WHAT was 7 May in Perak about? For the Pakatan Rakyat (PR), it was the last stand in the face of might that left them with little option but to go down holding their ground.
For the Barisan Nasional (BN), it fulfilled the goal of ejecting Speaker V Sivakumar and replacing him with someone friendly, even though the legitimacy of this move is now the subject of debate. The BN believes it has scored on another point: averting a dissolution of the state assembly by having held a sitting within six months since the previous sitting in November 2008.
For the people of Perak, the sitting today solves nothing, and the last three months of having their state in a constitutional crisis does not look set to end anytime soon. Appeals are certain to be filed after the Kuala Lumpur High Court decides on the rightful menteri besar on 11 May. Legal action is also likely to arise from the events that took place during the sitting — events that were, to be sure, unprecedented.
Instead of elected representatives seated in their places, legislators were scattered all over the floor, shouting, heckling and shoving one another. Police entered the hallowed chambers and bodily carted out Sivakumar still dressed in his speaker’s robes. Political and legal arguments aside, decorum was broken, and all dignity lost.