Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Speaker vs Speaker: Judge slapping his own face? - Malaysiakini

By Kim Quek Sep 9, 09 4:55pm

A tragic yet hilarious court proceeding took place in the Ipoh High Court on Sept 8 when the judge blatantly contradicted himself in dismissing a suit brought by Perak's Pakatan Rakyat speaker against the state's Barisan Nasional speaker (yes, two speakers in the Perak assembly).

Judge Azahar Mohamed rejected V Sivakumar's suit to seek damages from R Ganesan for assault and false imprisonment during the chaotic and violent state assembly sitting on May 7.

He said the court had no jurisdiction to hear the case due to Federal Constitution Article 72 stipulating that "the validity of any proceeding in any state assembly cannot be questioned in any court".

And yet in the same breath he declared that "the decision of the legislative assembly to remove the plaintiff as speaker and to appoint the defendant was conclusive and had been fairly determined by the state assembly on May 7, 2009."

Now, the crux of the entire contention between the two speakers is: Who is on the right side of law in the violent tussle for the speaker's chair on May 7?

By declaring Ganesan as the rightful speaker, Judge Azahar is in fact making a legal judgment. Is that not a breach of Article 72? How come he has no jurisdiction to hear Sivakumar's grievances but has jurisdiction to judge Ganesan as legal speaker?

Is that not a contradiction of the highest order?

Apart from this atrocious double standard applied by the judge, the main flaw of the judgment is the inability to differentiate between assembly proceeding and criminal behaviour.

What Sivakumar is seeking is redress for the unlawful physical violence inflicted on him. And Article 72 covers only businesses conducted in the assembly - not unlawful and criminal act.

Judge Azahar has therefore wrongly used Article 72 to come to his judgment. To make it very clear that this is the case, I will quote in full the relevant clauses in Article 72 (Clauses 1 & 2) and explain the reasons why.

* Clause 1: The validity of any proceedings in the Legislative Assembly of any State shall not be questioned in any court.

* Clause 2: No body shall be liable to any proceedings in any court in respect of anything said or vote given by him when taking part in proceedings of the Legislative Assembly of any State or of any committee thereof.

Note the operative words "proceedings" in Clause 1 and "anything said or any vote given" in Clause 2. It is abundantly clear what Article 72 refers to are the speeches and resolutions made in the assembly, not any criminal or unlawful act.

Tragedy and comedy

But what happened on May 7 was complete pandemonium and chaos in the assembly hall. There was no chance to conduct any business at all, least of all any resolution passed. In fact, the only business done on that day was the address by the Perak Regent Raja Nazrin Shah.

And how was Sivakumar "replaced" by Ganesan during that pandemonium?

While Sivakumar was sitting in the speaker's chair, hordes of police personnel entered the assembly hall, allegedly on Ganesan's order, and physically lifted, carried, dragged and moved speaker Sivakumar into a room where he was forcibly detained until the assembly sitting was over.

And as soon as Sivakumar was removed from the hall, police personnel escorted Ganesan into the hall and ushered him to the speakers chair, with police personnel making a line to stand guard in front of Ganesan to prevent any assemblymen from reaching the speaker's chair.

The entire tragedy-comedy was stage-managed by the police, and it is therefore more appropriate to say that while Sivakumar was elected by the assembly through a resolution, Ganesan was physically planted into the speaker's chair by the police. And that about sums up what happened on that tragic-hilarious day.

And since Judge Azahar appears to be so respectful of the constitutional principle of separation of power as demonstrated by his professed adherence to Article 72, is it not puzzling that he should have chosen to ignore completely the heinous violation of the doctrine of separation of power when hordes of police personnel invaded the assembly to physically replace one speaker with another?

Is it not another shining example of double standard in the Malaysia Boleh tradition?

After the series of judicial decisions that appear to wantonly trample the constitution and the law following the shameful power grab in Perak, the latest low represented by Azahar's decision makes us wonder how much lower our judiciary can sink into, as many more judicial decisions in the same series are still pending.

Friday, September 4, 2009

EC acted beyond powers in not holding polls in Perak, court told

Sept 4, 2009

KUALA LUMPUR: The Election Commission (EC) acted beyond its powers and functions in not holding by-elections for three state seats in Perak, the High Court here was told Friday.

