[YESTERDAY'S] attempt by Speaker V Sivakumar to hold an emergency sitting of the Perak assembly to validate his decision to suspend the Barisan Nasional (BN) Menteri Besar and his exco is no more than a continuation of the Perak impasse.
While the head of the Perak legislature tries to use his command of the law-making body to render the BN-appointed executive illegal, the antagonist has turned to other means to stop him.
But as Datuk Dr Zambry Kadir is in the midst of obtaining a court injunction against Sivakumar, another branch of the administration is planning its own means of blocking the Perak assembly from meeting. Or at least it has stated his protests against the impending meeting.
State assembly secretary Abdullah Antong Sabri, citing Standing Order 8(1) read with Article XXXVI(1) of the Perak state constitution, says that the Sultan’s consent is needed for a state assembly meeting whether in normal or emergency situations.
Abdullah reinforced his move by saying that there is no proclamation from the Sultan for the special sitting of the state assembly. He said based on Standing Order 10(1) the absolute power was the Sultan of Perak’s and hence Sivakumar’s instructions were invalid.
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This article first appeared on 3 March 2009 in The Edge Financial Daily under the title Ghost of 1988 rears its ugly head again. Used with permission.