A Kamachi, 34, mendakwa tiga daripada 11 anaknya juga tiada sijil kelahiran dan masalah itu berlaku selepas suaminya menghilangkan diri tujuh tahun lalu.
“Anak saya kini berusia 11, 12 dan 14 tahun tidak bersekolah kerana tiada dokumen mengesahkan dia warganegara.
“Walaupun saya ada kad pengenalan, ia hilang ketika saya berpindah ke sini dari Estet Bukit Raja, lima tahun lalu,” katanya.
Seorang lagi penduduk, G Muniamah, 59, mendakwa anak bongsunya tiada sijil kelahiran, namun lima lagi anaknya mempunyai sijil kelahiran sah.
Dia yang disahkan menghidap penyakit tibi dan kencing manis berkata, dia kini bergantung sepenuhnya kepada wakil rakyat kerana tiada wang dan buta huruf.
“Apa yang diberitahu pejabat wakil rakyat, permohonan anak saya yang kini berusia 16 tahun dalam proses dan dia juga sudah ditemuduga,” katanya.
Sementara itu, Ahli Parlimen Kapar, S Manikavasagam, berkata masalah dihadapi penduduk, terutama di Jalan Tap, rumit kerana hampir 90 peratus daripada mereka buta huruf.
Menurutnya, selain itu masalah keluarga dan perkahwinan tidak didaftarkan antara penyebab anak tidak dapat didaftarkan sebagai warganegara.
“Melalui rekod yang kita terima, hampir 500 kes di kawasan ini membabitkan masalah tiada sijil kelahiran dan kad pengenalan.
“Kebanyakan mereka adalah pekerja estet yang berpindah ke penempatan baru selepas estet lama ditutup untuk dibangunkan,” katanya.
Bagaimanapun, kata Manikavasagam, pihaknya menyelesaikan hampir 200 kes dan yakin masih ramai lagi tiada sijil kelahiran atau kad pengenalan kerana buta huruf dan miskin.
Sumber : Metro Harian
MAY 12 — One of the staunchest defenders of the Malay Rulers over the decades today provided a short roadmap for the Sultan of Perak out of a crisis, urging him to dissolve the state assembly.
Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah said that “this is the decent thing to do, but also the only way out of a crisis which has already spiralled out of Perak, damaged the rule of law, compromised the judiciary, the police and the state civil service, and damaged the monarchy in public opinion.”
The Kelantan prince defended the institution of the Malay Rulers when Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Umno moved to curtail the powers of the constitutional monarchs in the 1980s and 1990s.
But he has been critical of the power grab in Perak, arguing all along that the move to force Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin out of office was unconstitutional.
He maintained that Nizar is the MB until he resigns or is removed by a vote of no-confidence in the assembly.
He noted that after three months and shameful scenes in Perak, the High Court judge Datuk Abdul Aziz Abdul Rahim affirmed this same elementary principle.
“The High Court has thereby affirmed the primacy of the Constitution. This judgment brings to a head some of the consequences of our constitutional misadventure in Perak.
“The government led by Datuk Seri Zambry was all along illegitimate and all decisions and contracts made by that government are without legal status.
“It means the resolution to replace the Speaker was brought by an illegal state government.”
Yesterday, the High Court ruled that Nizar was still the MB of Perak, pointing out that he could only be removed by a vote of no-confidence in the assembly.
This ruling rendered a directive by the Sultan for Nizar to resign after purportedly losing the confidence of the majority of lawmakers as null and void.
Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah said that the monarchy has been hurt by this episode as well as by the “systematic programme to inflame this issue into one of race and religion.”
“Such attempts only hurt the institutions they claim to protect and they hurt Umno and BN. The real issue was always the Constitution and the Rule of Law. Umno is not well served by leaders that place short term political objectives above the Constitution.
“Our ideals are cheated when the monarchy we claim to protect is brought down to the level of desperate political manoeuvres that discredit us at home and abroad.
“We have no future as a party if we are seen as against the people rather than for them, “ he said, drawing reference to attempts by Umno leaders to paint Nizar as a traitor for refusing to accept the Sultan’s directive for him to step down as MB.
In the campaign for the Bukit Gantang by-election, the Umno party workers portrayed Nizar as a lackey of the Chinese.
“Those unable to rise above narrow party interests to understand what happens to a country when a government loses respect for the law might want to consider this: it is better for BN to risk state elections that we may lose rather than to lose the entire country by being seen to be opposed to decency, the rule of law and the will of the people,” said the veteran Umno politician, who did not receive sufficient nominations to contest the party’s top position.
By Debra Chong - The Malaysian Insider
KUALA LUMPUR, May 12 - Barisan Nasional's Datuk Seri Zambry Abd Kadir, who yesterday failed to get the High Court here to maintain his tenuous position as the mentri besar (MB) of Perak, filed an appeal early this morning.
The Court of Appeal in Putrajaya will hear the appeal today.
Zambry's chief counsel Datuk Cecil Abraham is believed to be on his way there now.
Lead lawyer for reinstated Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin, Sulaiman Abdullah, is already at the Palace of Justice court complex, and is hopping mad.
He only learnt about the rushed appeal this morning. By coincidence, he was at the Putrajaya court complex for another case.
Other lawyers for Nizar are also rushing to the court.
Amer Hamzah Arshad, one of the other lawyers who had represented Nizar yesterday, told The Malaysian Insider Zambry had filed for an ex-parte injunction.
"We are going to oppose it," said Amer.
Attempts by The Malaysian Insider to contact Cecil for confirmation failed. A spokesperson for law firm where Cecil works, Zul Rafique and Partners politely declined to furnish any information about the case.
Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin at the gates of the State secretariat on his way to work today morning, after being reinstated as MB by the Kuala Lumpur High Court yesterday. - Picture by Choo Choy May
By Shannon Teoh - The Malaysian Insider
IPOH, May 12 - At 7.34am today, Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin arrived at the State Secretariat building to report for work, almost four months after he was forced to vacate his mentri besar's office here.
In sharp contrast to the war zone scenario outside the same building last Thursday at the chaotic state assembly sitting, everything was calm and orderly this morning despite heavy police presence.
