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BN reps file summons against Selcat

SHAH ALAM, 9 Nov 2009: Three Selangor Barisan Nasional (BN) assemblypersons today filed originating summonses against the chairperson and six members of the Selangor State Committee on Competency, Accountability and Transparency (Selcat), and three others to determine the committee’s legality.

The summonses were filed at the civil High Court registrar’s office at about 11.30am through their lawyers, Datuk V Sithambaram, Kamarul Hisham Kamaruddin and Balvinder Singh Kenth from Messrs Balvinder Singh Kenth.

The three BN assemblypersons were Datuk Raja Ideris Raja Ahmad (Sungai Air Tawar), Hasiman Sidom (Morib) and Wong Koon Mun (Kuala Kubu Baru).

They named Selcat chairperson Teng Chang Kim as the first defendant, and the six Selcat members — Haniza Mohamed Talha, Mohamed Azmin Ali, Saari Sungib, Edward Lee Poh Lin, Sulaiman Abdul Razak and Ismail Sani — as the second to the seventh defendants.

The three others were the Selangor state assembly speaker, secretary, and the Selangor government.

Among other things, they were seeking a declaration that there was a conflict of interest when Teng, as the Selangor speaker and the Selangor state assembly special privileges committee chairperson, was also the Selcat chairperson. They argued that all Selcat proceedings were hence null and void because they contradicted human rights principles.

The three plaintiffs also sought a declaration that the Selangor state assembly did not have the jurisdiction to approve and/or formulate criminal offences in the form of Contempt of the (Selangor State) Assembly Enactment 2009. As such, the Enactment was ultra vires the Selangor state constitution and/or the Federal Constitution.

They also sought a declaration that Selcat’s composition did not reflect the ratio among the parties in the Selangor state assembly, which was provided for under Order 72(1) of the state assembly’s Standing Order.

The plaintiffs also sought for a declaration that the setting up of Selcat and/or its proceedings were null and void and had no effect, besides seeking for the costs for the application and other reliefs deemed fit by the court to be borne by the defendants.

In their supporting affidavits, the plaintiffs claimed that Selcat had been used unfairly and/or wrongfully as a tool to shame, slander and criticise public servants and BN members.

They also claimed that Selcat was aimed at creating negative public opinion about the previous BN government and at wrongfully maintaining the position of the Pakatan Rakyat government.

Thus, the declarations sought for in their originating summonses were in the public’s interest and most importantly, would maintain the state assembly’s integrity and proceedings.

On 14 Oct, former Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohamad Khir Toyo filed a summons against Teng for the decision to suspend him from attending the state assembly sittings for one year.

On 15 July, Deputy Speaker Haniza Mohd Talha had announced Khir’s suspension for one year and the withdrawal of all his privileges as an elected representative during the duration of the suspension for failing to attend the public enquiry by Selcat.

The March public inquiry was with regard to the use of sponsorship funds by the Badan Amal dan Kebajikan Isteri-isteri Selangor, and for allegedly insulting the committee in the media.

Also suspended then were four BN assemblypersons, namely Datuk Warno Dogol (Sabak Bernam), Datuk Mohd Idris Abu Bakar (Hulu Bernam), Mohd Isa Abu Kasim (Batang Kali) and Datuk Marsum Paing (Dengkil), for insulting Selcat in the media. — Bernama

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