PETALING JAYA, 28 April 2009: Perak speaker V Sivakumar may write to the Sultan of Perak requesting a postponement of the state legislative assembly sitting on 7 May following the Federal Court’s ruling today to let the High Court decide on the rightful Perak menteri besar.
Perak DAP chairperson and Sitiawan assemblyperson Datuk Ngeh Khoo Ham said Sivakumar will likely decide on the matter and might write to the Sultan of Perak requesting a postponement.
“We might seek Tuanku’s permission to postpone the sitting, because we don’t see how it will proceed due to all the uncertainty.
Ngeh “If the assembly sits, the speaker might find it impossible to proceed because the court has not decided who is right government of the day; so the speaker can adjourn the sitting. But out of respect, maybe we would request Tuanku to postpone it,” Ngeh told The Nut Graph when contacted.
The Pakatan Rakyat (PR)’s embattled Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin hinted as much to reporters after the Federal Court ruling.
He said he hoped the assembly sitting scheduled for 7 May would be postponed and would seek legal advice on the matter.
Nizar said the sitting ought to be delayed as the court would not finish deciding on the issues he and Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir have both raised as to who is the legitimate Perak MB.
The High Court is to hear on 4 May disputed facts between an affidavit filed by Nizar, and another by the Perak legal adviser. The point of contention is whether Nizar had lost the confidence of the majority of the legislature when he sought the Perak Sultan’s consent for a dissolution of the assembly. Nizar has said he requested a dissolution because of a hung assembly and not because of a loss of confidence in him.
The High Court is also supposed to hear on 5 and 6 May Nizar’s request for a judicial review on who is the legitimate menteri besar.
If the court is unable make a decision in time before the 7 May sitting, events could turn out to be highly embarrassing especially in the presence of royalty at the assembly’s opening.
Either Sultan Azlan Shah or the Raja Muda of Perak Raja Nazrin Shah is expected to open the assembly sitting, as it is a new session.
There are several scenarios that could play out: Barisan Nasional and PR could end up either scrambling for seating arrangements in the House; Sivakumar shoots down a motion to remove him as speaker; or the speaker decides to adjourn the sitting as soon as it opens.
Sivakumar Zambry has warned PR assemblypersons to “behave” on 7 May, but has so far kept mum on whether the BN will try to eject Sivakumar.
The House last met in November 2008 and according to the Perak constitution, must meet within a period of six months, which expires on 13 May.
However, Ngeh claimed that contrary to the perception that the House would dissolve if it did not meet within that period, the assembly actually had up to September to hold its next sitting.
He said this is because the assembly had already met under the tree on 3 March. However, the Federal Court did not make any ruling on the validity of this emergency assembly when it lifted the suspensions of Zambry and six BN executive councillors.
Ngeh said that as far as PR was concerned, the tree sitting was still valid. “We already met then, so technically the House has six more months till September to meet,” he said.
He reiterated calls for a snap poll in Perak, or else to postpone the 7 May sitting to let the court decide the legitimate menteri besar.