The entrance to the building is now blocked by FRU barriers and one side of the road in front is closed to traffic.
By the time Nizar arrived, most of his executive council were already there.
Along with several staff members, they walked to the entrance where they were stopped by Ipoh crime investigation chief DSP Glenn Sinnapah informed them that only exco members and the MB would be allowed in.
Although Nizar protested shortly that it was a public building, he finally gave up as he had to rush to Kuala Kangsar to attend a formal function at the palace.
After saying a short prayer, he entered the compound along with eight of his exco, Pakatan Rakyat Speaker V. Sivakumar and Ipoh Barat MP M. Kulasegaran.
About 10 minutes later, Nizar left the building with his wife after clocking in as the rightful mentri besar, a ruling made by the Kuala Lumpur High Court yesterday.
The rest of the Pakatan Rakyat group are still inside the state secretariat where a press conference will be held at 11am.
At the palace in Kuala Kangsar, Nizar hand delivered a letter to Perak Regent Raja Nazrin Shah seeking an audience to ask for the dissolution of the state assembly, according to an aide of the mentri besar.
He had also faxed the letter from his home in Ipoh at 3am today, to the palaces in Kuala Kangsar, Ipoh and Kuala Lumpur.
HINDRAF was declared illegal in October 2008 without any sound reasoning or logic on the part of the government. HINDRAF itself is a movement of the people and how can you make the people illegal when they are a part of the society.
Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said for the time being, the (illegal) status remained, “If they want us to reconsider the status they have to make an appeal. When they do make the appeal, I will reconsider the status,” he told reporters after visiting the National Registration Department, here today.
HINDRAF is a movement of the people that addresses the grievances of the public against the systematic discrimination, marginalization and oppression of a particular segment of the society. The decision made by the government to declare it illegal is unsubstantiated and biased to serve their own interest as oppose to the interest of the public.
It is the duty and responsibility of the government that serves all segment of the society to uplift the ban in order for HINDRAF to move ahead in voicing the genuine concerns to be addressed and tackled for the benefit of the nation. HINDRAF does not see any reason that it has to appeal on this.
HINDRAF is a cause for just and fair play for the progress of the nation, not one that is bridged on personal gains or motives as the ambience and circumstances warrants it.
HINDRAF – Chairman
Malaysia mungkin akan menuju ke daulah gagal jika lembaga-lembaga yang sedia wujud tidak difahami fungsinya. Atau lembaga-lembaga ini tidak bebas dan dibeli dengan rasuah.
Adalah hak orang ramai untuk menentukan siapa yang perlu mereka jadikan wakil mereka.
Penentuan ini bukan hak menteri, bukan hak raja dan bukan hak tuan punya warong nasi kandar atau along penjual nombor tikam ekor.
Dalam sistem demokrasi dan Raja Berperlembagaan – kitab rujukan ialah Perlembagaan.
Justeru dalam kes Perak adalah terbaik untuk di bubarkan Dewan Adun dan di adakan sekali lagi pilihanraya untuk Perak.
Oook aah oook aaah yang berpanjangan tidak sehat bukan sahaja untuk warga Perak tetapi untuk pembudayaan demokrasi di Malaysia.
Pembudayaan demokrasi di tanah air kita ini masih belum melebar luas dan kukuh. Kita wajib bersama-sama meluaskan pemahaman warga tentang apa yang kita junjung sebagai Perlembagaan, perundangan, badan kehakiman, lembaga pembuat undang-undang dan lembaga yang menjalankan dasar.
Semua ini adalah lembaga-lembaga yang yang menjadi tiang daulah. Lembaga-lembaga ini wujud berjalan terpisah dan bersendirian. Jika ini tidak difahami maka daulah akan gagal – failed state.
Daulah gagal bukan satu yang baru. Zimbabwe adalah daulah gagal. Pakistan adalah daulah gagal. Iraq adalah daulah gagal. Afghanistan adalah daulah gagal.
Malaysia mungkin akan menuju ke daulah gagal jika lembaga-lembaga yang sedia wujud tidak difahami fungsinya. Atau lembaga-lembaga ini tidak bebas dan dibeli dengan rasuah.
Justeru inilah sebab utama kita semua menentang rasuah. Kita menentang rasuah bukan kerana kita tidak suka orang dapat duit. Kita menentang rasuah kerana ianya akan memusnahkan daulah. Apabila daulah musnah – musibah nya adalah untuk semua warga. Tidak ada yang terkecuali.
Selama 22 tahun Madey menjadi kepala – rasuah telah membudaya kukuh. Lembaga lembaga daulah – badan kehakiman, media, Perlembagaan - semuanya diinjak-injak.
Satu demi satu keyakinan warga terhadap lembaga-lembaga daulah ini terhakis.
Keyakinan bukan sesuatu yang boleh dibuat pasang siap. Ianya memgambil masa. Kalau 22 tahun Madey menghakiskan keyakinan warga terhadap media, badan kehakiman, badan kepolisian, pentabiran negara – mungkin ianya akan mengambil masa yang sama untuk mengembalikan keryakinan ini.
Justeru langkah pertama yang bijak untuk mengembalikan ialah mengadakan sekali lagi pemilihan wakil Adun untuk Perak.
Najib - cut losses and hold Perak state elections or he will fail his “important quest” to regain public trust
By Lim Kit Siang
In his keynote address at the 13th Malaysian Banking Summit, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak said that he was now on the “important quest” of “regaining public trust”.
If Najib is serious about his “important quest” to regain public trust, he should not prolong the Perak political impasse; be bold enough to “cut losses” and stop all appeals against the judgment by Kuala Lumpur High Court Judge, Justice Abdul Aziz Abdul Rahim yesterday in the Nizar vs Zambry case declaring that Datuk Seri Mohamad Nizar Jamaluddin is the valid Perak Mentri Besar; and agree to the dissolution of Perak Assembly to hold new state elections for Perakians to elect the government they want.
Najib should pay heed to Tengku Razaleigh’s call to the Sultan of Perak to dissolve the State Assembly to end the Perak crisis.
