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Nizar’s case to set aside stay postponed to May 21

Posted in Uncategorized by malaysiasms on May 16, 2009

SUARA KEADILAN

By Wong Choon Mei

In yet another move that disrespected procedure and reeked of bias, Perak Menteri Besar Nizar Jamaluddin’s application to set aside a stay of execution, which was due to be heard on Monday, was suddenly postponed to May 21.

No reasons were given, but it is obviously aimed to coincide with the hearing of an appeal by his arch rival Umno leader Zambry Kadir, which the Court of Appeal also fixed for May 21.

“Did they asked us for our consent? We weren’t even informed of the reasons,” Sitiawan assemblyman and Beruas MP Ngeh Koo Ham told Suara Keadilan.

Nizar’s chances of overturning the stay has been rated as high and if he had indeed succeeded, it would have paved the way for him to seek the dissolution of the state assembly that he has promised the people of Perak.

Both Nizar and Zambry are two central figures locked in the heart of the Perak political crisis, triggered by Prime Minister Najib Razak. To boost his legitimacy as the incoming Umno president, Najib had launched a coup d’etat to topple Nizar’s Pakatan Rakyat administration in February.

With the consent of the Perak Sultan, Najib had Pangkor MP Zambry installed as the new Menteri Besar on Feb 6.

However, Nizar challenged the appointment and on May 11, the High Court ruled that Nizar was the rightful Menteri Besar. “He is, and was, at all material times the chief minister of Perak,” Justice Abdul Aziz told the court.

Even if it kills the country, Najib and Umno won’t bother. They must win.

Justice Abdul Aziz also refused to grant Zambry a stay of execution, saying there were no legal precedents for such an order. In fact, according to legal experts, a stay was the same as an injunction and under the law, it is clearly stated that no court can obstruct or stop a government from governing.

“This is what the stay of execution effectively does. It stops the rightful government – Nizar – from carrying out his duties. It is against the law and we really wonder how it could have been granted,” Ngeh said.

Nevertheless, the very next day, on May 12, Zambry raised eyebrows when he got the Court of Appeal to grant him that stay of execution – and all within a super-quick time of five hours.

Court of Appeal judge Ramly Mohd Ali created controversy when acting as a one-man panel instead of as part of the traditional three-man bench, he agreed to grant Zambry the order, stopping Nizar from going to office and allowing Zambry to carry out the functions of the MB even though his appeal has not even been heard.

“Until Zambry overturns the High Court decision, Nizar is the rightful MB. How can Zambry in full view of everyone go to office and usurp Nizar’s post. This is outright contempt of the court and the law,” said Ngeh.

“It can only drag the Malaysian judiciary further down the drain. But they don’t seem to care anymore, they are so desperate to win. Even if it hurts the image of the country, they won’t bother.”

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