It’s contempt of court, says Ngeh

(The Star) - Pakatan Rakyat has accused Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir of acting in contempt of court by resuming the duties of the Perak Mentri Besar.

State DAP chief Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham said that until the Court of Appeal made its decision, neither Dr Zambry nor Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin could legally carry out any mentri besar duty.

The former senior executive council member added that by resuming his duties Tuesday, Dr Zambry had caused the nation to think that he had already won his appeal against Monday’s High Court ruling.

The Court of Appeal had on Tuesday granted Dr Zambry a stay of execution pending his appeal on the High Court’s ruling that Nizar was the rightful mentri besar “at all material times.”

Since then, Dr Zambry and his team of exco members had entered their offices at the State Secretariat, met for an exco meeting and held a press conference.

“This cannot be done because the stay of execution granted to Dr Zambry does not reverse the High Court ruling.

“The stay only asks Nizar not to exercise his right in order to give Dr Zambry a chance to let his case be heard at a higher court.

“Hence as it stands now, Nizar is the legal mentri besar and Dr Zambry is the illegal one but neither can exercise their mentri besar duties,” said Ngeh told The Star in a phone interview.

Ngeh also wondered at the Court of Appeal’s decision to grant the stay, saying that Section 54 of the Special Relief Act disallowed any injunction to be granted when it interfered with the public duties of a government.

Section 54(d) states: “An injunction cannot be granted to interfere with the public duties of any department of any Government in Malaysia, or with the sovereign acts of a foreign Government.”

“The stay is tantamount to a form of injunction,” argued Ngeh.

Ngeh said that since Dr Zambry could not carry out mentri besar duties, he did not have the right to lift the suspension of State Secretary Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Hashim and State Legal Adviser Datuk Ahmad Kamal Md Shahid.

He also refuted Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan’s statement that the state government could not suspend the duo.

“The State Secretary and the State Legal Adviser are Federal Officers appointed by the Public Service Commission and the Judicial and Legal Service Commission respectively.

“However, when they are seconded to and employed by the state government, the state government has the authority over them as their employer.

“Therefore, they can be suspended from their duties pending formal complaints lodged against them with both the commissions,” he said.

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