I fully endorse Tengku Razaleigh’s statement when he said that the dissolution of the Perak Assembly “is the decent thing to do, but also the only way out of a crisis which has already spiralled out of Perak, damaged the rule of law, compromised the judiciary, the police and the state civil service, and damaged the monarchy in public opinion.”
Tengku Razaleigh said:
“The High Court has thereby affirmed the primacy of the Constitution. This judgment brings to a head some of the consequences of our constitutional misadventure in Perak.
“The government led by Datuk Seri Zambry was all along illegitimate and all decisions and contracts made by that government are without legal status.
“It means the resolution to replace the Speaker was brought by an illegal state government.”
Is Najib prepared to “cut losses” for the interests of democracy and the higher interests of the nation, or will be dig his toes in to plunge Perak and Malaysia into a greater crisis of democracy, destroying his own “important quest” of “regaining public trust”?
Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein should revoke all the conditions imposed on DAP Selangor State Assemblyman Kota Alam Shah and the other four Hindraf leaders, P. Uthayakumar, K. Vasanthakumar, Ganapathi Rao and R. Kenghadharan as Hishammuddin said yesterday that they were no more a threat to the country.
Hishammuddin said the government had tried to be fair by releasing them as they were no more a threat to the country, and that they should be fair in their actions in future.
If Manoharan, Uthayakumar, Vasanthakumar, Ganapathi Rao and Kenghadharan are “no more a threat to the country” in the eyes of the Home Minister, then why have restrictive, unjust, undemocratic and draconian conditions been imposed on the five, disenfranchising them as free and equal Malaysian citizens in barring them from speaking freely in public, taking part in political and NGO activities, and restricting both space and time as barring them from leaving their restricted locality, to be at home every night and requiring them to report regularly to the police?
The two cousins, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Hishammuddin should realise that they are nullifying all positive benefits to the government with the release of the five Hindraf leaders with such unacceptable conditions.
I have sent a fax asking for a meeting with Hishammuddin to ask him to revoke all the restrictive conditions imposed on the Hindraf five to give full effect to his statement that they are no more a threat to the country.
Hishammuddin should also not stand on formality to revoke the ban on Hindraf as an unlawful organisation, in wanting the organisation to make an appeal to the Home Ministry to reconsider its status.
The Home Ministry never gave Hindraf “show cause” or the right to be heard before slapping a ban on it. Why must Hishammuddin now impose the condition that Hindraf should submit an appeal for the the Home Ministry to reconsider the ban?
If the Home Ministry nows holds that the five Hindraf leaders are no more a threat to the country, surely the same judgment must apply to Hindraf!
In any event, wouldn’t any appeal by anyone in the name of Hindraf to the Home Ministry for the lifting of the ban be a violation of the Home Ministry ban on anyone acting on behalf of Hindraf?
The lifting of the ban on Hindraf will be one of the subjects I want to raise with Hishammuddin when we meet.
The time has come for the Barisan Nasional government not just to tinker with the problem of the marginalisation and alienation of the Malaysian Indians after 52 years of nationhood, but to address in a bold and imaginative manner with the root causes which have given rise to the Hindraf and Makkal Sakti phenomenon.
It is indeed sad and tragic that the Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu and MIC - like their counterparts in MCA and Gerakan - had not learnt from the lessons of the political tsunami of the March 8 general election last year, or they would have raised in Cabinet and the Barisan Nasional Supreme Council concrete measures to address the long-standing political, economic, educational, social, cultural and religious polarisation and alienation of the Malaysian Indians as to become a new underclass in Malaysia.
MIC leaders and Ministers, for instance, dare not even ask for the revocation of the restrictive ISA conditions imposed on Manoharan and the other four Hindaf leaders, the lifting of the ban on Hindraf, and the establishment of a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the marginalisation of the Malaysian Indians – interested only in being a party to the unethical, undemocratic, illegal and unconstitutional power grab in Perak so that Datuk R. Ganesan of MIC’s, could lay claim to be a usurper Perak Speaker for less than 72 hours!
Will the MIC dare to raise these three issues in the Cabinet meeting tomorrow – revoke all ISA restrictions, lift the ban on Hindraf and a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the marginalisation of the Malaysian Indians?
At the meeting with Hishammuddin, I propose to discuss also the grave problem of endemic crime, the government and police failure to perform their most fundamental duty – to ensure the safety of citizens, visitors and investors – and the alarming police disregard and disrespect for human rights in the first weeks of the Najib premiership.
(Nizar pic courtesy of theSun)
IPOH, 12 May 2009: Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin has handed over a letter seeking an audience with the sultan to request for dissolution of the state assembly.
The Edge reported that the letter was handed over to Raja Muda of Perak, Raja Nazrin Shah, at 8.30am today.
Pakatan Rakyat is expected to hold a press conference at 11am.
Nizar, whom the High Court in Kuala Lumpur declared the rightful menteri besar yesterday, arrived at the state secretariat building at 7.20am together with his wife.
Speaker V Sivakumar and several executive council members had arrived much earlier to start work.
As early as 6.45am, Federal Reserve Unit trucks and light strike force personnel had set up watch at the gates of the state secretariat building.
Back to work: Nizar and his exco team along with Speaker V Sivakumar at the MB’s office this morning
Updates from Lim Kit Siang and other contacts and media sources:
1318: Blog reader R G Candiah is amazed at the Court of Appeal’s speed in hearing Zambry’s case:
I only wish that the courts act like this in all cases, super fast and super efficient. I am intrigued why in some cases, it takes months or even years, when, in the above situation and case, it only took several hours for a panel to be set up.
1253: Still no news on Nizar’s request for an audience with the Sultan to seek the dissolution of the Assembly.
1249: Ganesan has denied a web report that the BN is considering an emergency sitting of the Perak State Assembly to pass a vote of no-confidence against Nizar, according to Idham Lim.
1230: Press conference ends. Ngeh is still locked out of his room as his PA has gone to the palace in Kuala Kangsar to receive a pingat!
1215: Zambry and his team should return the salaries they have drawn over the last three months, says Ngeh, adding that the 7 May State Assembly sitting was invalid (The Star).
