Rep sues Penang government

By M. Mageswari, The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Penang Opposition Leader Datuk Azhar Ibrahim is suing the Seberang Perai Utara district officer over an order asking him to vacate the Penaga community centre by Nov 19 last year.

Azhar, who is Penaga assemblyman, is applying to the High Court for the order and any related proceedings to be stayed until disposal of the judicial review.

The 65-year-old Barisan Nasional representative is asking for a declaration that the officer’s order was invalid and not enforceable.

He is seeking to quash the order on grounds that it was mala fide and based on a political agenda.

Yesterday, High Court judge (Appellate and Special Powers) Justice Rohana Yusuf set Feb 14 to hear Azhar’s leave application.

Speaking to reporters later, Azhar’s lawyer Mohd Zaharudeen Harun said the judge has directed him to serve all documents pertaining to the leave application to the Penang State Legal Adviser.

Azhar said he has served a copy of the suit to the Attorney-General’s Chambers.

Azhar named the district officer and Penang State Government as the respondents.

In court papers, Azhar said that he has been Penaga assemblyman since 1990.

He said further that there was an agreement between the Penang State Government and the Federal Government in 2005 to set up a community centre known as Pusat Komuniti Kadun Penaga.

In his affidavit affirmed on Dec 13 last year, he said the centre was built on land belonging to the Penang Government while the Federal Government allocated RM245,000.

He said both parties agreed that the centre would be handled by the elected Penaga assemblyman without considering his political background.

In his suit, Azhar said the centre started operations in 2006 and various parties such as a village development and security committee, a youth movement and a religious activity centre had been using it.

He said he received a letter on Nov 8 last year from the district officer directing him to hand over the centre’s keys on grounds it was located on state land.

Azhar said he had sent a letter dated Nov 16 last year to the officer to review the order but did not receive any response.