Thursday, March 18, 2010

Perak PR has a ‘strategy’ for March 30 sitting

The Perak Pakatan Rakyat has not completely backed out of their fight with the Barisan Nasional government and revealed today that it has formulated a “strategy” to face their foes in the coming March 30 state assembly sitting.

Barely two months after a Federal Court decision compelled them into making a promise that they would finally play nice with the BN and become a strong opposition, ousted Speaker V. Sivakumar told a press conference here this morning that the PR would continue to wage war against BN-appointed Speaker Datuk R. Ganesan in the assembly hall.

On Feb 9 this year, the Federal Court ruled that Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir was the rightful Perak Mentri Besar instead of former chief Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin.

Sivakumar said that the PR had their own strategy on how to face the sitting but would not reveal it for fear that it would give BN time to prepare their defensive move.

“In any case, if you want to ask me what is going to happen on March 30, I cannot tell you. Because even though we have our strategies on the previous sittings on May 7 and Oct 28 last year, we still could not pre-empt the things that happened. So I cannot tell you our strategy now because then I would be giving them the time and opportunity to plan their own moves. But I can assure you that we have a strategy,” he said.

Sivakumar however did confirm that all 28 PR representatives, including himself as the “rightful Speaker of Perak”, would be attending the sitting.

To prove they meant it, Sivakumar said that 27 PR state lawmakers had already submitted their oral and written questions to the state assembly committee on March 15, well within the stipulated deadline.

“They have all sent their questions to me and I have duly submitted it to the secretary of the assembly. I do not know about the BN’s questions,” he said, adding that he did not submit his own questions as he was the Speaker.

“My questions for my constituency of Tronoh will be asked on my behalf by my other assemblymen,” he said.

Sivakumar also confirmed that he had sent out his own notices for the coming state assembly, similar to the one Ganesan had already sent out earlier.

“I sent my notices out on March 8. I sent it out to all the PR assemblymen as well as the BN, except for four people — the three frogs and Zambry.

“Number one, frogs are not allowed into the assembly hall. They have already resigned and since their case is still stuck in the courts and no hearing date has yet been set, to me, they have resigned,” he said.

For Zambry, said Sivakumar, the Pangkor assemblyman should not be allowed into the sitting as his suspension punishment by the State Assembly’s Rights and Privileges Committee last year was not yet over.

“He was suspended for 18 months as of Feb 18 last year. His six executive councillors were suspended for 12 months so their suspensions are over,” he said.

On Feb 18 last year, Sivakumar, who chairs the committee, suspended Zambry and his executive councillors after conducting investigations on a complaint against the group’s allegedly wrongful appointments.

Zambry and the executive councillors had however chosen to ignore the punishment, claiming that Sivakumar, in his position as Speaker, did not have the right to mete out such a punishment without first obtaining the consent from the state assembly.

Today however, Sivakumar reiterated PR’s contention that the suspensions were indeed valid as they had been adopted during the controversial March 3 “tree sitting”.

“We had the sitting, we had the quorum and at the time, my position as Speaker was not questioned,” he said.

Meanwhile, Sivakumar again pointed out that Ganesan had no right to sit as the Speaker, listing five reasons for his opinion.

Of the five is that during the tumultuous May 7 sitting last year, the police had obtained a court injunction empowering them to arrest on sight any member of the public seen within a 500m radius of the Perak State Secretariat.

“Since Ganesan is just an ‘orang awam’ and he is not an assemblyman, he should not have been allowed to go near to the assembly hall. He had breached the injunction,” he said.

The other reasons were that Ganesan had been appointed before the Perak Regent had declared the sitting open.

Also the appointment process had been illegal as it was done when Sivakumar was still seated on the Speaker’s chair.

Added to that is the fact that the motion calling for Sivakumar’s removal and the subsequent appointment of a new Speaker had been rejected a day before the sitting on May 6.

And finally, because Ganesan had failed to uphold the Perak Constitution when he did not resign as a practising lawyer three months after his supposed appointment.

With Sivakumar’s words and the PR’s apparent persistence in maintaining that they would not recognise Ganesan’s appointment, the stage looks set for yet another farcical sitting this March 30.

courtesy of Malaysian Insider

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