(Updated 11:08pm, 1 April 2009)
IPOH, 1 April 2009: The High Court here today dismissed an application by Perak state assembly speaker V Sivakumar to set aside a suit filed against him by the assemblypersons for Behrang, Changkat Jering and Jelapang.
Judge Datuk Balia Yusof Wahi also dismissed an application on the same matter by six parties including three former state executive councillors (excos), namely A Sivanesan, Tai Sing Ng and Chan Fook Chye besides three voters from the state constituencies concerned who acted as intervenors, with costs.
As such until the case is settled , the three assemblypersons — Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi (Behrang), Capt (Rtd) Mohd Osman Jailu (Changkat Jering) and Hee Yit Foong (Jelapang) — can continue to act as the constituencies’ elected representatives and the seats are not considered vacated.
In their suit, the trio had named Sivakumar as the defendant and had asked the court to declare that the seats had not been vacated and they were the valid elected representatives for them although Sivakumar had announced as such.
In February, Jamaluddin and Mohd Osman left Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) to become independent assemblypeson while Hee of the DAP did the same, and this led Sivakumar to declare the seats vacant on the premise that the trio had signed undated resignation letters after winning the seats in the general election held on 8 March last year.
Outside the courtroom, the assemblymen’s lead counsel Firoz Hussein Ahmad Jamaluddin said the decision by the court to dismiss the two applications were significant towards resolving constitutional issues in Perak as soon as possible.
“Basically, the judge held that there was not enough justification for the case to be struck out. The important issue here is the constitution and matters pertaining to state government, how the Speaker acts, how the legislative assembly members resign or do not resign,” he said.
He also said the court fixed 8 April to hear the suit but this depended on the outcome of a Federal Court hearing on constitutional matters regarding the political crisis in Perak on 3 April.
Prior to this, the Speaker’s side had also made an application to the Federal Court to determine whether the Perak Speaker or the Election Commission had the final say on the status of seats in the state assembly.
Meanwhile, on the application by the excos and voters from the three constituencies, another of the assemblyperson’s lawyers, Datuk Hafarizam Harun, said the judge ruled that the six did not have sufficient interest to act as intervenors in the suit.
Among the grounds for the judge’s decision, Mohd Hafarizam said, were that the voters rights were not sufficiently affected while for the excos, their intervention was out of seeming commercial interest because they had lost their posts and salaries and not their rights under the law.
Tomorrow, the Ipoh High Court is scheduled to hear an application by Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir and his six excos asking the court for a declaration that Sivakumar’s action in suspending him and the excos from attending state assembly sittings as invalid and ultra vires the Perak constitution.
On 18 Feb, Sivakumar suspended Zambry and the six excos from attending Perak state assembly sittings for 18 and 12 months respectively. — Bernama