Monday, May 5, 2008

Sultan Perak acted unconstitutionally - Malaysiakini

By Athi Veeranggan | May 5, 08 12:37pm

Sultan Raja Azlan Shah of Perak had acted beyond his parameters of power by ordering the Pakatan Rakyat state government to reinstate the transferred Jamry Sury as Perak Religious Department director.

DAP national chairperson and senior lawyer Karpal Singh said that under the country's law, said the Pakatan Rakyat-led Perak state government had every right to transfer Jamry since he was a state government servant.

"The palace cannot order the Perak government to reinstate Jamry. It's beyond the palace parameters of power," said Karpal.

The Pakatan Rakyat government was ordered to reinstate Jamry as the state religious department head barely 72 hours after he was transferred out from his post with a short notice.

Acting on the order from the Sultan of Perak Sultan Azlan, Raja Muda Raja Dr Nazrin Shah, in the name of Perak Islamic Affairs and Malay Customs Council, directed Menteri Besar Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin to reinstate Jamry last week.

Citing a 1982 Federal Court ruling as a landmark case on this issue, Karpal argued that it was up to the Perak government to decide when and where it wanted to transfer a civil servant under its governance.

Karpal, the Bukit Gelugor member of parliament, said that the Perak government was right in its decision to transfer Jamry and that the Ruler of Perak did not have any say in the decision.

"The palace cannot order the state government to reinstate Jamry," said Karpal.

He said rulers should have sought legal advice from their respective state legal advisors before descending into areas beyond their domain.

Going beyond that, he said would mean, and must mean, as "acting unconstitutionally".

"Such precedent should not be allowed to stand for the sake of public interests," he added.

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