March 6, 2009 By CHAN LI LEEN
IPOH: Lawyers for Perak Speaker V. Sivakumar have filed appeals against the decision of the High Court here that disallowed him from appointing his own counsel.
Speaking to reporters at the High Court lobby, counsel Leong Cheok Keng said notices of appeal were being filed simultaneously here and also at the Court of Appeal in Putrajaya by lawyer Philip Koh.
“The Speaker had been denied the right to his choice of counsel and I think it’s a matter serious enough for the Court of Appeal to deliberate on,” said Leong, who was accompanied by fellow lawyer Grace Wong.
On Thursday, Judicial Commissioner Ridwan Ibrahim had ruled that the Perak legal adviser must represent Sivakumar in two civil suits against him.
Ridwan had said that Sivakumar was a public officer with public duties and should rightfully be represented by the state legal adviser.
The panel of Pakatan Rakyat lawyers, who had showed up as counsel for Sivakumar, did not have local standi to act on his behalf, he added.
The ruling was made after Ridwan heard submissions on preliminary objections raised in the two suits in his chambers.
Sivakumar is being brought to court by three independents seeking a declaration that they are still elected representatives.
That suit was filed on Feb 27. On March 2, Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Dr Zambry Abd Kadir and his six executive council members had filed a separate suit challenging Sivakumar’s decision to suspend them from the state assembly.