Thursday, May 7, 2009

Live Update at Perak State Assembly

Updated 2.45pm

Siva being dragged out of the State Assembly. Pix courtesy of Malaysiakini

From Malaysian Insider:

UPDATED 2.50pm
By Adib Zalkapli and Asrul Hadi Abdullah Sani

* Perak Assembly - BN's Ganesan takes over as Speaker as Pakatan lawmakers shout 'police state'

* Police release 13 out of 64 held this morning outside Perak state secretariat.

* Perak Assembly - Speaker's chair empty as lawmakers face off each other

* Perak Assembly - Police have thrown Pakatan Speaker Sivakumar out of the chambers

* KL High Court to decide who is Perak MB next Monday as chaos continue in Perak

* Perak Assemby - Pakatan lawmakers nearly come to blows with brief shouting and shoving while ejecting Ganesan from seat

* Perak Assembly - Pakatan lawmakers stop Ganesan from sitting at sergeant-at-arms' seat. Sivakumar still at the speaker's seat.

* Perak Assembly - Pakatan lawmakers discuss strategy with MB Nizar. BN lawmakers remain in the House despite Sivakumar asking them to leave

* Perak Assembly - BN proceedings pass 4 motions, to sack Sivakumar, appoint Ganesan, appoint state committee & declare tree assembly illegal.

* The august Perak state assembly is now in shambles after Barisan Nasional’s (BN) Datuk R. Ganesan took his oath as the new Speaker in a corner of the hall amid chaotic scenes and shouting matches after Deputy Speaker Hee Yit Foong “removed” Speaker V. Sivakumar.

Sivakumar has refused to vacate the Speaker’s seat while Ganesan presides over the sitting from his corner.

The assembly has now been “adjourned” for an hour, with both BN and Pakatan Rakyat (PR) lawmakers taking their respective places as the standoff continues.

Moments earlier, Sivakumar had ordered BN Nentri Besar Datuk Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir and other BN lawmakers out of the assembly.

Zambry had also repeatedly tried to table a motion to remove the Speaker, which Sivakumar rejected repeatedly as well.

Sivakumar had refused to convene sitting of the assembly until Zambry and six other BN lawmakers whom he had suspended leave the hall.

Perak Assembly - Speaker Sivakumar declares will not start assembly until the BN 7 leave. Raja Nazrin in royal suite next to assembly hall

From Malaysiakini:

5pm: Nizar tells a press conference that as far as Pakatan is concerned, the House did not sit today. He says that whatever BN did was "illegal and unconstitutional".

As for the regent's speech, the ousted MB describes it "as just a royal speech, nothing more than that. It is not opening the assembly."

4.30pm: PAS' Salahuddin Ayub says all the elected reps arrested earlier have been released.

4.05pm: Perak Regent Nazrin leaves the chamber. BN-appointed MB Zambry suggests for the House to be adjourned. Pakatan reps repeatedly shout ‘Dissolve the assembly’ again.

New speaker Ganesan adjourns the assembly to a date to be decided. Pakatan reps to call press conference.

perak state assembly removal of sivakumar ganesan speaker nazrin speech 070509 044pm: PKR election strategy director and Batu parliamentarian Tian Chua is arrested outside the state secretariat building.

The police inform him that the area has been cordoned off. The opposition politician tells police that he is there to greet his Pakatan colleagues.

Although he is accompanied by PKR treasurer and Selayang MP William Leong and several other party leaders, the police only detain him. He is forcefully dragged to an unmarked police vehicle.

perak state assembly chaos in the assmbly between speakers and state reps 070509 113.47pm: Raja Nazrin ends his royal speech. He did not touch on the ongoing political crisis in the state during his 30-minute speech.

He spoke on the stimulus packages and development of the state. A closing prayer session is underway.

3.36pm: Sivakumar's official car is seen returning to the state secretariat building with the same woman passenger.

3.16pm: Order is restored in the House and Raja Nazrin starts his royal address, which has been delayed for almost six hours. His speech touches on the stimulus packages unveiled by the prime minister.

2.55pm: The same group of 'officials' escort Ganesan to the speaker's chair.

2.41pm: A group of men clad in jackets grab hold of Sivakumar and forcibly remove him from the House. The men are believed to be police personnel.

2.35pm: Attempts by the sergeant-at-arms and state assembly staff to remove Sivakumar are being resisted by the speaker and Pakatan reps. Some other Pakatan assemblypersons are continuing with their attempts to eject BN speaker Ganesan from the house.

2.30pm: The situation is still chaotic in the house. The sergeant-at-arms is now trying to remove Sivakumar from the speaker's chair to allow Ganesan to assume the chair.

