PH slams Ali Rustam for dissolving state assembly

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Melaka governor Mohd Ali Rustam should have studied and abided by the Melaka state constitution before deciding to dissolve the state assembly, the Pakatan Harapan presidential council said today.

In a statement, PKR president Anwar Ibrahim, Amanah president Mohamad Sabu, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng and Upko president Wilfred Madius Tangau said Ali should have also met with the 15 assemblymen who claim to have the majority to form the state government.

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Ali dissolved the state assembly yesterday after the announcement that four assemblymen had retracted support for Umno’s Sulaiman Md Ali as chief minister, leaving Sulaiman’s government with only 13 seats in the 28-seat assembly.

“PH is of the view that the governor had dissolved the state assembly based on wrong advice from a chief minister who had lost the support of the majority of the state assemblymen,” the council said.

“Based on the Melaka state constitution, the withdrawal of support by the four state assemblymen meant that the chief minister had effectively lost his position and qualification to advise the governor.

“Unfortunately, the governor’s action has also violated the precedent Melaka itself set in 2020, when the advice of the then chief minister (Adly Zahari) to dissolve the state assembly was not accepted after he lost his majority.”

The council added that yesterday’s decision was also not in line with the Federal Court’s precedent in the Nizar Jamaluddin v Zambry Abdul Kadir case.

They were referring to the dismissal of Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin as menteri besar of Perak in February 2009 after the sultan came to the conclusion that he had lost majority support, based on extraneous factors.

The Ruler had interviewed all 59 assemblymen and received letters and statutory declarations to conclude that Nizar no longer enjoyed the support of the majority to remain in his position.

The High Court had initially ruled that Nizar could only be removed by a motion of no confidence on the floor of the state assembly and he was reinstated as menteri besar.

However, in 2010, a five-member Federal Court bench ruled that the loss of confidence in the menteri besar of Perak may not only be established through a vote in the state legislative assembly.

The PH presidential council said it regrets that the move to dissolve the state assembly has paved the way for state elections to be held, which the council felt could threaten the lives of the rakyat amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a press conference on Tuesday, state assembly speaker Ab Rauf Yusoh said Melaka would go to the polls in a snap election in 60 days after Ali dissolved the state assembly. – FMT