Andrew Ong | Mar 3, 09 2:21pm
“This is a historic and a meaningful sitting. History has been made for the people of Perak and all those who love democracy.”
That was the response of Pakatan Rakyat leader Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin following the emergency sitting of the Perak legislative assembly today.
The meeting, which needed a quoram of 16, was convened under a tree outside the state secretariat complex in Ipoh.
The 28 Pakatan state representatives were earlier barred from entering the complex where the state assembly is located.
Pakatan has won a moral victory of sorts by passing a vote of confidence for Mohd Nizar as the legitimate menteri besar as well as to dissolve the assembly to pave the way for fresh elections.
The outcome of this victory will not however be immediately known.
The next step is for Mohd Nizar to seek an audience with Sultan Azlan Shah as soon as possible to convey the assembly’s resolutions.
And all eyes are now on the sultan’s response to this latest development.
Also a big concern is how will Barisan Nasional, which took power in the state early last month under controversial circumstances, try to invalidate the decisions made during the emergency sitting today.
At a press conference later, Mohd Nizar appeared in a jovial mood, obviously upbeat after having succesfully conducted the meeting and extracting the all-important motions.
“We have gotten the consensus for us to recommend to the sultan that the state assembly be dissolved. It there is no dissolution, the constitutional crisis (in Perak) will go on and political stability would be affected,” said Mohd Nizar.
“So we are crying from the bottom of our hearts for the people of Perak to urge the sultan to listen to the voices of the people and dissolve the state assembly. If not, the crisis would go on and on. We do not want that.”
Assembly meeting ‘lawful’
Mohd Nizar also stressed that the sitting was lawful because assembly Speaker V Sivakumar had issued a notice to all state representatives, except those who were suspended, to attend the assembly.
However, because the police and an unknown group of men had prevented the state Pakatan representatives from entering the state assembly today, the sitting was held under a large raintree in a carpark just a stone’s throw from the state assembly.
perak state govt crisis state adun assemble under the rain tree 030309The meeting was chaired by Sivakumar, who donned his speaker's ceremonial robe. None of the BN state assemblypersons however turned up for the meeting.
Mohd Nizar added that under the instruction of the sultan, any sitting of the state assembly must be held within the assembly, but since the building had been sealed off, alternative arrangements had to be made.
“We were prevented from entering the building, so out of the doctrine of necessity, we held the sitting as close as possible, so the location underneath the raintree was best,” he said.
However, he stressed that the sitting followed all procedures and was held in accordance to the assembly standing orders and state constitution.
Following the passing of the resolutions this morning, Mohd Nizar said that his government would still have to do some paper work before he can seek an audience with the sultan.
“After we finish preparing the documents, I will seek for an audience with the sultan to present him with the resolutions that were passed earlier as soon as possible,” he said.
Should the sultan not recognise the legitimacy of the sitting and not grant consent for the dissolution of the state assembly, Mohd Nizar said Pakatan would do whatever necessary within the confines of the law.