2.15pm: Assembly has resumed. Pakatan reps are trying to physically stop Ganesan from entering the chamber. There is a lot of pushing and shoving among the state reps. A few punches were thrown. A number of reps climb up the table. It is complete pandemonium in the assembly.

A couple of police officers are now inside the assembly to try to restore order. Pakatan reps shout at the police to leave the assembly.

12.55pm: BN speaker Ganesan announces that the House will be adjourned for another hour. This is the second adjournment he has announced since been appointed by the BN as the speaker.

As he is unfamiliar with the House standing orders and has to be helped by BN exco Hamidah (Sungai Rapat), he is laughed at by Pakatan reps.

Despite the adjournment, all elected reps remain in the House, waiting for Round 3.

12.50pm: Umno Youth's Saiful Adli files a police report against Sivakumar for ordering Zambry and others out of the House. He says this is in contempt of court.

12.45pm: The situation turns ugly in the House. Pakatan rep Thomas Su (Pasir Pinji) ridicules Hee by offering her RM50 and shouting 'Go and die' in Cantonese.

Following this, another Pakatan rep Yew Tian Hoe (Aulong) throws two RM1 notes at the deputy speaker, prompting a vexed Hee to pick up the notes and tear them to pieces.

Other reps - from both sides of the divide - are recording the happenings in the House with their handphones.

Earlier, Yew claimed that Hee had sprayed him with pepper spray.

12.37pm: BN speaker Ganesan comes under heavy pressure from the Pakatan representatives to leave the house. Some of them even shouted at him to leave. "Ganesan, go out!" was among the shouts heard.

By now the BN elected representatives have come to support Ganesan, who is a top state MIC leader. Both sides are engaged in a heated argument, resulting in a minor scuffle among some of the reps, but this was quickly stopped by the remaining elected assemblypersons.

Ganesan remained seated in a chair belonging to a sergeant-at-arms and is refusing to budge.

12.15pm: It has now turned into Speaker vs Speaker in the assembly. After an hour-long recess, the session continues with Pakatan speaker Sivakumar asking BN-appointed speaker Ganesan to leave the chamber.

Five Pakatan reps have gone to Ganesan to ask him to leave but latter is arguing with them over his status as the speaker. BN reps are just watching the arguments.

11.48am: Pakatan elected representatives told Malaysiakini that their seating arrangements were changed before they entered the house this morning - moving their places from the right of the speaker to the left.

However since they arrived into the house much earlier than the BN reps, they just made the necessary changes to sit in their original places at the right of the speaker.

By convention, the ruling party sits in the right of the speaker.

11.37am: A ceasefire seems to be in place. Pakatan reps are still in discussion with Mohammad Nizar while the BN reps are glued to their seats worried that Sivakumar would start the sitting if they leave the

11.20am: Zambry moves a motion to adjourn the sitting and the motion is passed. The new speaker announces that the sitting has been adjourned. Pakatan reps respond by shouting 'keluar'. But both sides return to their seats later while Sivakumar continues to occupy the speaker's seat. The House is calm again. The regent of Perak has yet to deliver the royal address.

11.13am: BN representatives seem to have the upper hand in the House now with new speaker Ganesan controlling the proceedings. His microphone is the only one which is working at the moment. With Ganesan chairing the proceedings, BN is now moving a motion to appoint members of various state committees.

They are also moving a motion to declare that the tree-assembly held on March 3 was illegal. In that sitting, a motion moved by the Pakatan representatives to dissolve the assembly was passed. BN reps did not attend the sitting.

11.05am: Deputy speaker Hee Yit Foong, who is now a BN-friendly independent, announces that she has taken over from Sivakumar. Standing behind a cordon of BN state reps, she orders the sergeant-at-arms to expel Sivakumar. However, no action is taken by the sergeant-at-arms.

Zambry again reads out the motion to sack Sivakumar. All BN state reps raise their hands in support. Zambry also moves the motion to appoint R Ganesan as the new speaker. This is again backed by BN reps and the three BN-friendly Independents.

Ganesan walks into the assembly hall to accept the speaker's gown. He is quickly sworn in among the turmoil and signs the appointment document at the BN side of the assembly.

Sivakumar, who is still occupying the speaker's seat, keeps shouting "Speaker ini haram" (He is an illegal speaker) referring to Ganesan.

Ganesan conducts the assembly meeting from the floor among the BN state reps. Zambry tries to move other motions to change a number of key posts.

10.35am: The Perak assembly is still at a stand-off. Sivakumar keeps repeating that BN MB Zambry's motion to sack him as speaker is "null and void" and orders the sergeant-at-arms to expel the 10 state assemblypersons. However, the sergeant-at-arms refuses to abide by the speaker's instruction.

