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NST Online » NewsBreak
2009/02/05
PERAK IN CRISIS: Nizar joins Ningkan as the defiant ones
Bernama
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KUALA LUMPUR, Thurs:

Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin is not the first menteri besar or chief minister who refused to step down after no longer able to command the confidence of the House under certain circumstances.

In Malaysia’s political history, there was a menteri besar and a chief minister who had refused to do so previously.

First was Stephen Kalong Ningkan who served as the first chief minister of Sarawak between July 1963 and September 1966.

Ningkan is probably best known for triggering the first constitutional crisis in the country when he refused to vacate his office after being dismissed by the Yang Dipertua Negeri or Sarawak Governor at that time.

As leader of the state legislature, he was said to have ceased to command the confidence of the majority of the council and the governor proceeded to appoint a new chief minister.
Ningkan’s refusal to vacate his office, resulted in a constitutional impasse that he was perceived to threaten the fragile unity of Malaysia, barely three years after its formation on Sept 16, 1963.

On Sept 14, 1966, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong proclaimed a state of emergency in Sarawak on the basis that its security was threatened by the constitutional crisis.

Ningkan appealed against his dismissal all the way to the Privy Council in London, Malaysia’s then final appellate court, but lost his appeal for a declaration that he was still chief minister of Sarawak.

Another case involved the then-Kelantan menteri besar, Mohamed Nasir, in 1977, who had ignored efforts to remove him from office for defying party instructions.

He was removed from office after demonstrations that degenerated to violence and looting, prompting the Federal Government, at the behest of the King, to declare emergency rule in the state.

Today, the Sultan of Perak, Sultan Azlan Shah ordered Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin and his state executive councillors to step down with immediate effect, failing which the posts are considered vacant.

The Office of the Sultan of Perak issued a statement after His Majesty met all the 28 Barisan Nasional (BN) assemblymen and the three independents that the Sultan was convinced that Mohammad Nizar had ceased to command the confidence of the majority of the state assembly members.

 



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