Zambry’s challenge: decision today

(Bernama) – The Federal Court will decide today whether Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir and his six state executive councillors had used the right way to challenge their suspension by Perak Speaker V. Sivakumar.

The five-member bench headed by Court of Appeal president Tan Sri Alauddin Mohd Sheriff reserved judgment after hearing submissions from both parties.

Sivakumar's counsel, Sulaiman Abdullah, had raised a preliminary objection that the court should not entertain their application as the suit against Sivakumar was a non-compliance procedure.

Zambry and the six councillors had applied for their suit against Sivakumar to be referred to the apex court under article 63 of the Perak Constitution 1957 for determination and to either dispose of the case or remit it to another court for disposal in accordance with the determination.

At the outset of the proceedings, the court dismissed Sivakumar's first preliminary objection to have the case to remitted to the Ipoh High Court.

Sulaiman submitted that the court should not entertain Zambry's application to refer the case on the constitutional issues to the Federal Court as the suit was still pending at the High Court for a decision on Sivakumar's application to strike out the suit.

However, Justice Alauddin who sit together with Chief Judge of Malaya Datuk Arifin Zakaria and Federal Court Justices Datuk Nik Hashim Nik Ab Rahman, Datuk S. Augustine Paul and Datuk Zulkefli Ahmad Makinuddin held that the court had jurisdiction to hear Zambry's application even though the main suit was still pending.

On March 2, Zambry and his six state executive councillors–Zainol Fadzi Paharuddin, Datuk Ramly Zahari, Hamidah binti Osman, Datuk Saarani Mohamad, Mohd Zahir Abdul Khalid and Dr Mah Hang Soon–applied to the High Court for a declaration that Sivakumar's decision suspen ding them from attending the state assembly sittings was null and void.

In the originating summons, they claimed that the suspensions of between 12 and 18 months contravened the state constitution.