Why is Zambry getting ’special treatment’?

(When I spoke at the public forum “From May 13 to 1Malaysia – The Future of Malaysian Nation Building” at the Petaling Jaya Civic Centre on Wednesday, 13th May 2009, I had posed two questions, viz:

1. Why the Court of Appeal could fast-track to hear within three hours Datuk Zambry Abdul Kadir’s application for “stay” of Justice Abdul Aziz Abdul Rahim’s landmark judgment delivered on 11th May that Nizar was the lawful Perak Mentri Besar and grant it in another hour; while it was snail-pace in needing five days to hear Datuk Seri Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin’s application to discharge Zambry’s “stay”; and

2. Whether Malaysians can expect justice in cases involving top Umno leaders when there is an Umno Chief Justice, Tan Sri Zaki Azmi?

This proved to be an understatement, as last Friday, it was announced that Nizar’s application to set aside the stay order, filed on 13th May, was postponed from May 18 to May 21 - the hearing date for Zambry’s appeal.

Zambry required less than three hours after filing his application to get a single-judge Court of Appeal to hear his “stay” request, while Nazry requires eight (from the earlier five) days to get his application to discharge the “stay” order heard.

Is this justice.

No wonder Leong Cheok Keng, Nizar’s solicitors, raised a very pertinent question in his six-point statement below, framed by Malaysiakini as “Why is Zambry getting ’special treatment’?”:

By Leong Cheok Keng
16th May 2009

1. My client is truly disappointed that his much awaited hearing on 18.5.2009 has been adjourned by the Court.

2. I received the letter from the Registry of the Court of Appeal at about 4pm yesterday on 15.5.2009 which says that it has been re-scheduled to 21.5.2009 and it will be heard together with the appeal proper. The apparent reason is that since the hearing of the appeal is imminent, my client’s application for the discharge of the stay order might as well be adjourned and there is now no urgency to hear the same.

3. Without any explanation given by the Court, the public will be left with the perception that the Court is once again going out of its way to accommodate the Appellant and putting my client at a disadvantage.

4. My client would like the issue of whether the Appellant, Zambry did or did not have the right in law under section 43 and 44 of the Courts of Judicature Act 1964 to obtain the relief of a full blooded stay despite not having made a formal written application to the High Court which made the declaration that my client is the lawful and valid Menteri Besar. On 11.5.2009, when Zambry’s lawyer’s oral application for a stay was refused, he was clearly asked by the High Court to put in a written application, which the lawyer did not do.

5. An explanation is also appreciated from the Court Registry as to why an application from my client is being delayed consistently when compared to Zambry’s application which was fixed for hearing and a decision made not more than 24 hours after the Judgment of the High Court? The hearing commenced within 3 hours of filing and stay order pronounced within 2 hours of hearing.

6. I also await eagerly the grounds of the one-man Court of Appeal panel for granting the “stay” order.


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