Counsel Datuk S. Ambiga said the EC's decision in holding that the state assembly seats of Behrang, Changkat Jering and Jelapang were not vacated as a result of the resignation of the three assemblymen, as determined by the then speaker of the state assembly V. Sivakumar, was illegal and irrational.

"The fourth respondent (the EC) had usurped the powers and right of the speaker (Sivakumar) to determine that a resignation had taken place," argued Ambiga before Justice Lau Bee Lan in her chambers.

Ambiga, former president of the Bar Council, was representing Sivakumar in his leave application for a judicial review to compel the EC to declare the three seats vacant and hold by-elections.

In his application, Sivakumar had named state assemblymen Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi (Behrang), Mohd Osman Mohd Jailu (Changkat Jering) and Hee Yit Foong (Jelapang), and the EC as respondents.

Ambiga, in her submission, also contended that the EC, by its letter to Sivakumar dated Feb 5, 2009, had stated that it was unable to ascertain whether the three seats had been vacated and, therefore, could not call for by-elections.

"Having determined that it could not ascertain that a vacancy had occurred, the EC had contrarily made a decision that the three seats were still held by the first to third respondents," she said.

Sivakumar, 38, is seeking a court order to quash the EC's decision and to compel the EC to hold by-elections in the Behrang, Changkat Jering and Jelapang state constituencies.

He also wants the court to grant an injunction to stop Jamaluddin, Mohd Osman and Hee from acting as and carrying out the functions and duties of assemblymen of the respective state seats.

He is also seeking a writ of "quo warranto" to compel the trio to show under what basis or authority they still remained the elected representatives of their constituencies and carried out the responsibilities, functions and duties of an assemblyman.

The court fixed Sept 9 to hear the reply from the EC, represented by Senior Federal Counsel Datuk Kamaludin Md Said. - Bernama

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Nizar: Sidang DUN Perak tetap diadakan Rabu ini 3 Sept 2009 - MStar

30 Ogos 2009 Oleh G. MANIMARAN

PETALING JAYA: Sidang Dewan Undangan Negeri (DUN) Perak akan tetap diadakan Rabu ini walaupun disifatkan sebagai tidak sah oleh Speaker diiktiraf Barisan Nasional (BN), kata bekas Menteri Besar, Datuk Seri Ir. Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin.

"Sidang DUN Perak akan diadakan seperti yang telah ditetapkan dan sebagaimana notis yang telah dikeluarkan sebelum ini," kata beliau ketika dihubungi sebentar tadi.

Jelas Nizar, sidang DUN akan tetap diteruskan sebagimana telah dimaklumkan oleh V. Sivakumar "selaku Speaker yang sah" dalam notisnya.

"Sivakumar merupakan Speaker yang sah. (Datuk) Ganesan bukan Speaker," kata beliau yang juga Ahli Parlimen Bukit Gantang dan ADUN Pasir Panjang.

Oleh itu kata Nizar, Ganesan tidak boleh menghalang mana-mana ADUN daripada menghadiri sidang kali ini.

Ketika ditanya kemungkinan akan ada usaha menghalang sidang yang dimaksudkan itu sebagaimana pernah disaksikan 3 Mac lalu, Nizar memberitahu, usaha sedang diambil oleh Sivakumar untuk mengelakkan suasana sedemikian.

"YB Sivakumar sudah memohon kepada mahkamah agar dikeluarkan satu perintah bagi menghalang mana-mana pihak eksekutif daripada mengadakan halangan," katanya.

Permohonan itu telah dibuat baru-baru ini dan diharap keputusan akan diperoleh Selasa ini, katanya lagi.

Semalam, Datuk R. Ganesan, Speaker yang diiktitaf Barisan Nasional (BN) berkata, semua Ahli Dewan Undangan Negeri (ADUN) Perak tidak perlu menghadiri persidangan dewan yang dipanggil pada Rabu ini kerana arahan yang dikeluarkan adalah daripada sumber tidak sah.

Ganesan menegaskan, tindakan Sivakumar yang juga ADUN Tronoh memanggil sidang itu adalah pelik kerana beliau bukan lagi Speaker.

Menurut Nizar, notis untuk mengadakan sidang DUN perlu dikeluarkan 14 hari sebelum persidangan dan ia "telah diterima lebih awal daripada itu."

Pada Mei lalu, Sivakumar mengeluarkan notis sidang DUN tergempar 11 hari lebih awal sebagaimana sah diperuntukkan undang-undang, Perintah Tetap Dewan Negeri (PT)8(1).

