Saturday, 15 August 2015

Toppling government through non-violence is constitutional, say lawyers

A Federal Court ruling has allowed for the removal of the chief executive of a state without having to take a vote of no confidence in the legislature, constitutional lawyers said.

They said instead, statutory declarations (SD) from majority elected representatives to remove the government was constitutional as declared by the highest court of the land in 2010.

Lawyer Edmund Bon said a five-man Federal Court bench led by current Chief Justice Tun Arifin Zakaria had approved this procedure in the Perak case of Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin versus Datuk Seri Zambry Abdul Kadir.

Barisan Nasional (BN) had in 2009 submitted 31 SDs from 28 BN assemblymen and 3 opposition representatives who were BN-friendly to convince the ruler of Perak that Nizar, who was then the mentri besar, had lost the majority support of the assemblymen.
  
"The chief political executive (prime minister, mentris besar and chief ministers) can be removed if the appointing authority finds the incumbent no longer enjoys the confidence of the majority," he told The Malaysian Insider.

Bon, who was in the legal team that appeared for Nizar, however, said that most constitutional lawyers and academics was still of the opinion that the better option was to take a vote of no-confidence in the legislature.

He said this in response to Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi's revelation earlier today that an Umno leader was behind a plot to topple the government with the support of opposition lawmakers.

Zahid, who is also home minister, said he had learned that they were preparing statutory declarations (SDs) ‎to remove the government of Datuk Seri Najib Razak. – August 15, 2015.

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