Thursday, February 19, 2009

Perak speaker: Zambry, excos will be removed - Star

Feb 19, 2009

IPOH: Mentri Besar Datuk Dr Zambry Abd Kadir and all six state executive council members will be removed from the State Legislative Assembly if any of them turn up for the next sitting.

Speaker V. Sivakumar confirmed this by SMS, adding that no date had been fixed yet for the next sitting.

It is understood, however, that the sitting will be in April as the last assembly sitting was in November last year.

“They refused to give any statement yesterday,” Sivakumar said in response to Dr Zambry accusing him of lying about failing to give any satisfactory explanation to the Rights and Privileges Committee during the inquiry on Wednesday afternoon.

“I suspended them from attending the assembly for contempt,” Sivakumar added, declining to comment further without legal advice.

On Wednesday, Sivakumar who heads the Rights and Privileges Committee suspended and barred the seven from the state assembly. Following the announcement, at least one exco member, Mohammad Zahir Abdul Khalid, said he would attend the state assembly as he was still an elected representative.

On Thursday, state Health, Local Government, Consumer Affairs, Environment, Public Transportation and Non-Islamic Affairs Committee chairman Dr Mah Hang Soon also said he would turn up.

“I see no reason why I shouldn’t attend, I will go. I think the Speaker has acted out of his jurisdiction,” Dr Mah said.

Kedah speaker: Sivakumar has the right to suspend Zambry

ALOR SETAR: Kedah State Legislative Assembly Speaker Datuk Dr Abdul Isa Ismail defended his Perak Pakatan Rakyat counterpart, saying the Speaker had the right to suspend anyone who showed contempt to the House.

“My Perak counterpart, V. Sivakumar, was within his right to suspend Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Dr Zambry Abd Kadir and the state exco members from the state assembly for 18 months and 12 months respectively.

“A speaker has the highest power within the context of the House. He can take action as he deems fit to protect the House,” he said when met by reporters after attending the opening of Wisma Darulaman’s new block on Thursday.

Dr Abdul Isa was commenting on a report that quoted Sivakumar as saying that he has barred Dr Zambry and all six Perak state executive council members for showing contempt for the House.

When asked about the implication of Sivakumar’s action, he said many things could happen, for example, if a motion needed to be passed, the Pakatan Rakyat would have the upper hand as their number was as big as that of the Barisan Nasional’s.

Parliament: I wouldn’t have dared, says Pandikar

KUALA LUMPUR: “If I were him, I would not have dared to do it” - that was what Parliament Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin had to say on the situation in Perak.

Pandikar, who was mobbed for his comments the moment he stepped out from the Dewan Rakyat here Thursday, said that as the Speaker for the Perak state assembly, V. Sivakumar should know what he was doing when he decided to suspend the mentri besar and the six executive council members.

Sivakumar on Wednesday suspended and barred Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Dr Zambry Abd Kadir and his entire exco from the state assembly for 18 and 12 months respectively.

“He is the Speaker for that state assembly and I will leave the matter for him to decide. But if I were him, I would not have dared to do such a thing.

“That’s enough for now,” Pandikar told reporters.

Earlier, Deputy Speaker Datuk Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said he had studied the matter seriously and had reached the conclusion that the decision by the Committee of Special Privileges to suspend the mentri besar and other exco members was not valid.

“The rules for the state assembly is almost like those of our Standing Orders. Under the Standing Order, members of the committee should reflect the party’s composition in the House.

“When Pakatan Rakyat was the state government, it did not reflect this composition because there was only one Barisan MP present.

“And when the new mentri besar was appointed, he should have reconvened a new committee to reflect this composition. So, as it is, the committee itself is not valid and thus, any decision it makes is also not valid,” he said.

Dr Wan Junaidi, who is a lawyer by profession, also said that any decision by the committee should be reported in writing to the assembly without first divulging it to the media.

“It is only when the assembly has approved the report that the decision becomes final. Similarly, members who have conflict of interest shouldn’t have sat on the committee.

“I remembered when a complaint arose against Bukit Gelugor MP Karpal Singh’s conduct against the Speaker last year; the latter asked for the matter to be chaired by another person,” he said.

Asked who could declare the decision by the committee to be “invalid,” Dr Wan Junaidi said the matter could be brought to the court.

“However, if the court says it has no jurisdiction, then it should go back to the House,” he said.

Zambry: ‘Has Sivakumar acted according to the rules?’

PANGKOR: Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Dr Zambry Abd Kadir has challenged state Assembly Speaker V. Sivakumar to prove that suspending him had been done in accordance with the rules.

“He (Sivakumar) should check whether it had been right for him to do that,” Dr Zambry told reporters after a fishermen, livestock breeders and farmers programme on Thursday.

He accused Sivakumar, who heads the state’s Rights and Privileges Committee, of misusing his powers and acting beyond his jurisdiction.

On Sivakumar’s statement that he had failed to give any explanation to the inquiry by the committee, Dr Zambry again said: “That is a total lie.”

However, Dr Zambry appeared guarded when reporters tried to press him for comments after the function.

Asked if he would lodge a police report on the advice of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Dr Zambry said:

“Oh! We will definitely act according to the law. We are not acting on our whims and fancies.”

On Sivakumar saying that he and his exco members would be removed if they attend the next assembly sitting, Dr Zambry said:

“Well, we will act according to the law.”

To a question on whether he would move a motion during the assembly sitting, he said: “Do not anticipate anything right now.”

“What is important is that he (Sivakumar) has done what he has done and he needs to check if it was right.

“My main concern now is to work for the people as the mentri besar.”

Earlier, Dr Zambry told reporters at the state secretariat in Ipoh that this was all a “game” by Pakatan Rakyat, adding that they would take necessary action against Sivakumar.

He said he had attended the two-day inquiry out of respect to the Speaker, and urged the people not to worry as the government remained stable and intact.

Meanwhile, attempts to contact state legal adviser Datuk Ahmad Kamal Md Shahid has been futile.

PM tells Zambry to lodge police report against speaker

PUTRAJAYA: Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has asked Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Dr Zambry Abd Kadir to lodge a police report against state assembly speaker V. Sivakumar.

The Prime Minister said he had spoken to Dr Zambry about his suspension and was of the opinion that he should lodge a police report, adding that the mentri besar “was of the same opinion.”

On Wednesday, Dr Zambry and all six state executive council members were suspended and barred from the state assembly for allegedly showing contempt for the House. Dr Zambry was suspended for 18 months, the others for 12 months each.

Sivakumar, who heads the Committee of Special Privileges that summoned the seven to answer to a complaint, made the order on grounds that they had failed to give any explanation.

Abdullah told Dr Zambry and his exco to “continue attending the state assembly, and to serve the state and its people.”

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