1145: The Court of Appeal in Putrajaya begins hearing Zambry’s application for a stay.
1134: Nizar is still at the Istana; so Ngeh is speaking at the press conference now. He announces the following:
- All 342 councillors in 14 local councils to be sworn in by tomorrow.
- 817 village heads to be reinstated.
- Ipoh Central Bus project to proceed as planned
- Sultan Azlan Shah airport to resume flights as soon as possible
- All vacancies in the Perak government will be filled up immediately
- Land office instructed to issue freehold titles
- Parking fees to be reduced t0 30 sen
- Premier University to launch in July 2009
- Sukan Perak cancelled this year; allocation to be channelled to district sports events
1130: Zambry’s application to the Court of Appeal for a stay of the High Court ruling yesterday is due to be heard now.
1128: Zambry reminds his blog readers that the Federal Court had found that the suspensions of himself and his “exco” team were not valid:
Bekas speaker V. SIvakumar pula seperti “buta undang-undang” mendakwa keputusan mahkamah tinggi semalam, mengatasi keputusan mahkamah Persekutuan yang mengistiharkan penggantungan saya serta enam exco sebagai tidak sah.
Padahal, Mahkamah Persekutuan mengatasi keputusan mahkamah Tinggi. Ini adalah antara contoh manipulasi yang dibuat oleh pakatan pembangkang.
Mereka hanya menerima keputusan undang-undang yang menyebelahi mereka dan menolak keputusan yang tidak bersama mereka. Inilah “selective justice” yang diamalkan oleh pembangkang.
1119: The press conference gets underway after journalists are allowed in.
1118: The letters of suspension of the State Secretary and the State Legal Adviser have been pinned up on notice boards around the State Secretariat building.
1110: The press are still barred from entering.
1100: All exco members, some party members and supporters are gathering at the MB’s office for the press conference.
1058: Journalists are crowding around the gate to the State Secretariat building as the press conference is due to begin at 11.00am. But the guards on duty say they will only open the gates at 11.00am.
1045: Zambry’s application for a stay, rejected by the High Court yesterday, could be heard today by the Court of Appeal, reports The Edge.
1034: Journalists are gearing up for a press conference at the State Secretariat building scheduled for 11.00am.
0950: Nizar is now at the Istana attending the investiture ceremony. He is expected to be seated in the Menteri Besar’s seat in the Balai Rong Seri, where the medals are to be awarded by Raja Nazrin. The audience with the Sultan has not yet been scheduled.
0946: Exco member Tai Sin Ng cannot get into his room either as Hamidah has not yet vacated it. He is stuck in the reception area.
0927: The MB’s secretary’s room is bare except for chairs and tables. All files are also missing. Not again!
0924: State exco members are now entering their rooms - except for Thomas Su and Seah Leong Peng, whose rooms are still locked. Their PAs are not around either.
0920: Zambry files appeal against the High Court ruling at the KL High Court registry. He has also filed a stay application against yesterday’s High Court decision at the Court of Appeal.
0911: State Exco member for Local Government Nga Kor Ming has instructed Zakuan, who is the Ketua Penolong SUK (Chief Assistant State Secretary), to appoint all 342 local councillors with immediate effect. They are expected to be sworn in by tomorrow. (Pakatan must still restore local council elections pronto!)
Some of the FRU personnel outside have started leaving.
0901: A press conference is expected to be held in the State Secretariat building at 11.00am, but the media are still locked out.
0825: Exco members are still locked out of their offices. They are waiting in the MB’s office.
0823: Exco member Thomas Su goes to his office but it is locked. His PA is not there either.
0820: Nizar’s aide has delivered a letter at the Istana regarding Nizar’s wish to seek an audience with the Sultan.
0815: Letters of suspension are served on the State Secretary and the State Legal Adviser.
0803: Nizar has left for the Istana for his first official function, the investiture ceremony at 8.30am. He is expected to put in a request for an audience with the Sultan.
Two highlighter pens, two staplers, staples, a pen-holder, some note paper: Menteri Besar yang sah Nizar at his bare desk this morning
Nizar gets past the front gate - Photo courtesy of Idham Lim
0753: Suspension letters are in the process of being served to the State Secretary and the State Legal Adviser at their respective offices in the State Secretariat.
0751: Exco members are still waiting for their keys. With them are Perak Speaker V Sivakumar and Ipoh Barat MP Kulasegaran
0747: The exco members are waiting in the MB’s office for the keys to their respective offices.
0745: The MB’s office is empty except for some stationery.
0741: They are greeted by civil servants and then enter the MB’s office.
0739: Nizar and the exco members are allowed into the building!
0738: They are stopped by police on the instruction of the suspended state secretary.
0735: Nizar arrives and walks with his exco members tothe State Secretariat building.
0733: Pakatan Rakyat exco members are gathering near the Democracy Tree to return to their rightful offices at the State Secretariat. Waiting for Nizar.
Nizar and his exco are expected to report for duty at the state government complex at 7.15am.
Meanwhile, a source tells me the police are expected to maintain their cordon around the Perak state government building for the next six days, possibly under a court injunction.
The BN is expected to file an appeal today.
A jubilant Nizar acknowledges the cheers of supporters yesterday - Photo courtesy of Harakah Daily
The historic State Assembly proceedings under the Democracy Tree on 3 March 2009
As has been the case when other seemingly “courageous” or “independent” judgments were handed down by the courts had led to such expressions of encouragement, there were those who made the point that the judiciary was praised only when it gave decisions against UMNO or the Barisan, and the governments they constitute. They ask why it is the courts are “kangaroo courts” when they decide in favour of the Barisan but not when they hand down judgments against it. In so asking, they suggest that criticism against the Judiciary and the Federal Government in this regard is unfair and self-serving as the judicial process is capable of producing judgments that run either way. To them, the good must be taken with the bad.
This line of argument deserves further consideration. In order to more fully address it, context must be appreciated and in this, there are two aspects that must be emphasized.
