IPOH (March 15, 2009) : The Ipoh City Council (DBI) today demolished a black marble plaque erected by Pakatan Rakyat to mark the controversial state assembly emergency sitting under a raintree on March 3.
Perak Local Government Committee chairman Dr Mah Hang Soon said the marble slab structure contravened the Road, Drainage and Building Act 1974 as it was deemed an obstruction in a public area.
"I do not treat this as a special case as appropriate action will be taken according to the law if any structure is erected in the capital without the council's permission," he said.
The council ordered the demolition of the structure under a raintree dubbed the "Tree of Democracy" by the opposition by sticking a notice on the tree on Friday.
The notice which was signed by DBI legal advisor Syahrul Azrin Ghazali gave the owner 24 hours to demolish the structure, failing which the council would take steps to remove the structure and charge PR for labour and other costs.
The structure was unveiled by former Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Nizar Jamaluddin near the state secretariat on March 8, to mark the tree where on March 3, State Assembly Speaker V Sivakumar had convened the emergency meeting under the raintree after the Pakatan Rakyat assemblymen were prevented by police from entering the Perak State Assembly to the emergency sitting.
The state assembly meeting under the tree later passed three resolutions calling for the dissolution of the state assembly and calling for fresh state elections to be held.
It also upheld a decision of the State Rights and Privileges Committee to suspend Barisan Nasional Mentri Besar Datuk Zambry Abdul Kadir and his six exco-members from state assembly sittings for 18 months and 12 months respectively.
A DAP spokesman said that an excavator was used to fork out the plaque together with its foundation at about 6am today.
The plaque has been vandalised twice, the first time the plaque was smashed with a hammer and the second time on Saturday tar was splashed over the broken black marble slab, blotting out most of the words describing the historical state assembly sitting.
The PR exco members had also planted five trees named transparency, justice, integrity, trustworthiness and welfare nearby to the “Democracy Tree” which were also not spared by the DBI today.
Yesterday, saw the arrival of tourist buses from as far as Singapore and Penang to visit the historical site and take photos while today saw the arrival of about 500 'tourists' from as far as Kuala Lumpur, to take snap shots of the site.
Many were disappointed when told that the black marble plaque has been removed by the council early this morning.
However their enthusiasm of their visit to the site, did not die off and they continue to take photos of the historical tree with their family members.