May 31, 2009

Penanti: Dr Mansor wins with 6,052 votes out of 7,100

PKR's Dr Mansor Othman has won 6,052 of the 7,100 votes cast in the Penanti by-election. He is trailed by Independents Nai Khan Ari (494), Aminah Abdullah (392) and Kamarul Ramizu Idris (56).

(Malaysiakini) Mansor wins the seat by garnering 6,052 votes. His nearest rival is Nai Khan with 494, followed by Aminah with 392. Kamarul obtained 56 votes.

Mansor's majority is 5,558 votes. All three independents lost their deposits.

The win for Mansor - after a series of three previous electoral defeats - now opens the door for him to be appointed as the Penang deputy chief minister (1).

A blog entry by DAP leader Lim Kit Siang, whose son Guan Eng is the chief minister, said that Mansor will be sworn in on Wednesday.

Only 7,100 people cast their votes in what is clearly a historic low turnout - standing at only 46.15 percent. There were a total of 15,384 registered voters in the constituency.

Nai Khan had done very well in two polling areas - Teluk Wang which has many Thai residents and Sungai Lembu, a Gerakan stronghold.

Nai Khan is the first Thai descendant to contest in an election in Malaysia. He is also a former Penang Gerakan Youth leader.

In Teluk Wang, Nai Khan obtained 154 votes as opposed to Mansor's 180, Aminah, 21, and Kamarul, 1.

In Sungai Lembu, Nai Khan garnered 102 votes, coming behind Mansor's 258. Aminah and Kamarul gained two votes each.

Aminah did well in the Malay areas of Mengkuang, Kuala Mengkuang and Guar Perahu.

She also won the battle for the postal votes by getting 12, followed by Kamarul, 7, Mansor, 2, and Nai Khan, 0.

May 22, 2009

Appeal Court : Zambry declared rightful Perak MB

The Court of Appeal has declared Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir the rightful mentri besar of Perak in a unanimous decision. It granted Zambry his appeal against an earlier High Court decision declaring Datuk Seri Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin as the rightful Mentri Besar of Perak.

(Malaysiakini) The appellate court today allowed an appeal by Barisan Nasional's Zambry Abd Kadir to reverse the Kuala Lumpur High Court decision that had declared Pakatan Rakyat leader Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin as the rightful menteri besar of Perak.

And in the process the court ruled that Zambry was the legitimate Perak menteri besar.

Justice Md Raus Sharif - who is leading a three-member bench - said this was an unanimous decision by the Court of Appeal. The other judges in the panel were Justices Zainun Ali and Ahmad Maarop.

The courtroom was silent when the judgment was read out.

Nizar was represented by a team of eight lawyers led by Sulaiman Abdullah while senior lawyer Cecil Abraham appeared for Zambry.

Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail - who stood as an intervener - was also present. Lawyers Mohd Hafarizam Harun, Firoz Hussein Ahmad Jamaluddin and M Reza Hassan held a watching brief for BN.

On May 11, Kuala Lumpur High Court judge Abdul Aziz Abd Rahim proclaimed Nizar as the rightful menteri besar.

He ruled that the Sultan of Perak could not dismiss the menteri besar.

Zambry had appealed against that decision.

Nizar can appeal today's decision to the Federal Court.

May 18, 2009

PM Najib : No contest from BN for Penanti by-election

The Barisan Nasional has decided not to contest the May 31 by-election in Penanti, coalition chairman Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced on Monday. “We feel it is an unnecessary by-election; we will not join in the Opposition’s political games,” he said after chairing a Barisan supreme council meeting.

(Malaysiakini) Barisan Nasional will not be contesting in the Penanti by-election on May 31, announced Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak today.

The decision was made following a BN supreme council meeting chaired by Najib this afternoon.

The decision was not a major surprise as Najib had previously indicated that the ruling coalition was not interested in 'wasting public funds' by taking part in the by-election.

The seat fell vacant following the resignation of the former Penang Deputy Chief Minister (I), PKR's Mohammad Fairus Khairuddin. PKR has already named Mansor Othman as its candidate.

Several independents are expected to contest for the seat. Nomination day is on May 23.

'Our focus is on public service

Talking to reporters after a two-hour meeting, Najib said the Penanti seat did not become vacant as necessitated by law but was instead due to PKR wanting to resolve its internal problems.

The vacancy is also because of a political game by the opposition, he added.

"BN's focus is on serving the people and reviving the nation's economy. Thus, we decided not to field a candidate," he said.

Najib said that the decision not to contest was unanimous and he was made to understand that this was not the first time that BN would not be contesting in a by-election, but did not elaborate.

On possible disappointment by BN supporters, Najib said that they would understand that the party was avoiding being part of an opposition gimmick and that the party’s interest was above all else

May 14, 2009

Tun Mahathir : Pakatan will win Perak snap elections

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today admitted the Pakatan Rakyat will sweep Perak if fresh elections are called but recommended the state assembly meets to decide on the mentri besar post.

