IPOH, 11 March 2009: The High Court ruled here today that Perak State Assembly Speaker V Sivakumar cannot represent himself in the suit by three independent assemblypersons.
Judicial Commissioner Ridwan Ibrahim made the decision in chambers based on Section 24(3) of the Government Proceedings Act after counsel for the assemblypersons objected to the speaker’s application to represent himself.
Last Thursday, the same judge refused to allow private attorneys to represent the speaker, and said only the State Legal Adviser could do so in the suit as well the action brought by Menteri Besar Datuk Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir and the six state executive councillors (excos).
Lawyer Datuk Mohd Hafarizam Harun, who represented Zambry, the six excos and the three assemblypersons, told reporters that the court did allow a panel of lawyers to hold a watching brief for the DAP, Sivakumar’s party, in the suit by the assemblypersons.
Private counsel Chang Kok Keong, who had sought to act for the speaker, said his side would try to file an appeal on Monday against Thursday’s decision, and might consider a similar appeal against today’s ruling.
Zambry and the six state excos — Datuk Ramly Zahari, Datuk Saarani Mohamad, Hamidah Osman, Zainol Fadzi Paharuddin, Mohd Zahir Abdul Khalid and Dr Mah Hang Soon — are seeking a declaration that the speaker’s decision in suspending and preventing them from attending the assembly’s sittings for 18 months (for Zambry) and 12 months (for the rest) null and void. The court will hear their application on 23 March.
The three independent lawmakers — Jamaluddin Md Radzi, Mohd Osman Jailu and Hee Yit Foong — want the court to declare that their Behrang, Changkat Jering and Jelapang seats not vacant and that they are still legitimate people’s representatives.
This followed the speaker’s announcement last month that they had vacated the seats after Jamaluddin and Osman quit Parti Keadilan Rakyat and Hee left the DAP.
On the assemblypersons’ suit, lawyer Hafarizam said the court had not fixed the hearing date but had set March 16 to hear two applications filed yesterday.
He said Sivakumar through Messrs Chan and Associates had applied to strike out the suit, while three voters from the three state constituencies — Ahmad Sabri Wahab, Abdul Latip Afiffin and Foo Hong Wai — and three former excos, namely A Sivanesan (DAP-Sungkai), Tai Sing Ng (Parti Keadilan Rakyat-Kuala Sepetang) and Cheng Fook Chye (DAP-Keranji), wanted to intervene. — Bernama