Firstly, our public and private lives are normalized by rules of conduct put in place by law created for that purpose. Legislature’s aim in this regard is to facilitate a harmonious society. The laws of contract, for example, codify principles that we innately understand: there must be no misrepresentation in the formation of a contract, contracts must be honoured and so on. Similarly, criminal laws entrench the principle that each of us should be allowed to live our lives ‘freely’ without interference from others. These and other laws assist in regulating that principle through, amongst other things, the protection of fundamental liberties, physical integrity, security of possessions, and ultimately the integrity of the system by which we live.
Laws have no impact unless they are enforced. It is at this juncture that the objective theory of Legislature transforms into the practical reality of action and takes the more subjective human dimension. The decision of any enforcer of the law, be it an agency or an individual, will ultimately be shaped by the reason of one or several individuals. For instance, whether the MACC chooses to take action against Khir Toyo is a matter that is determined by the top man at the MACC.
It is a given that human error will occur. It is for this reason that the courts are vested with the power to scrutinize Executive action. They stand between the citizen and arbitrary or capricious Executive action. In matters of private law, such as in the area of contract law or commercial law, judges takes on the role of ensuring normative standards are applied equally across the board in the absence of regulators.
Seen in this way, the courts, and the judges who run them, represent the ideal. Their conduct must be beyond reproach. This leads me into my second point.
It is indisputable that the Judiciary was attacked in 1988 and its independence severely undermined through a constitutional amendment that yoked it to Parliament. A questionable system of appointments and promotions that was made the subject of a damning Royal Commission of Enquiry report has further damaged the institution, as have numerous controversies and scandals, some of which have involved highly questionable decisions that have favoured the interests of the Barisan directly or indirectly.
The public viewpoint as to the state of the Judiciary cannot be dismissed for being uninformed or lacking in sophistication. In cases involving more current dimensions of our lives, a skewed decision of the courts often proclaims itself as such; it offends our moral sense. A person gets cheated and goes to court but the court decides in favour of the cheater, twisting the law to arrive at that outcome. A mother gets unjustly deprived of the custody of her children. The starkness of the wrongdoing on the part of the court is basis enough for serious concern about whether the courts are going to do the right thing or not, or whether it is even capable of doing so.
These concerns are fuelled by a failure on the part of the Federal Government to implement recommended reform measures. It appears that a lack of political will and a desire for continued Executive control over the Judiciary stands in the way. The much trumpeted Judicial Appointments Commission has not diluted in any meaningful manner the control of the Prime Minister over appointments.
The state of play is such that the average Malaysian has come to expect that cases of public interest involving the Barisan or the governments that it forms will be decided in its favour. This is the default position, a perception that the Barisan has fostered by its inaction or seeming unwillingness to act meaningfully in the face of consistent complaints about the state of the judiciary over the last two decades or so. This impression has also been nurtured by the way in which the Barisan has allowed constitutional bodies and federal agencies to conduct themselves in an apparently partisan manner, a point brought home in the course of the Perak affair.
For all of this can Malaysians be blamed when they still take cases to court despite their criticism? No, for they have no choice and they have to hope beyond hope. There have been judges, though far and few between, who have displayed the moral courage so crucial to a just decision in hard cases. They however are the exception to the rule and their principled stand cannot be translated into the standard of the entire judiciary. I appreciate that this may seem harsh for there may be other judges who do not lend themselves to any perversion of the law. Their silence or inaction will however be regrettably construed against them by Malaysians who have grown weary and are no longer tolerant of morally ambiguous positioning on the part of our institutions. For them, justice is neither a game nor a gamble.
Can Malaysians be faulted for celebrating a decision that they never thought possible in their wildest dreams, or for associating such decisions with an independent judge? I think not. It is an indisputable truth that decisions in politically sensitive cases, erroneous or otherwise, rarely favour the other side where the Barisan is involved. Their rejoicing does not make the reality any different, a point sadly underscored by quiet speculation on the part of some that the decision of the High Court yesterday may have been orchestrated as part of a political strategy.
I will concede that certain quarters have tended to ridicule judgments of the courts solely for these judgments having ruled one way rather than the other. For them, the expected outcome defines everything. If it is not disappointing then it is presumed that the process of the law was not compromised. However, if the outcome is disappointing then it is a given that the process was subverted. This cannot be the right way to look at things as, whatever the case, the process of the law is crucial.
As for the decision itself, I will refrain from too much analysis as the Barisan has appealed the matter. I will however say that given the choices the judge had, that is to decide whether a vote of confidence was essential or whether extraneous circumstances pointing to a lack of confidence were sufficient for His Highness to appoint a new Prime Minister, the judge made the more prudent and practical decision all things considered.
The state constitution does not vest His Highness the Sultan with the power to dismiss a Menteri Besar and His Highness was only required to form a view as to whether the incumbent Menteri Besar had lost the confidence of the majority. The conclusion of the judge that a vote of confidence is required is one that allows for the kind of certainty that Tun Mahathir advocates and which, given the lessons learnt over the last three months, reduces the risk of destabilizing the state. It also guards against the institution of the Sultanate being dragged into a political fracas, a situation exemplified by the appalling events in the State Assembly last Thursday.
Malik Imtiaz Sarwar
From Tengku Razaleigh’s Blog
On Feb 7, I wrote that a shameful scene was unfolding in Perak and maintained that despite the “takeover” of the state government by Barisan,
according to the Constitution, Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin is Menteri Besar until he resigns of his own accord, or is removed by a vote of no-confidence in a formal sitting of the assembly. The Constitution makes no provision for his removal by any other means, including by petitions or instructions from any other authority.
Today, after three months and yet more shameful scenes, the High Court affirmed the same elementary principle, and held that Datuk Seri Nizar has been and remains the Menteri Besar. As Justice Abdul Aziz Abd Rahim put it: “He is, and was, at all material times the chief minister of Perak.” The High Court also ordered Datuk Seri Zambry Abdul Kadir and his executive officers to vacate their offices, and rejected an application from Zambry for a stay of proceedings pending an appeal.
The High Court has thereby affirmed the primacy of the Constitution.
This judgement brings to a head some of the consequences of our constitutional misadventure in Perak.