"It’s not good for the world to see the musical chairs in Perak where the MB is changing because of the decision of the courts," Dr Mahathir said.

When asked if the current impasse in Perak would affect the ruling Barisan Nasional's chances in the next elections, he said: "I hope people will have short memories.

(Malaysiakini) Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said Pakatan Rakyat would win a snap state election in Perak and thus he is against it being held to resolve the political impasse.

"I think the opposition... well, not the opposition... I think Pakatan is going to win. So why have an election? We already had an election," Mahathir told reporters in Cyberjaya today.

Mahathir added that in addition to the fact that the result would be a foregone conclusion, the election would also be a waste of public money.

"The voters had previously decided, but then we had some defections," he said.

He, however, welcomed Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's willingness to talk with Pakatan to overcome the crisis.

Earlier today, Najib said that he was willing to meet Pakatan on the proviso that there are no pre-set conditions for the talks.

May 12, 2009

PM Najib reiterated there will be No snap elections in Perak

Prime Minister Datuk Najib Tun Razak has ruled out on calling for snap election to solve the current deadlock problem in Perak.
(Malaysiakini) Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak today reiterated Barisan Nasional's stand in facing the Perak crisis by saying that the coalition would follow the proper process of law in taking control of the state.

He also ruled out on calling for a snap state election in the state, stating that such a thing was the prerogative of the sultan.

"Our next course of action will be up to Zambry... but we will respect the procedure of the law," he told reporters after a function in Kuala Lumpur.

He also refused to answer if the recent happenings in Perak would be discussed at the Umno supreme council meeting.

When asked when the supreme council would be sitting next, Najib said: "I will have to check my diary."

Earlier today BN's Perak Menteri Besar Zambry Abd Kadir got a stay order from the Court of Appeal against the High Court ruling yesterday which pronounced Pakatan Rakyat's Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin as the rightful MB.

The state had had a change on menteri besar in the past 24 hours with Zambry back in the hot seat again pending his appeal. No date has been fixed to hear his appeal.

All along Najib and BN had been reluctant in seeking the dissolution of the state assembly for fresh state elections.

Nizar and Pakatan on the other hand have been seeking for dissolution so that the people can decide on who can be their menteri besar.

The Sultan of Perak however has rejected Nizar's call for dissolution and had appointed Zambry as the new menteri besar following the defection of three Pakatan elected representatives to become BN-friendly representatives.

Zambry gets a stay order from High Court

The Court of Appeal grants Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir his application for a stay of execution on the KL High Court ruling yesterday that declared Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin the righful mentri besar of Perak. Nizar is seeking royal consent to dissolve the State Legislative Assembly to pave the way for fresh state elections. Stay tuned here for ongoing developments.

(Malaysiakini) The Court of Appeal has granted a stay application to Zambry Abd Kadir against a High Court decision yesterday which proclaimed Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin as the rightful Perak menteri besar.

The stay would put on hold the decision of the High Court pending an appeal by Zambry. He had filed his appeal this morning and it will be heard at an earliest date possible.

The decision has once again put the political situation in Perak in a limbo with both Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat fighting one another to become the menteri besar.

Court of Appeal judge Ramly Mohd Ali heard the stay application on his own, departing from the usual three-member panel. Such a departure is acceptable and has been done previously for various grounds.

Zambry's lawyers argued that the stay was important to stop Nizar from trying seek the approval of the Perak sultan to dissolve the state assembly.

His lead counsel Cecil Abraham added that if dissolution was granted, Zambry's appeal would be academic.

Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail supported the motion. He also argued that the suspension of state secretary and state legal advisor by Nizar late last night was illegal as these were federal appointments.

Nizar's lawyer Sulaiman Abdullah urged the court to fix an early date for appeal.

Counsel Cecil and Sunil Abraham represented Zambry. Also present with Abdul Gani Patail was head of the AG’s Chambers’ prosecution division, Abdul Majid Hamzah.

BN and Umno lawyers, Hafarizam Harun and Firoz Hussein Ahmad Jamaluddin, are holding a watching brief.

Nizar was represented by Sulaiman, Ranjit Singh and Edmund Bon.

Also present 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 it.

Sulaiman meanwhile said he has to take instructions from Nizar on the next steps.

May 11, 2009

High Court : Nizar is the rightful Mentri Besar

The Kuala Lumpur High Court today paved the way for a fresh round of battle in Perak by declaring that BN's Zambry Abd Kadir was not the legitimate menteri besar of Perak. The Kuala Lumpur High Court has also ordered Barisan Nasional MB Zambry Abdul Kadir and his six executive councillors to vacate their posts with immediate effect.

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court here ruled rule on Monday that Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin is the rightful Perak Mentri Besar, and not Barisan Nasional’s Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir.

In an immediate response, Zambry said he would apply for a stay pending appeal. This was rejected by the court.

Nizar immediately left the courtroom immediately after a press conference to travel to Ipoh where he will seek an audience with the Sultan of Perak, Sultan Azlan Shah, to get his consent to dissolve the Assembly and call for fresh state elections.