Bagaimanapun ia dihalang dan terpaksa mengadakan sidang di bawah pokok berhampiran DUN.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

BN’s Speaker accuses PR’s Sivakumar of treason - Malaysian Insider

IPOH, Aug 29 — The two Perak “Speakers” have gone to war with each other again, with Barisan Nasional’s Datuk R. Ganesan accusing Pakatan Rakyat’s V. Sivakumar of committing treason against the Perak royalty.

The mudslinging is barely a few days ahead of Wednesday’s impending state assembly “sitting” which was called by Sivakumar earlier this month.

At a press conference here today, Ganesan said that by summoning the state assembly to convene on Sept 2 without seeking royal consent, Sivakumar had not only infringed the Perak constitution but had also showed disrespect and disloyalty to Sultan Azlan Shah and shamed the Perak state assembly.

"Only the Sultan has the absolute discretion to convene an assembly sitting and this is provided for under Article 36(1) of the Perak constitution.

“A state assembly sitting always has to receive endorsement from the Sultan. No one else can just call for a sitting,” he said.

As such, Ganesan said he had sent out notices to all Perak legislative members warning them against attending Wednesday’s sitting.

“I will not hesitate to take action under the state assembly’s Standing Orders against those who get involved in this so-called state assembly sitting.

“As members of the state assembly, I hope everyone would honour their oaths and do the right thing — ignore whatever orders given by Sivakumar because he is no longer the legal Speaker,” he said.

Ganesan’s notice was distributed to counter the one sent by Sivakumar on Aug 12 informing the assemblymen of Wednesday’s sitting.

Ganesan said Sivakumar’s act of masquerading as the legal Speaker was tantamount to a power grab, which challenged and insulted the royal institution.

“This is why I have also lodged a police report against him for posing as the Speaker and calling for a sitting. I hope the police will do the necessary,” he said.

Ganesan added that he expected that the PR representatives would storm the state secretariat on Wednesday morning, and create chaos in the hope of keeping themselves in the limelight with the people.

“Their aim is also to provoke the police to act aggressively against them in front of the foreign media so they can prove to the world that they are being victimised,” he said.

Meanwhile, Ganesan said he plans to initiate investigations into Sivakumar soon in a state assembly Rights and Privileges Committee meeting.

“I have already received numerous complaints against him from members of the BN Backbenchers Club and as chairman of the committee, I will look into them,” he said.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Sivakumar saman Setiausaha Kerajaan Negeri Perak - MStar

26 Ogos, 2009

IPOH: Anggota Dewan Undangan Negeri kawasan Tronoh V.Sivakumar hari ini memfailkan saman terhadap Setiausaha Kerajaan Negeri Perak Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Hashim untuk menuntut ganti rugi, ganti rugi teruk dan ganti rugi contoh.

Writ saman itu yang difailkan melalui Tetuan Chan & Associates di pejabat Pendaftar Mahkamah Tinggi di sini tengah hari tadi, meminta defendan mengemukakan maklum balas dalam tempoh lapan hari dari tarikh ia difailkan.

Dalam writ saman itu, Sivakumar yang juga bekas Speaker Dewan Undangan Negeri (DUN) turut memohon injuksi untuk menghalang defendan atau ejen atau pekerja Abdul Rahman daripada menafikannya daripada memasuki dan menggunakan Dewan Negeri atau menghalang plaintif daripada menggunakan pejabat dan menjalankan tugasnya sebagai Speaker DUN.

Beliau turut memohon injuksi untuk mencegah sebarang penyalahgunaan, campur tangan atau pencerobohan daripada pihak defendan atau ejen atau pekerja Abdul Rahman.

Dalam pernyataan tuntutan itu, Sivakumar mendakwa Setiausaha Kerajaan Negeri itu atau pekerja atau ejennya telah menghalang beliau dan anggota DUN daripada menghadiri dan memasuki Dewan Negeri yang terletak di Bangunan Perak Darul Ridzuan pada 3 Mac lepas.

Beliau juga mendakwa tindakan defendan menafikan aksesnya ke Dewan Negeri adalah tidak mematuhi undangundang dan tindakan itu adalah tidak berperlembagaan.

Sivakumar turut mendakwa tindakan defendan bersifat dengki dan bertujuan menyakiti plaintif di mana defendan berpihak kepada Datuk R.Ganesan sebagai Speaker dan menafikan hak plaintif sebagai Speaker yang sah.