A group of state reps from both sides surround Zambry as the shouting match continues. State assembly secretary Abdullah Antung tries to talk to the speaker but he is ignored by Sivakumar.

Zambry maintains that the speaker has now been sacked as BN controls the majority in the assembly.

10.25am: Contrary to the chaos inside the assembly, the situation outside the state secretariat building is much calmer with the police successfully dispersing the crowd.

The police have widened the no-go cordon, as a result the coffees shops are deserted.

Earlier the police ordered all those having drinks in the restaurants to leave immediately. Many left without paying for their drinks. Two refused to budge and were arrested.

10.20am: The impasse between speaker V Sivakumar and BN state reps continues. The speaker refuses to begin proceedings unless the seven suspended reps and three BN-friendly independents leave the hall.

Assembly secretary Abdullah Antung tries to take his seat in front of the speaker. But about 10 Pakatan reps walk up to him and physically stop him from doing so. They instruct Antung not to interfere with assembly business as he is a civil servant.

Both sides then engage in a free-for-all shouting match. Pakatan reps are also seen trying to prevent BN MB Zambry from speaking.

Zambry moves motion to sack the speaker. According to Zambry, the speaker has abused his powers. All BN reps raise their hands in support of Zambry. The motion was seconded by Hamidah Osman.

The speaker said his suspension of Zambry and his six exco members was made in his capacity as the chairperson of the privileges and the special rights committee and not as the speaker.

He said the Federal Court decision was based on his standing as a speaker and as such the matter was inapplicable.

He also asked the three BN-friendly independents to leave the assembly as his legal suit against the three was still pending in court.

His order for the 10 to leave the assembly was greeted by cheers and table-clapping by the Pakatan representatives. They shouted ‘keluar' (out) repeatedly.

From The Star:

Perak State Assembly secretary Abdullah Antong Sabri being asked to leave the Dewan by the Pakatan Rakyat assemblyman before the start of the sitting on Thursday

Perak state secretary Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Hashim (third from left) being told by Pakatan Rakyat assemblymen not to interfere in the state assembly sitting

5:10pm Former mentri besar Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin tells reporters that Pakatan does not acknowledge R. Ganesan as the Perak Speaker nor does it recognise Thursday’s proceedings as legal.

He says Pakatan assemblymen stayed to listen to the Royal Address out of respect to the Raja Muda of Perak, Raja Nazrin Shah.

He says he is still going to seek an audience with the palace to obtain royal consent to dissolve the Perak State Legislative Assembly, and may seek legal recourse.

Nizar then leaves the state secretariat building in his own car.

5:00pm V. Sivakumar leaves the state secretariat building in the Speaker’s official car.

4:50pm “Barisan-friendly” independent assemblymen Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi and Mohd Osman Jailu, who are facing corruption charges, leave together in a Mercedes Benz car driven by Jamaluddin. The two’s resignation from PKR earlier this year, together with Hee Yit Foong’s resignation from DAP, saw the state reverting to Barisan rule from Pakatan.

4:35pm Deputy Speaker Hee Yit Foong leaves the secretariat building in an official car with her bodyguards. The Jelapang assemblymen’s resignation from her party DAP earlier this year was what led to the political impasse that saw Barisan Nasional taking over the state government.

4:10pm Datuk R. Ganesan adjourns the sitting to a later, unspecified date. Some assemblymen start to leave, but Pakatan reps prepare for a press conference.

4:05pm Tian Chua of PKR arrested outside state secretariat building after refusing to leave area. There was a brief scuffle between him, his supporters and the police.

4:01pm The Raja Muda of Perak, Raja Nazrin Shah, leaves the Assembly after meeting and receiving respects from each and every member of the Assembly, from both Barisan and Pakatan sides.

Former mentri besar Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin was seen accompanying His Royal Highness as the royal entourage departed. Assembly proceedings to resume shortly.

4:00pm V. Sivakumar’s official car re-enters state secretariat building with only the driver inside.

3:47pm “Ejected” Pakatan reps Chang Ming Kai and Chang Lih Kang still seen in Dewan during the royal address despite having been ordered out by “new” Speaker Datuk R. Ganesan earlier.

Royal address ends with the Raja Muda of Perak, Raja Nazrin Shah, declaring open the first meeting of the second term of the 12th Assembly.

3:15pm Former mentri besar Mohammad Nizar asks the Raja Muda of Perak, Raja Nazrin Shah, for a chance to speak. The Regent summons Nizar and Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham to him, and the three exchange a few quiet words on the dais.

The two Pakatan men return to their fellow assemblymen still standing before the Ruler. All return to their seats after a quiet word from Nizar and Ngeh. The Raja Muda begins to deliver his royal address, which focuses on the economic stimulus packages.

