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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Let nine-judge Federal Court panel hear Nizar’s objection — P. Ramakrishnan

APRIL 16,2009 — Aliran

The request by the undemocratically ousted Perak mentri besar, Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin, for a nine-man Federal Court bench to hear his objection to Datuk Zambry Abdul Kadir’s reliance on Article 63 of the Perak Constitution to determine who is the rightful mentri besar of the state is a fair one.

We earnestly hope that the Chief Justice will accede to this request in the interest of justice and fair play. What is at stake is the very foundation of justice itself.

What is to be determined by the Federal Court has far-reaching consequences for our democratic system of governance. It involves the fate of a democratically elected state government as reflected by the popular will of the people.

When 53 per cent of Perakians have spoken authoritatively through the ballot box to determine who should govern the State of Perak, can that mandate be nullified through the unethical conduct of three dubious characters who have betrayed the trust of the electorate?

Two of them are facing trials in a court of law after they have been charged with corruption, and this makes it reprehensible that these totally discredited characters should wield so much power now to frustrate the electoral process.

This very grave issue is so crucial that it is imperative to have the collective wisdom of nine judges to ponder over it so that justice will be better served.

We also agree that a new bench of judges should hear this case so that Malaysians will be inclined to accept their decision. Malaysians look forward to the inclusion of the newly elevated judges — especially Sri Ram — so that the issue will be judged fairly and justly.

P. Ramakrishnan is the president of Aliran

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