Updated 7pm on 7 May 2009
Corrected at 4.05pm, 7 May 2009
Sivakumar being dragged out of the House (Pic courtesy of Sinar Harian)
IPOH, 7 May 2009: A historic state assembly sitting in Perak today fell into pandemonium in an ongoing tussle for power between the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) and the Barisan Nasional (BN).
Security is tight around the state secretariat building where the state assembly is housed, and roads had been cordoned off since last night.
4.05pm The sitting was then “adjourned” sine dine (indefinitely).
4pm Once Raja Nazrin leaves the House after officiating the assembly, the heckling resumes. PR Aduns heckle Ganesan. Earlier, Raja Nazrin shook hands will all the elected reps after the House was adjourned for 15 minutes to allow him to leave.
3.20pm Raja Nazrin starts speaking. He talks about the economic crisis and the government’s economic stimulus package and the mini budget and how these are meant to help the economy. He also talks about how swine flu presents new challenges. Raja Nazrin is talking about the projects that have been implemented in Perak that have benefited the people.
3.15pm Raja Nazrin whispers something to Ngeh Koo Ham and Nizar Jamaluddin after they kiss his hand to greet him. PR Aduns take their seats on the right side of the speaker’s chair, while special branch officers leave the chamber.
3.12pm Raja Nazrin enters the House.
3.10pm While waiting for Raja Nazrin to enter, about 20 special branch officers have lined up at the front of the chamber to form a barrier between where Raja Nazrin will sit and the floor of the House.
3.05pm Another adjournment announced to wait for the entry of Raja Nazrin Shah.
3.03pm Ganesan orders Teja and SImpang Pulai Aduns out of the House. Requests the Bentara to remove them. The doa is recited.
3.00pm Zambry moves a motion that the next order of the House is to start with prayers and allow the Raja Muda of Perak Raja Nazrin to give his royal address. All the while PR Aduns are thumping their tables. The 28 BN Aduns and three independents vote to approve Zambry’s motion while PR Aduns shout “Bubar, bubar!”
2.57pm Ganesan speaks from speaker’s chair. He asks police to prevent the Hutan Melintang Adun to stop heckling Zambry.
2.52pm Ganesan takes place at the speaker’s chair amidst shouting by PR Aduns. They are shouting that this is a police state.
2.43pm The shouting betwen BN and PR Aduns continues as reps face off with each other around Speaker Sivakumar’s chair, now empty.
2.39pm Speaker Sivakumar has been physically removed by the police from his chair. He has been taken out the door.
Earlier, PR Aduns tried to block police from laying their hands on him. Ngeh Koo Ham shouted at the police to get out. The Simpang Pulai Adun has been ordered to leave the House.
2.35pm A PR Adun was pushed to the floor near the speaker’s chair. Special Branch officers are also in the chamber. Everyone has crowded around Speaker Sivakumar’s chair.
2.30pm PR Aduns line up in front of Speaker Sivakumar’s chair, as if to block him from attempts to remove him physically.
Earlier, the Aulong Adun Yew Tian Hoe claimed that Deputy Speaker Hee Yit Foong pepper-sprayed him in one of the earlier shouting matching. Reporters were not able to get a clear view of it as the Aduns had all gathered together and were shouting at one another. Yew said he had to go wash his eyes out.
Hee Yit Foong (right) relaxing during an adjournment
1.15pm Gerakan deputy president Datuk Chang Ko Youn says outside the chambers that Sivakumar’s contention that the sitting had not been properly convened is illogical because Sivakumar himself tried to eject Zambry, the six executive councillors and the three independents before convening the assembly.
12.56pm Ganesan announces that he “adjourns” the House for another hour even though the sitting was not opened and his appointment as the new speaker is questionable. An assembly officer says that Raja Nazrin is still in the building waiting to deliver his royal address.
12.49pm PR Aduns saying to Ganesan, “Let’s go, let’s go. Come on.” The ruckus now is about getting Ganesan to leave the House.
12.35pm Some PR elected reps have crossed over to BN side (on the left of the speaker’s chair) heckling Ganesan to get out of the House Sivakumar from the speaker’s chair also asks Ganesan to leave. Among the things said by PR Aduns to Ganesan are, “Please lah, leave. Salvage MIC.”