In his ruling Monday, Justice Abdul Aziz Abd Rahim said that a new mentri besar could not be appointed as the office had not been vacated.

He said a mentri besar can only be dismissed by a vote of no confidence, and upheld the Stephen Kalong Ningkan ruling.

He noted that the Perak State Legislative did not hold a vote of no confidence.

In 1966, Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Stephen Kalong Ningkan was ousted when the state governor showed him a letter of no confidence issued by 21 out of 42 legislators and asked Ningkan to resign.

Ningkan refused, saying the letters were not tantamount to a vote of no confidence in the state legislative assembly. He was sacked by the governor but eventually reinstated by the Borneo High Court, which saw the necessity of a formal vote of no confidence.

According to the Nutgraph, the judge ruled ruled that the governor can only dismiss the chief minister when both these conditions are satisfied:

(a) The chief minister has lost the confidence of the House, and

(b) The chief minister has refused to resign and failed to advise a dissolution.

Nizar had filed for a judicial review on Feb 13, seeking a declaration that he is the rightful mentri besar of Perak and an injunction to bar Dr Zambry from discharging his duties as the mentri besar.

On March 6, Justice Lau Bee Lan had ruled that there were constitutional issues involving the interpretation of Article 16 (6) of the Perak Constitution and later referred four consitutional questions to the Federal Court for determination.

However, on March 23, the Federal Court ruled that the case of who the rightful mentri besar is should be heard by the High Court.

Nizar’s lead counsel Sulaiman Abdullah, in wrapping up his submissions last week, said the Constitution was the “genius of the Malaysian people”, adding that the court had a duty to uphold it. Over the last few days, he had submitted that the Sultan, while granted powers in the Perak Constitution to appoint a mentri besar, could not dismiss him.

The only way Nizar could be dismissed, he said, was through a vote of no-confidence in the House.

He also said that a mentri besar could request for the State Assembly to be dissolved in the middle of a term without losing the confidence of the majority of the House.

Dr Zambry’s lawyer Datuk Cecil Abraham, however, argued that Nizar went by Article 16(6) of the Perak Constitution when he sought an audience with the Sultan – this article specifically provides for the mentri besar to request for a dissolution when he has lost the confidence of the majority in the House.

Under the article, Nizar is required to tender the resignation of his executive councillors when his request was rejected, he said.

May 6, 2009

Tun Mahathir : Sultan has no power to remove MB

Tun Mahathir gave his opinion on the current MBs crisis in Perak. He said that the elected MB can only be removed by vote of no-confidence in the legislative assembly. However, he refused to comment when asked if he thought that Zambry's appointment was legitimate.

(Malaysiakini) Dr Mahathir Mohamad today delivered a potential hammer blow to Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak by stating that an elected head of a state government cannot be removed by a sultan.

Instead, the former prime minister said that the elected head of a state government can only be removed by a vote of no-confidence in the legislative assembly.

However, Mahathir was quick to add that the situation in Perak was different.

While he did not explain how it was different, the former premier could have been alluding to the ongoing court case to determine the legitimate menteri besar in Perak.

The state has been undergoing political turmoil ever since the Perak sultan ordered the Pakatan Rakyat Menteri Besar Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin to resign in February, following the coalition's drop in numbers in the assembly as a result of three defections.

The sultan had then agreed to the appointment of Barisan Nasional's Zambry Abd Kadir as menteri besar - a move which resulted in political and administrative chaos in the state.

A state assembly sitting is to take place tomorrow during which Zambry is expected to consolidate his position as the menteri besar.

However Pakatan representatives are equally adamant in that they will not give up power.

May 5, 2009

Former PM Abdullah made adviser to Malaysian Airlines

Former premier Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has been appointed as an adviser to national carrier Malaysian Airlines (MAS), a month after stepping down from office. Former prime ministers are traditionally given advisory positions in government-linked companies in Malaysia. Abdullah's predecessor Mahathir Mohamad was made an adviser to national oil company Petronas and automaker Proton after stepping down in 2003.

KUALA LUMPUR - Former Malaysian premier Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has been appointed as an adviser to national carrier Malaysian Airlines, a month after stepping down from office, the airline said Tuesday.

"The board welcomes (Abdullah) with his wide experience and extensive contacts, to this non-executive appointment and looks forward to a beneficial association with him," the airline's chairman Munir Majid said in a statement.

Abdullah resigned last month in favour of his deputy Najib Razak, forced to bow out after a disastrous performance in general elections a year ago.

Former prime ministers are traditionally given advisory positions in government-linked companies in Malaysia.

Abdullah's predecessor Mahathir Mohamad was made an adviser to national oil company Petronas and automaker Proton after stepping down in 2003.

Mahathir, who publicly undermined Abdullah and helped hasten his departure, retains his role with Petronas, which gives him arguably one of Kuala Lumpur's best offices, a top floor in the Petronas Twin Towers.

Abdullah is also expected to work on Islamic think tanks and help build closer relations with Middle-East countries, an official in the new premier's office said on condition on anonymity.