By Baradan Kuppusamy
KUALA LUMPUR, April 18 — The move to suspend Perak state assembly secretary Abdullah Antong Sabri today is a signal that neither the Speaker V. Sivakumar nor the Pakatan Rakyat is going to concede control of the legislature to the Barisan Nasional without a fight.
The issue was debated long and hard by top PR leaders in Penang today and the decision is to fight BN every inch of the way.
A number of PR leaders feel that since they consider the upcoming assembly “illegal,” their attendance may legitimise it.
But after heated debate the decision was taken to attend the assembly or otherwise it was felt BN would have a free hand to do what it liked.
A senior PR leader who attended the three-hour meeting said they would fight BN every step of the way.
“We have Plans A, B and C,” the leader said, promising a “climatic” outcome to the May 7 face-off between PR and BN.
The suspension of Abdullah by Sivakumar today is the first move by PR in what has become a game of wits.
Sivakumar first suspended Abdullah on March 3 for failing to take his instruction and he suspended him again today for sending out notices to all representatives for the assembly to convene on May 7.
“I am the Speaker and I am acting in accordance with all the rules and regulations of the Perak constitution,” Sivakumar said when contacted.
He declined further comment, citing possible legal complications.
Earlier, he told reporters in Ipoh that he had appointed Mohd Misbahul Munir Marduki as secretary of the state assembly.
He said the “purported sitting” on May 7 should not proceed pending further clarification.
Meanwhile, Ipoh Barat MP M. Kulasegaran said Sivakumar was neither informed nor consulted on the May 7 sitting.
“This act of calling an assembly sitting over the head of the Speaker is not only blatant but a direct usurpation of the powers of the Speaker by the mentri besar,” he told The Malaysian Insider.
“This is a coup… no less. This is against democracy,” he said.
He also said the courts had no business ruling on issues involving the legislature as the constitution clearly bars any interference by the judiciary.
“We are surprise and shocked by recent court decisions,” he said.
On Thursday, the Federal Court lifted Sivakumar's suspension of the MB and his six executive councillors from the state legislature.
The ruling has sparked controversy because it appears to ignore the principle of separation of powers and constitutional provisions which say proceedings of the legislature cannot be questioned in a court of law.
Although Sivakumar has suspended Abdullah and appointed another secretary who is presumably favourable to him, it remains unclear if the suspension will stop BN from convening the assembly sitting.
It is learned that the first matter on the agenda is the removal of Sivakumar as Speaker because being hostile to the BN, he can — theoretically — use the powers of his office to ruin any moves by BN to claim legitimacy in its power grab.
When the assembly first convened after the March 8 general election last year the first matter in the order of business was the election of a Speaker.
That part of the assembly was chaired by Abdullah and Sivakumar was elected Speaker.
Sources said that since the first matter is the election of a new Speaker, either Abdullah or even the Deputy Speaker, the former DAP assemblywoman Hee Yit Fong, could chair proceedings.
They said a separate lawsuit to determine whether BN's Datuk Zambry Abdul Kadir or PR's Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin is the legitimate MB could be brought forward to the end of this month.
If the court holds that Zambry is the lawful mentri besar, it would remove the final legal hurdle for BN.