(Corrected) 12.25pm Five PR elected reps heckling Ganesan, making issue of the fact that he is wearing a tag which states “Pegawai”. Shouts of “Out! Out!” There is pushing and shoving on the floor between the assemblypersons.
12.24pm Ganesan tries to take his “seat” as speaker at the state secretary’s table in the middle of the floor. A few PR elected reps surround him and appear to be persuading him against doing so. Sivakumar is still in the speaker’s chair.
12.20pm Sivakumar saying something, but his microphone is still off so he cannot be heard. The BN state assemblypersons are shouting “Out! Out!” Ten more minutes and House is supposed to reconvene.
Speaker Sivakumar while his mic is still switched on
12.15pm Umno lawyer Datuk Hafarizam Harun seen conferring with Zambry away from the floor of the chamber.
11.50am Zambry’s lawyers in the ongoing MB vs MB court case arrive in the chamber. Among them are Datuk Shafee Abdullah.
11.25am The paper Sivakumar held up earlier was a letter by him dated yesterday, 6 May, stating his rejection of all the motions submitted to him, which are the motions to remove him, to elect a new speaker, and to change the membership of the three committees.
11.15am Sivakumar makes an announcement holding up a paper, but it is unclear what the document is. PR elected reps are re-energised. BN side proposes to adjourn the “sitting” for one hour. The House is “adjourned”. BN reps go back to their seats and sit down. PR reps also take their seats and shout at BN to leave the House since they’ve adjourned it.
There is peace in the House finally, but both sides refuse to budge from their seats. Sivakumar still in speaker’s chair.
Ganesan in speaker’s robes
11.05am BN side is now attempting to have a debate. They are proceeding as if the House was normal. The Aduns are still clustered around BN’s Ganesan, who appears to be seated next to Hee on the left side (by convention, the opposition side) of the speaker’s chair. Sivakumar is still in the speaker’s chair. PR elected reps are shouting “Haram! Haram!” to drown out Ganesan’s voice who is reading a motion. Shouting continues.
Ganesan has been given the speaker’s robes.
He reads out a motion tabled by Sungai Rapat assemblyperson Hamidah Osman, which is voted by the BN and the three indenpendents friendly to the BN. The motion is to change the membership of the three house committees — standing orders, rights and privileges, and public accounts — to put their own BN people in.
PR elected reps mostly just standing around or seated. Less shouting from them. Sivakumar is still in the speaker’s chair.
10.56am State assemblyperson from MIC Datuk R Ganesan is taking his oath of office as the Perak speaker after the motion was proposed by Zambry and seconded by Hee, and supported by all BN elected representatives and the three independents friendly to the BN. Shouts of protests by Pakatan Rakyat side.
10.40am Speaker V Sivakumar’s microphone has been turned off. Deputy Speaker Hee Yit Foong, the DAP assemblyperson who quit the Pakatan Rakyat to become a BN-friendly elected representative, has declared that the majority of the House has voted Sivakumar out and he should leave. Hee now asks the Bentara to remove Sivakumar. Tee BN Aduns are shouting “Tronoh turun! Tronoh turun!” Sivakumar is the Tronoh assemblyperson.
In other words, without Sivakumar convening the sitting, BN Aduns have gone ahead to vote on the motion to remove him as speaker.
10.35am More shouting as BN elected reps cluster around Hee Yit Foong, the Jelapang ADUN who quit DAP who is also the deputy speaker.
10.28am Speaker V Sivakumar now says, “Saya belum dipecat. Yang dipecat itu Pangkor.” Zambry is the assemblyperson for Pangkor.
“Saya minta Bentara untuk keluarkan 10 orang ini,” says Sivakumar, referring to the 10 BN assemblypersons he has barred from entering the House. Bentara is the House’s sargeant-at-arms.
Sivakumar continues: “Dalam Dewan, speaker bagi arahan. Kalau tak faham arahan, keluar saja.” He adds:”Saya adalah speaker yang sah.” Several state assemblypersons on both sides are recording the chaos with their mobile phones and camcorders. Someone announces: “The motion to remove the speaker has been passed by 31 assemblypersons”, at which point all the BN reps and the three independents raise their hands and cheer.