The government led by Datuk Seri Zambry was all along illegitimate and all decisions and contracts made by that government are without legal status. The cascade of illegalities we warned of must now be unwound painfully. This includes the deplorable events of May 7 in Ipoh. It means the resolution to replace the Speaker was brought by an illegal state government.
The Sultan, and the monarchy itself, is embarrassed by this episode, as well as by a systematic programme by some to inflame this issue into one of race and treason. Such attempts only hurt the institutions they claim to protect, and they hurt Umno and BN. The real issue was always the Constitution and the Rule of Law, and the monarchy is protected in its role of upholding the primacy of the Constitution and the will of the people.
We now hope that the Sultan agrees to dissolve the Assembly. This is the decent thing to do, but also the only way out of a crisis which has already spiralled out of Perak, damaged the rule of law, compromised the judiciary, the police and the state civil service, and damaged the monarchy in public opinion.
Umno is not well served by leaders that place short term political objectives above the Constitution. Our ideals are cheated when the monarchy we claim to protect is brought down to the level of desperate political manoeuvres that discredit us at home and abroad. We have no future as a party if we are seen as being against the people rather than for them. Those unable to rise above narrow party interests to understand what happens to a country when a government loses respect for the law might still like to consider this: it is better for BN to risk state elections that we may lose rather than to lose the entire country by being seen to be opposed to decency, the rule of law, and the will of the people.
Things are looking ominous.
YAB Nizar has not been granted an audience with the regent, and we have no assurance he will be any time soon.
Surely it is not overreacting to suspect that we are seeing holding patterns and delaying tactics. Maybe there is even disagreement between father and son as to how to handle this crisis.
It saddens me to see the monarchy dredged through the mud in this way. Now, for a brief window of time, the Perak monarchy has once again the perfect reason and opportunity to redeem itself and the reputation of the monarchy nationwide: to use the recent court ruling as a basis to dissolve the state assembly.
Perhaps some will argue of the need to go through the entire legal appeal process, which may drag on indefinitely. Others say certain elements of the monarchy are biased towards one party or another.
In truth, I don’t have any problems with these things in and of themselves. We can respect the judicial process, and even allow for freedom of political association.
But the question Raja Nazrin must answer to his conscience and to all the people of Malaysia is: is it morally right to deny the people of Perak fresh elections?
Can Raja Nazrin posit a single objective, rational argument as to how the best interests of the Perak rakyat are served by *not* having fresh snap elections at this point?
If he cannot, then try as we might, it will be impossible to tell people that the monarchy is not aligned to certain vested interests; that it has not placed the needs of its subjects below other opaque needs.
I never expect people to act outside their self interest, especially people in positions of power. But surely anyone can see that the long term interests of the Perak monarchy are best served by serving best the interests of the Perak people, via dissolution of the state assembly. Any other conclusion regrettably suggests short-sightedness and fuels persistent and unfading rumours (think Altantuya) of factors purposely kept secret from the public.
It bears repeating, ad nausuem, and until the point is heard clearly: Snap elections are the only neutral, fair solution that will grant morally consistent, politically viable and democratically sound satisfaction to every single stakeholder in the current Perak crisis.
We are open to hear any and all arguments to the contrary. Whatever legal jargon, whatever old records people want to spin about crossovers, etc, we invite Najib, Zambry, and any single soul who is against snap elections now, to produce a reasoned argument - any reasoned argument at all - as to how snap elections do not provide fair and neutral satisfaction to all parties involved.
Failing which, it will fall upon the rakyat to assume that we are being oppressed and robbed of justice, to remember the actions of our leaders for all eternity, and to act accordingly to defend our democratic rights.
YM Raja Nazrin, I have no doubt that you and your family know what the right course of action is. Do right by your subjects in their hour of need, ensure the good name of yourself and your royal house forever.
Update: Tulang Besi offers one other viable solution - have the three (maybe even four) jumpers resign their seats and have by-elections in those three constituencies. Not ideal, but acceptable!
Its president, Datuk M. Kayveas said he would give the name of the candidate to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak soon.
"We will suggest a more senior member, we must follow the hierarchy. When we give a junior member it will create problems," he told reporters after attending the opening of the 63rd Umno anniversary celebration here Monday night.
Last Saturday, Kayveas announced that Murugiah was expelled as he was alleged to have been involved in money politics and was accused of challenging the party presidency in the PPP elections next month.
TEHRAN, Iran (CNN) -- Iran has released imprisoned Iranian-American journalist Roxana Saberi, her lawyer said Monday.
Roxana Saberi records video in Tehran, Iran, in a photo taken in September 2003.
Saberi, 32, was convicted last month on espionage charges in a one-day trial that was closed to the public. She was sentenced to eight years in prison. She denies the charges.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton confirmed the release, and said the U.S. government is "heartened" by the development.
Clinton added, however, that the United States continues to "take issue" with the charges initially brought against Saberi, who is expected to leave Tehran within the next several days.
Earlier, Saberi's father, Reza Saberi, said her release was imminent, and that he had signed paperwork.
"We are very happy with the news," he told CNN. "We were hoping for it."
Iran's state-run news agency IRNA, citing a judiciary spokesman, reported that the verdict against Roxana Saberi was "reversed in the appeal court and she is to be freed."
Her sentence has been changed to a two-year jail term suspended for five years, IRNA reported.
State-run Press TV, citing "officials close to the case," reported that the suspended sentence "will be automatically abolished if Saberi shows no unlawful conduct in the next five years."
"So, practically, she is free as of today," Reza Saberi said.
The family will return to the United States "as soon as we can make arrangements for the trip," he said.
The change came a day after Iran's court of appeals held a five-hour session on the case.
The court agreed with Saberi's lawyers that Iran is not at war with the United States -- and that therefore Saberi cannot be punished for cooperating with agents of a nation at war with Iran, according to Khorramshahi.
Saberi was detained in January after initially being accused of buying a bottle of wine and working as a journalist without proper accreditation, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, an advocacy group.
Saberi has lived in Iran since 2003 and reported for international news organizations, including National Public Radio, the BBC and ABC News until her press credentials were revoked in 2006, the Committee to Protect Journalists said. She continued to file short news items, according to NPR.
