Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Perak speaker not allowed to represent himself - Malaysiakini

Mar 11, 09 6:44pm

The Ipoh High Court has ruled Perak assembly speaker V Sivakumar cannot represent himself after he was earlier barred from appointing his own lawyers.

Judicial Commissioner Ridwan Ibrahim made the decision after lawyers for three pro-BN independent assemblypersons objected to the speaker's application to represent himself today.

Sivakumar has been barred from being represented by private lawyers in a litigation by the three assemblypersons who had filed a suit against him for declaring their seats vacant.

Sivakumar has been asked again by the same judge to instead seek the services of the state legal adviser.

The decision was made in spite of Sivakumar’s protests that this would deprive him of his right to present his case as the state legal adviser would not have his best interest at heart.

The three assemblypersons - Behrang MP Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi, Changkat Jering assemblyperson Mohd Osman Mohd Jailu and Jelapang assemblyperson Hee Yit Fong - had resigned from Pakatan Rakyat last month and declared their support for BN, leading to the BN taking over the state government.

He can only speak through gov't lawyer

In today’s hearing, Sivakumar had by himself filed an application to strike out the suit.

When Sivakumar asked the state legal adviser to apply for an adjournment of the hearing, the state legal adviser refused and said that this was up to the court’s discretion.

After the judge ruled that Sivakumar can only speak through the state legal adviser, the Perak speaker's lawyer Chan Kok Keong - who was there as his aide - had to withdraw from the proceedings.

Sivakumar has filed an affidavit replying to the allegations raised by the plaintiffs, relying on section 72 of the Federal Constitution which provides that his actions in the State Legislative Assembly could not be brought to court.

The application of the three pro-BN assemblypersons included, among other things, a declaration that they are still the legal assemblypersons for Behrang, Changkat Jering and Jelapang respectively.

Alternatively, the application called for the declaration that the seats were “not vacant”.

The court will hear matters relating to the case next Monday.

Meanwhile, Chan will be filing an appeal either tomorrow or Friday for the court to reconsider allowing Sivakumar to represent himself.

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