Updated 7.54pm, 12 May 2009
PUTRAJAYA, 12 May 2009: The Court of Appeal today granted Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir a stay of execution on the High Court’s decision declaring his opponent, Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin, as the legitimate Perak menteri besar.
Zambry As such, Zambry remains the Perak MB until the court disposes his appeal against the High Court decision yesterday.
In granting the stay, Court of Appeal judge Datuk Ramly Ali said the court would fix an early date to hear Zambry’s appeal.
He said he was satisfied that there were special circumstances to grant the stay as Zambry’s appeal would be rendered worthless if the stay was not granted.
“This is a very unique case as it does not only involve Zambry and Mohammad Nizar but also the entire Perak state,” he said, reports Bernama.
Ramly said that based on previous court practice, the court had jurisdiction to grant the stay order since a notice of appeal had been filed.
He made the decision after hearing submissions for about one hour from Zambry’s counsel, Datuk Cecil Abraham, Mohammad Nizar’s counsel Sulaiman Abdullah and Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail, for the Government.
He, however, refused Sulaiman’s request for certain conditions to be attached to the stay order.
Yesterday, High Court judge Abdul Aziz Abdul Rahim declared Nizar as the rightful menteri besar after ruling that he (Nizar) had not vacated the office of menteri besar since he had not lost the majority confidence of the state legislative assembly.
On 13 Feb, Nizar, 52, filed an application to the court for a declaration that he is at all material times the rightful menteri besar of Perak, and an injunction to bar Zambry from discharging his duties as the menteri besar.
Nizar, who was appointed menteri besar on 17 March last year after the DAP-PKR-PAS alliance won 31 seats in the 12th general election, also sought a declaration that Zambry has no right to hold the office of menteri besar.
Both sides have 28 seats each in the 59-seat assembly after three Pakatan assemblypersons quit their parties to become independents and the fourth jumped back from PKR to Umno.
Nizar on 11 May after the High Court
declared him the rightful Perak MBSultan Azlan Shah then asked Nizar to step down as menteri besar and swore in Zambry after declaring that Barisan Nasional had the majority in the state legislative assembly.
Zambry filed the stay application and notice of appeal 16 hours after Mohammad Nizar returned to office.
Following today’s decision, one of Nizar’s counsel, Ranjit Singh, said they are contemplating filing an appeal to the Court of Appeal to set aside the stay order.
He said section 44 of the Courts of Judicature Act gave them 10 days to file an appeal to set aside the order. However, he would have to seek instructions from Nizar.
Earlier, in his submission, Abraham said that the stay was vital to stop Nizar from trying to seek the approval of the Perak Sultan to dissolve the state assembly because if the dissolution was granted, Zambry’s appeal would be academic.
He said the matter also involved interpretation of Articles 16 (6), 36 and 18 of the Perak Constitution in which there were no previous court of appeal decisions.
Abdul Gani supported the motion, saying that Perak’s political problem must be resolved by the highest court in the country as soon as possible because it would affect the entire country.
Meanwhile in PUTRAJAYA, Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan said today the suspension of Perak state secretary Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Hashim and Perak Legal Advisor Datuk Ahmad Kamal Md Shahid is invalid, reports Bernama.
Sidek said both of them are eligible to conduct their duties as usual as the menteri besar did not have the legal authority to suspend either of the officers.
He said the power to suspend a public officer was vested with the relevant disciplinary authority.
“As for the legal advisor, the authority is vested with the Judicial and Legal Service Commission while in the case of the state secretary it is vested with the Public Service Commission,” he told reporters here.
Sidek was asked to comment on news reports that Nizar, after he was declared the rightful menteri besar of Perak yesterday by the High Court, had suspended Abdul Rahman and Ahmad Kamal.
Sidek said the suspension of a public officer was subject to the provisions of the Public Officers (Conduct and Discipline) Regulations 1993.
Sivakumar Meanwhile, The Edge reports speaker V Sivakumar, who is from the DAP, as saying the chances for the BN to call for an emergency meeting to move a motion of no confidence against Nizar are next to impossible.
Sivakumar said any emergency motion must go through the speaker, who will determine the date and time for the motion to be tabled in the House.
Sivakumar was dragged out of the state assembly sitting after the BN assemblypersons moved a motion to replace him with the MIC’s Datuk R Ganesan. But Sivakumar contends that the entire sitting was illegal, and as such, claims he is the rightful speaker.
Earlier, The Edge reported that Nizar handed over a letter seeking an audience with the sultan to request for dissolution of the state assembly.
It said the letter was handed over to the Raja Muda of Perak, Raja Nazrin Shah, at 8.30am today, and that the Pakatan Rakyat was expected to hold a press conference at 11am.