"Without press credentials and under the name of being a reporter, she was carrying out espionage activities," Hassan Haddad, a deputy public prosecutor, told the Iranian Student's News Agency.
Authorities said Saberi confessed. Her father has said he thinks she was coerced into making damaging statements.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sent a letter last month to Tehran's prosecutor calling for justice in the cases of Saberi and another detained journalist, Hossein Derakhshan, state-run news agency IRNA reported. Derakhshan is an Iranian-Canadian blogger who has been imprisoned in the country since November.
Reporters Without Borders, a group that fights for journalists' rights worldwide, says Derakhshan was sentenced to four years in prison for disseminating the views of one ayatollah and for "publicity against the government."
Saberi went on a two-week hunger strike to protest her detention, but ended it last Monday after her parents visited her in prison and pleaded with her to stop, Reza Saberi told CNN.
At one point during the hunger strike, she was hospitalized and fed intravenously, her father said. "She was very desperate to get out. ... She was quite relieved to know that the whole world is supporting her."
Saberi's case has prompted denunciations from President Obama, as well as other U.S. and international officials.
The whole experience has been "very depressing" for her, and she has gone through a great deal of frustration, Saberi's father said Monday. "It will take some time before she can overcome it."
He added, "it's not the (Iranian) people -- they are very friendly. We don't understand why it happened."
Journalist advocacy groups welcomed Saberi's release.
"We are thrilled that Roxana Saberi has been released from prison and look forward to welcoming her home," said Joel Simon, executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists, in a written statement. "But this is also a moment to reflect on the difficult conditions that Iranian journalists endure every day. Several Iranian journalists remain jailed today. We urge they be given the same opportunity for judicial review that was afforded to Roxana Saberi.""The appeal court's decision to free her can be used as a legal precedent for other journalists currently detained in Iran," said Reporters Without Borders in a statement. "The fact nonetheless remains that, despite her innocence, she is still regarded as guilty by the Iranian authorities. ... The sentence is still unjust, as is the ban on her working as a journalist in Iran."
KUALA LUMPUR, May 11 – The Regent of Perak Raja Nazrin Shah has agreed to see Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin, who was today declared the legitimate mentri besar of Perak by a Kuala Lumpur High Court.
Nizar will meet the Regent at 8.30am tomorrow to ask for the dissolution of the Perak state legislative assembly to pave the way for a fresh state election, according to several Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders including Sungkai assemblyman S. A. Sivanesan.
“I just talked with Nizar and he confirmed to me that he has secured an audience with the Regent at 8.30am,” Sivanesan told The Malaysian Insider.
“Nizar will request for dissolution of the legislature for a fresh election,” Sivanesan said adding he hoped the request is not rejected. “Nizar has the legitimate right now that he is the legitimate mentri besar to request for dissolution.”
Sultan Azlan Shah, PR leaders said, is in the United States.
PR assemblymen are also meeting from 11pm tonight to strategise their plans for Tuesday even as the Barisan Nasional (BN) rush to court on tomorrow to set aside the declaration that Nizar is the rightful mentri besar.
Tomorrow is set to be a climatic day with the royal audience, BN rushing to court and Nizar trying to enter his office with police already surrounding the state secretariat building since 4pm today.
Justice Abdul Aziz Rahim declared today that a mentri besar can only be removed by a vote of confidence on the floor of the state assembly.
KUALA LUMPUR, May 12 – To Datuk Seri Najib Razak, the High Court’s declaration that Pakatan Rakyat’s (PR) Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin is the rightful Perak mentri besar is a dark day in Umno’s history.
Addressing the guests at a dinner here last night to celebrate Umno’s 63rd anniversary, the Umno president said: “Tonight’s celebration has been tarnished by today’s court decision. The courts has banned Umno before but we rose and created a new Umno that is stronger.’’
Najib told the audience that Umno had a long history of service to the people but the younger generation had forgotten about the party’s contributions.
He said that the younger generation only read about Umno’s deeds in textbooks but are not able to relate to it.
“Because of Umno, people are now open minded and critical. Their minds are open because of our education policies. People are tired of rhetoric and would like to see what we have to offer of our future.
“We must change in accordance to our constitution and national principles. We live in a multi-racial country and Umno must not only get the support of Malays but also our partners in Barisan Nasional,” he explained.
Najib also emphasised that the party must listen to the people and that its leaders must accept Umno’s new culture.
“Umno’s new culture is the willingness to serve the interests of the people first, be humble and visit the grassroots,’’ he explained.
Najib reminded Umno leaders that they must not underestimate the value of good deeds as people will always remember them.Borrowing from – but contradicting – Shakespeare, “... when Marc Anthony buried Julius Caesar: The evil that men do lives after them; ‘The good is oft interred with their bones’,” Najib added: “I do not agree with Shakespeare because mankind will always value the good.”
Jika Nizar digulingkan menerusi undi tidak percaya dari Sidang DUN yang dipanggil oleh speaker yang dilantik BN, apa akan terjadi jika kemudiannya mahkamah memutuskan Sivakumar masih speaker yang sah, sama seperti Nizar.”
“Ini kerana Baginda telah menolak nama Idris Jusoh yang dicadangkan oleh Perdana Menteri Najib yang mahu mengangkat Idris ke dalam kabinet Malaysia. Tujuan Najib ialah untuk menenangkan Idris dan penyokongnya setelah Idris diketepikan oleh Istana dari terus menjawat jawatan MB Terengganu.”
YB. Dato’ Seri Mohamed Nizar Jamaluddin, Menteri Besar Perak yang sah akan mengadap YTM Raja Muda Perak jam 8.30 pagi ini, 12 Mei 2009.
YB. Nizar akan memaklumkan keputusan mahkamah dan berkemungkinan besar akan memohon agar Dewan Undangan Negeri Perak dibubarkan.
Berkemungkinan Dewan Undangan Negeri Perak akan dibubarkan dan berkemungkinan pada 13 Mei 2009, SPR akan mengesahkan bahawa telah menerima makluman pembubaran Dewan Undangan Negeri Perak.
