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Sivakumar to chair hearing against Ganesan

Sivakumar (left) and Ganesan

PETALING JAYA, 23 July 2009: Embattled Perak Speaker V Sivakumar will chair a Powers and Privileges Committee hearing on 27 July 2009 against Barisan Nasional-installed Speaker Datuk R Ganesan for “usurping the functions and role of the speaker in the House”.

The committee hearing will be held in the speaker’s chambers, which Sivakumar described as “my chambers”, in the Perak state assembly building at 10am.

In a press statement today, Sivakumar said state assemblyperson Yee Seu Kai, from the DAP, had lodged a complaint against Ganesan, alleging that Ganesan “acted unlawfully and is in contempt of the House”.

The 27 July hearing will be held “to allow Ganesan to answer the charges against him”, Sivakumar said.

On 7 May, Sivakumar was forcefully evicted from the Perak state assembly after BN-aligned assemblypersons voted on a motion to appoint Ganesan as speaker. The motion was proposed by BN-installed Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir, and seconded by Deputy Speaker Hee Yit Foong.

Pakatan Rakyat (PR) reps have continually disputed the legality of these actions.

“At all material times Ganesan had no right to be in the House,” Sivakumar said in his press statement which was written on the Perak Speaker’s letterhead but faxed from a lawyer’s office.

Sivakumar also charged that Hee “had no right to preside over any sitting to elect a new speaker when I was still in the chair”.

Hee, formerly from the DAP, was one of three assemblypersons who quit the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) state government to become a BN-friendly independent, triggering a constitutional crisis in the state.

“Zambry tried to move a resolution to remove me, but as speaker, I had on the day before (6 May) rejected the motion,” Sivakumar further argued.

He added that the Federal Court ruling on the suspension of BN’s Zambry and his executive council “only dealt with the suspension made by me on 18 Feb, and not the decision of (the Powers and Privileges) Committee”.

The committee’s decision had been adopted and approved in an “emergency sitting” on 3 March, Sivakumar said. That sitting was the one that was famously held under a tree because Pakatan Rakyat assemblypersons were prevented by police from entering the state secretariat building.

“No ruling was made by the Federal Court on the status of the 3 March assembly sitting, although it was specifically asked for by Zambry’s lawyers,” Sivakumar pointed out.

He argued that this meant Zambry’s suspension was still valid.

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