By Debra Chong
KUALA LUMPUR, Mar 4 – The Perak state legislative assembly can ignore the Ipoh High Court order declaring its sitting under a tree yesterday as “illegal”, said DAP chairman Karpal Singh.
Speaking to reporters at the Parliament lobby today, he said that Judicial Commissioner Ridwan Ibrahim had acted beyond his powers and in contempt of the state assembly in that decision.
He maintains the Perak assembly had met lawfully, if unconventionally, away from the gazetted venue of the State Secretariat complex.
Because of that, the High Court’s order is “null and void”, Karpal insisted.
He added there was no need for the Assembly Speaker, V. Sivakumar, or the Pakatan Rakyat assemblymen to challenge the order of the judge.
“His order has no significance. It is null and void. It is non-existent,” said Karpal, who is also the MP for Bukit Gelugor.
Instead, Speaker Sivakumar can order Ridwan to be brought before the assembly and cite him for contempt of the assembly.
Karpal also noted that the Judicial Commissioner had made an error in dismissing the five independent lawyers appointed by Sivakumar to represent him in the High Court and instead, compelled the latter to seek the services of the State Legal Advisor.
“It’s a conflict of interest,” he stressed, and pointed out the State Legal Advisor, Datuk Ahmad Kamal Md Shahid, has persistently claimed to be representing Datuk Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir in a case related to the dispute over who is the lawful menteri besar at the KL High Court.
If the judge insists that Sivakumar be represented by Ahmad Kamal because the suit was taken against him in his official capacity, then Ahmad Kamal should immediately disqualify himself from representing Zambry.
Karpal noted in such a case where the state assemblymen are suing each other, they each have the right to get independent lawyers to represent them.
He added that deputy state legal advisor, Zulkarnain Hassan, should not have represented Sivakumar in closed chambers yesterday.
“Sivakumar is a trained lawyer. He could have represented himself,” he highlighted, and added, “We must let natural justice proceed.”
“By right, the judge should have adjourned the hearing,” Karpal opined.