10.20am BN’s appointed Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Zambry Abdul Kadir reads out a motion to remove Speaker V Sivakumar and all the BN state assemblypersons raise their hands to vote in support. But Sivakumar maintains he will not convene the sitting until the 10 BN assemblypersons, including Zambry, leave the House. Sivakumar says he rejects the motion because Zambry has been suspended. Sivakumar repeats, “My decision is final. As long as the 10 suspended assemblypersons do not leave the house, I will not convene this sitting.” He shouts the same thing over and over again: “The person who brought this motion has been suspended. Ia usul yang tak sah.”
10.13am Pandemonium in the Perak assembly chambers. Lots of inaudible shouting. PR state assemblypersons are thumping the tables. BN assemblypersons staying put. Raja Nazrin Shah has yet to give his address to open the sitting. He is not in the House at this juncture
Chaos in state assembly sitting
10.05am Raja Nazrin Shah, who was to open the state assembly sitting, is not in the House yet. Speaker V Sivakumar repeats his announcement that he will not start proceedings until the 10 assemblypersons, including BN’s appointed Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Zambry Abdul Kadir, have left the House. His decision is final, he says. Sivakumar adds that the 3 March sitting under the tree had approved their suspensions. Shouting resumes in the House.
10.03am Perak Speaker V Sivakumar announces that BN’s appointed Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Zambry Abdul Kadir and the six suspended executive councillors from the BN are not allowed into the House. The three independents “friendly to the BN” are also not allowed in. Sivakumar says he won’t start the sitting until all of these assemblypersons leave. Shouting in the House.
9.50am Media queue up to get into the state assembly chambers. A metal detector screens the journalists, the first time ever in the history of the Perak state assembly.
Raja Nazrin inspecting the guard
9.33am The Raja Muda of Perak Raja Nazrin Shah has arrived at the state secretariat building to open the state assembly. He inspects the guard.
9.27am BN’s appointed Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir arrives. He shakes hands with Speaker V Sivakumar.
Jenice Lee, assemblyperson for Teratai, handcuffed9.27am The Edge reports that Speaker V Sivakumar arrived at 9.18am. Earlier DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang, and Ipoh Barat Member of Parliament M Kulasegaran were turned away from approaching the Perak state secretariat building.
After a heated exchange with Ipoh Police Chief ACP Azisman Alias, and following the arrest of Kulasegaran’s aide, the duo are turned away. See more here.
9.00am The arrested, who are inside a police truck, shout, “1BLACKMalaysia!” as the truck is being driven away.
8.55am Police have arrested a total of 11 people. Arrests were also made at the Perak DAP headquarters which is about 100m away in a shop lot from the state assembly building, above a coffee shop. Among those arrested is Jenice Lee, the assemblyperson for Teratai. From inside the police truck, she said, “I was just sitting down in the cofee shop when they handcuffed me.”
Zuraida Kamaruddin being led away
8.35am Zuraida Kamaruddin, a fourth person, dressed all in black, has been arrested outside the gate of the state secretariat building. She is Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Member of Parliament for Ampang and the Wanita PKR chief. She struggled with the woman police officer, shouting, “Why should you push me. I know how to walk myself.”
8.25am PR state assemblypersons have started arriving at the state secretariat building. Among them are embattled Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin, Datuk Ngeh Khoo Ham, A Sivanesan and Chang Lih Kang.
One of three men in black tshirts arrested
8.20am Three men in black t-shirts outside the gate of the state secretariat building have been taken in by police. One of the t-shirts had emblazoned on it, “Kembalikan hak rakyat”. One of the men said he was from Taiping. The three were holding pictures of the Sultan of Perak, Sultan Azlan Shah.
Police screening people entering Bangunan Perak
Darul Ridzuan8.15am Police screening media and state secretariat staff entering the Bangunan Perak Darul Ridzuan where the state assembly is housed. Only those with passes from the state secretariat are allowed in.
7.40am Traffic gridlock on roads leading to the state assembly in Bangunan Perak Darul Ridzuan due to police blocks, and diversions. No demonstrators are in sight yet.