ADUN Tronoh itu turut mendakwa defendan sedar atau mengetahui bahawa sebagai kakitangan kerajaan, defendan tidak mempunyai kuasa untuk campur tangan atau menceroboh urusan Dewan Undangan sebagai majlis menggubal undangundang dan tindakan defendan atau pekerja atau ejennya akan menyakiti plaintif.

Sivakumar mendakwa akibat tindakan salah atau penyalahgunaan kuasa defendan, plaintif dilucutkan suatu tempat untuk mengadakan persidangan Dewan Undangan Negeri dan dihalang daripada menjalankan tugas dan tanggungjawabnya sebagai Speaker DUN yang sah.

Dalam butiran penyalahgunaan, Sivakumar mendakwa Abdul Rahman sepatutnya sedar dan tahu bahawa beliau tidak mempunyai kuasa untuk campur tangan dalam hal ehwal Dewan Undangan.

Bekas Speaker itu juga mendakwa defendan menunjukkan sifat berat sebelah dengan memihak kepada Barisan Nasional (BN) sejak 7 Feb lepas selain gagal untuk menjauhkan diri daripada parti politik.

Defendan juga didakwa mengarahkan polis untuk menghalang persidangan Dewan Undangan Negeri dan mesyuarat Jawatankuasa Hak dan Kebebasan selain gagal menjalankan tugasnya selaras dengan perintahperintah am.

Sivakumar juga mendakwa defendan telah bertindak di luar bidang kuasa dan tanggungjawabnya sebagai kakitangan kerajaan dan tidak boleh menuntut perlindungan di bawah Akta Prosiding Kerajaan 1956.

Dalam writ saman itu, Sivakumar mendakwa mengalami mengalami kejutan, kerugian dan kerosakan selain menanggung penghinaan serta perasaan malu di khalayak awam, akibat tindakan Abdul Rahman itu.

Beliau turut menuntut kos dan relief yang difikirkan adil dan saksama oleh mahkamah.BERNAMA

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Bar says BN Speaker filed notice after deadline - Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 24 — The Bar Council has clarified that Perak Speaker Datuk R Ganesan had only filed a notice of cessation of practice as a lawyer on August 17, ten days after a statutory deadline for him to do so expired.

A letter to the Bar Council which was received on August 17 was however dated August 6.

The actual “Notice of Cessation of Practice as an Advocate and Solicitor” was only field on August 17, as was an accompanying statutory declaration.

Last week, former mentri besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin revealed that the former Sungkai assemblyman had infringed Article 36A of the Perak Constitution by failing to relinquish his job as a lawyer within three months of his appointment.

Bar Council secretary George Varughese said in a statement today the Bar Council had acknowledged receipt of Ganesan’s letter dated August 6.

But he pointed out that the “Notice of Cessation” was dated August 17.

In the statement, Varughese said Ganesan had faxed a letter to the Bar Council on August 13, six days after the deadline expired, claiming that he had ceased being a lawyer on August 6.

But the notice of cessation remained dated August 17, ten days after the legal deadline.

The Bar Council statement appears to back Perak PR lawmakers in their argument that Ganesan had breached the state constitution and could no longer be Speaker.

In a joint media statement today, Perak PR lawmakers said that while they still maintain Ganesan had not been properly elected Speaker on May 7, he should be disqualified now even if his appointment was accepted.

“We all know that Dato’ R. Ganesan was never properly elected as the Speaker of the Perak State Legislative Assembly at the sitting on 7/5/2009 where the lawful and legitimate Speaker YB V. Sivakumar was illegally and forcibly removed from the State Assembly.

“The purported election of Dato’ R. Ganesan by the BN elected representatives holding a sub-assembly within the Assembly was carried out before the opening of the session of the Legislative Assembly i.e before the opening speech of his Royal Highness the Regent of Perak. How can a proceeding or a decision made prior to the commencement of a meeting be valid?” they said.

As such the PR lawmakers said Sivakumar should still be recognised as the legitimate Perak state Speaker.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Selamat Menyambut Bulan Ramadhan Al-Mubarak

Pakatan Rakyat Perak blog wishes all Muslim Friends "Selamat Menyambut Bulan Ramadhan Al-Mubarak dan Selamat Berpuasa".