Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Pahang Owing RM37 million to a Logging Company?

NST page 21 Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Contempt of court action against Pahang Government for not paying RM37m compensation
By Shahrum Sayuthi 08 April, 2008
A logging company is contemplating a contempt of court action against the Pahang government for failure to pay compensation amounting to over RM37 million. Seruan Gemilang Makmur Sdn Bhd was awarded the amount by the High Court here last year. The State Government, through the Forestry Department, was found to have acted illegally by the court when it refused to renew a logging licence for the company in 2000. The licence was for the company to continue its logging activities at a 10,000ha concession area in Mukim Bebar, Pekan. The deadline for the payment of the compensation was on Sunday. Lawyer Mohd Iqbal Hamdy Mohd Rusdi, who represented the company, said it has no other recourse but to file a contempt of court action. He claimed that the State Government had willfully ignored the court order. "Even though we believe there is no precedent of a State Government refusing to abide by a court order, we will proceed with the case as we simply can't let them get away with it," he said. "It would be for the court to decide what to do.” Mohd Iqbal said the State Government had filed an appeal in February to the Court of Appeal but was rejected as it was done out of time. "We were told that they (the State Government) had also submitted further appeal to the Federal Court, but so far we have not heard anything official about it. As far as we are concerned, there is no stay of execution of the court order." Also present at the Press conference yesterday was the company director Syed Ali Badarudin Syed Osman. Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob, when asked for comment, confirmed that the State Government had filed an appeal to the Federal Court. "It is now being handled by the State Legal Adviser and by right I cannot comment as the case is still subject to the appeal process," he said.

Whilst admitting that there is no precedent, the lawyer is letting the Court to decide on what to do? Does he know that you have to plead and pray for the Court to give the necessary Orders? If you plead for contempt of Court then the ancillary order by the Court shall be that the Pahang Government will be sentenced to jail or a fine be imposed. Who shall then go to jail? The Head of State? Legally defined the Head of State is the Sultan. The Executive head of the Government is the Chief Minister and the Legislative Head is the Speaker.
In the first place, why must the matter be made known to the reporter when the matter was not even filed in Court yet? Legal action tainted with political motives maybe?

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