Jadi, mungkin 13 Mei 2009, satu nafas baru kepada demokrasi apabila melihat urusan pemilihan sesebuah kerajaan dikembalikan kepada rakyat.
Tapi mungkin 13 Mei 2009, BN akan cuba memanggil satu sidang DUN tergempar menerusi Speaker yang dilantik oleh ADUN BN, Dato’ Ganesan supaya satu usul undi tidak percaya dapat dibuat terhadap YB. Nizar. BN pasti menang.
Tetapi apakah ini akan menyelesaikan masalah? Speaker asal, YB. Sivakumar yakin dia masih Speaker yang sah. Bererti Sivakumar pasti akan mendapatkan perintah mahkamah bagi memastikan kepentingannya dan Pakatan Rakyat terbela.
Jika Nizar digulingkan menerusi undi tidak percaya dari Sidang DUN yang dipanggil oleh speaker yang dilantik BN, apa akan terjadi jika kemudiannya mahkamah memutuskan Sivakumar masih speaker yang sah, sama seperti Nizar.
Persoalan pertama, sanggupkah BN hidup dengan persepsi suka bertindak mengikut undang-undang rimba sehingga menyusahkan semua pihak.
Kedua, sanggupkah bekas MB haram BN, YB. Zambry terus bergelumang dengan lawak borianya dan berdepan dengan kemungkinan kehilangan jawatan MB kali kedua menerusi proses perundangan?
Keputusan untuk menamatkan segala ketidak ketentuan ini terletak pada kuasa istana Perak.
Krisis UMNO Terengganu dengan YDP Agong
Istana tidak boleh mengharapkan UMNO untuk membelanya. Lihat sahaja apa yang sedang berlaku di Terengganu.
Dikhabarkan, Idris Jusoh amat geram dengan DYMM Seri Paduka Baginda Yang DiPertuan Agong.
Ini kerana Baginda telah menolak nama Idris Jusoh yang dicadangkan oleh Perdana Menteri Najib yang mahu mengangkat Idris ke dalam kabinet Malaysia. Tujuan Najib ialah untuk menenangkan Idris dan penyokongnya setelah Idris diketepikan oleh Istana dari terus menjawat jawatan MB Terengganu.
Akibat penolakkan oleh Istana itu, Idris nekad mahu menggulingkan Ahmad Said Menteri Besar pilihan Istana Terengganu. Maka berlakulah apa yang kita semua tahu sehinggakan hari ini waran tangkap dikeluarkan ke atas bekas setiausaha politik Idris Jusoh sewaktu beliau menjadi MB Terengganu.
Sekali lagi polemik politik UMNO telah mencemarkan Istana.
Mengapa UMNO tidak mengambil tindakan kepada Idris Jusoh dan YB-YBnya yang tidak henti-henti menderhaka. Tidak cukup memanggil Tuanku YDP Agong sebagai ‘Natang’ atau ‘animal’, hari ini mereka mahu pula mengajar Tuanku.
Raja Nazrin perlu mengambil langkah penting mempertahankan sendiri kedaulatan Raja-Raja dengan menyerahkan hak kembali kepada rakyat. Insyaallah, istana Terengganu akan menyusur kemudian jika ada yang berani memulakannya.
Kedaulatan sebenar terletak pada kesetiaan dan cinta rakyat pada Baginda Tuanku.
Yang patut harus disegerakan. Yang muda memimpin yang tua.
Even after becoming a "general hospital", it continued making news for wrong amputations and for plaster casts on the wrong leg. While all these were "visible" actions, Malaysians were given an insight into the ills and the shortcomings of what goes on behind the scenes.
Last week, at the inquest into the death of K. Sujatha, two doctors testified that they could not confirm what actually happened to the samples taken from the actress. First, Dr Vengkata Prathab said he ordered samples of blood, urine and gastric lavage to be taken from the actress on the first day she was warded at the hospital’s emergency ward on June 19, 2007.
"I had ordered these samples to be taken immediately after she arrived at the emergency ward. However, doctors who treated her at the normal ward did not receive the report on the tests," he was quoted as telling the inquest.
The results of the samples, he said, were crucial to conclude conclusively that the patient died due to poisoning. It was not an isolated case either. Dr Prathab told the coroner that personally, he had a bad experience when samples taken from his mother were also reported missing.
Medical officer Dr Lim Ai Wei testified that she had taken urine samples of Sujatha to check for traces of paraquat. "When I failed to receive the result, the following day, I personally went to the lab (laboratory) to check what had happened. But staff at the lab claimed that they did not receive the sample from the ward where Sujatha was treated," she explained.
The doctor testified that she was instructed by another doctor, Dr S.P. Sakthiveloo not to ask Sujatha about her last period or whether she was pregnant, in order to complete the required documentation.
But Dr Prathab put a caveat: Although such cases occurred occasionally, doctors should not be singled out for blame as it involved several departments of the hospital. So, while we cannot blame the doctors whose primary aim is to alleviate pain and save lives, who is to blame for the missing samples?
The case of missing samples would have been dismissed as yet another routine happening in the hospital but it underscores a major flaw in the administration. What happens when a doctor reports a major shortcoming in the system? Is action taken to trace the source of the fault or is it treated just as "another" event which no one should be bothered about?
Herein lies the Malaysian malaise of sweeping everything under the carpet as if the problem never occurred. Herein lie the symptoms of what goes on in most government departments. Herein lies the apathy and the tidak apa attitude of those charged with running the hospital.
Was there an inquiry into the missing samples? While doctors who had no hand in the missing samples face the firing squad when examined and cross-examined, those responsible for the loss twiddle their thumbs and mentally pray to the Almighty that they are not issued subpoenas to give testimony.
So, what is going to happen next? Is the hospital director going to wash his hands and say: "It does not matter anymore" or is he going to institute measures which will prevent a recurrence? Will he tell us of the procedures in place or will he remain silent and say it’s "under the Official Secrets Act"? Will those responsible for dereliction of their duties be pulled up or will they be told to be "more careful in future"?
Your guess is as good as mine.