KUALA LUMPUR, 12 Aug 2009: Another showdown at the Perak legislative assembly is slated for 2 Sept 2009.
Embattled Perak Speaker V Sivakumar is calling for a sitting of state assembly to debate the royal address delivered on 7 May.
In a letter that will be sent out to assemblypersons tomorrow, the contents of which were made available to the media today, Sivakumar said the 7 May assembly sitting was disrupted because he was dragged out by police before the royal speech was delivered.
He said his orders as speaker on that day were also defied by Barisan Nasional (BN) assemblypersons and the three independents.
In February, Sivakumar suspended seven representatives, including the BN installed Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir, and six of Zambry’s executive councillors. He also deemed the three BN-friendly independents who left Pakatan Rakyat to have resigned from their seats.
On 7 May, Sivakumar had ordered them to leave the House before opening the sitting. When they refused, fighting ensued in the state assembly until police were called in what was an unprecedented breach of the state legislature.
In his letter today, Sivakumar said “one [Datuk] Ganesan a/l Retanam asked the police to enter the assembly and dragged me out”, referring to the BN-installed speaker whom Sivakumar is suing for battery, assault and false imprisonment.
GanesanSivakumar is also asking the court to declare him as the rightful speaker.
“It is my duty as the lawful speaker of the Perak assembly to ensure that the affairs and proceedings are conducted in accordance with the Perak constitution and the standing orders of the Perak legislative assembly.
“It is clear that no business was transacted after the royal speech on 7 May 2009. Similarly, no business can be done before the royal speech.
“Therefore, as speaker, I now announce that notice to all members will be issued for the assembly to sit on 2 Sept 2009 to debate the royal address and to attend to all other business,” Sivakumar wrote, signing off as the “Yang Di-Pertua” of the legislative assembly.
In a separate press statement, Sivakumar said the Rights and Privileges Committee had met last week and summoned Zambry, executive council member Datuk Hamidah Osman, and Jelapang assemblyperson Hee Yit Foong to appear before the committee.
After those summoned failed to appear and after the committee members themselves were blocked by police from entering the state assembly building to meet, the committee decided to further suspend Zambry and Hamidah another three months each.
Zambry is now suspended from attending the assembly for a total of 21 months, and Hamidah a total of 15 months. The committee also slapped a RM250,000 fine on each one of them.
They were deemed guilty of violating their earlier suspension in February by attending the 7 May sitting.
Sivakumar, who chairs the committee, said Zambry had acted in further contempt of his initial suspension and in contempt of the Speaker’s decision to reject a motion to remove him (Sivakumar).
Sivakumar said Zambry on 7 May had “orchestrated” Hee to preside as deputy speaker while Sivakumar was still present in the House. Sivakumar added that Zambry had also played a role in getting Ganesan elected as speaker when the House was not in session yet, as the Perak regent, Raja Nazrin Shah, had not yet delivered his royal address.
HeeHamidah was also charged for being in further contempt of her initial suspension by attending the 7 May sitting, and for ignoring Sivakumar’s order to leave the House. She had also seconded a motion to remove Sivakumar as speaker, and had a “central role in the farcical election of Ganesan” as speaker.
Hee was charged with refusing to leave the assembly when Sivakumar had already deemed her seat vacant. She was also charged for violating the pledge letter she signed with her former party, the DAP, that she would pay RM5 million and step down as assemblyperson if she ever left the party.
Hee had also wrongly presided as deputy speaker on 7 May while Sivakumar was still in the House, the committee held.
It recommended that Hee be jailed for six months and fined RM10 million for her “prominent role in the farcical proceedings before the assembly opened”.
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