3:12pm The Raja Muda of Perak, Raja Nazrin Shah, delivers his address, focusing on the stimulus packages.

3:10pm Special Branch officers line up to form a barrier between as the Raja Muda of Perak, Raja Nazrin Shah, enters the house.

3:00pm FRU personnel take up positions around the state secretariat building.

V. Sivakumar’s official car leave the building, without him in it. An unidentified woman is seen sitting in the backseat.

Inside the hall, amidst the chaos, Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir tries to move a motion for prayers, in anticipation of the Raja Muda of Perak, Raja Nazrin Shah, finally delivering the opening address he was scheduled to this morning.

2:55pm Under the watchful eye of Ipoh Deputy OCPD Ibrahim Abu Bakar and several plainclothes policemen stationed within the hall, Datuk R. Ganesan -- receiving boos from Pakatan reps -- attempts to resume proceedings.

He ejects Simpang Pulai rep Chang Ming Kai from the hall but the assemblyman defies his order. Teja rep Chang lih Kang was also ordered out.

2:54pm Ipoh Barat MP M. Kulasegaran is heading to the Ipoh High Court to file for a revision of the Magistrate's Court injunction barring the public from gathering within 500m of the state secretariat building.

2:50pm Police enter the Dewan and remove Speaker Sivakumar.

2:45pm Thirteen of the 64 people arrested this morning are released. The 13 were nabbed for going against the court order barring anyone without business in the Assembly from gathering within a 500m radius of the state secretariat building.

2:22pm It’s like your schooldays all over again -- a lone policeman enters the hall to restore order and both sides back off, only to resume shouting as soon as he leaves (Remember “Guru Besar datang, Guru Besar datang”?).

Chang Ming Kai heard shouting at “new” Speaker Datuk R. Ganesan, who is not an elected rep, “I am a state assemblyman, just who are you?”

The shouting and shoving match moves towards the Speaker’s chair.

2:15pm Barisan and Pakatan reps get into a shouting and shoving match around “new” Speaker Datuk R. Ganesan. Barisan reps try to pull their man away, but several Pakatan reps are shoving their way through, shouting “Bubar ADUN” (“Dissolve the Assembly”) and “You are not my Speaker!”

The State Secretary, ousted mentri besar Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin and the Barisan-appointed executive councillors are standing outside the fray.

2:05pm MIKE WRESTLING MATCH ON!! “New” Speaker Datuk R. Ganesan re-enters the hall to resume his place in anticipation of the opening address by the Raja Muda of Perak, Raja Nazrin Shah.

Another brief scuffle ensues as Pakatan reps try to get Ganesan to leave. DAP’s Thomas Su tries to grab the microphone from Ganesan, forcing Barisan reps form a protective ring around Ganesan, who is seated on the “Barisan side” of the hall.

Some shouting and pushing goes on as Pakatan reps try to shout down Ganesan.

2:00pm A small group of people have gathered outside the Federal Reserve Unit base in Ipoh where more than 30 of the 64 people arrested this morning are being kept.

Supporters are encouraging motorists to honk their horns as a show of protest against the arrests. It’s mighty noisy in “sleepy old” Ipoh town.

12:58pm “New” Speaker Datuk R. Ganesan attempts to reconvene the sitting, but is shouted out by Pakatan reps.

Exco Hamidah Osman proposes the House adjourns for another hour, to shouts of "Ular, ular!" (snake, snake) from Pakatan reps.

Former Pakatan Rakyat state assembly Speaker V. Sivakumar involved in an argument with BN reps during the Perak state assembly sitting

The motion is seconded and Ganesan announces that the House will adjourn for an hour. Again, nobody leaves the hall.

The Raja Muda of Perak, Raja Nazrin Shah, has yet to deliver his opening address.

12:50pm Royal address by the Raja Muda of Perak, Raja Nazrin Shah, is delayed once again. Barisan and Pakatan reps are seen chatting with each other in the middle of the hall.

“Former” Speaker V. Sivakumar remains rooted to the Speaker’s chair.

12:45pm Perak Umno Youth lawyer Saiful Adli Mohd Arshad says he had lodged a police report at the Ipoh district police station at 11:30am against “former” Speaker V. Sivakumar for asking Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir, six executive councillors and three Barisan-friendly independent assemblymen to leave the hall.

Saiful Adli alleges that Sivakumar’s instructions were in contempt of a Federal Court order that had declared his suspension of Dr Zambry and the six excos as invalid.

Newly-elected state assembly speaker Datuk R. Ganesan (in black robe) and Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir at the assembly sitting with other BN assemblymen.

In his police report, Saiful Adli named his source of information as being The Star SMS News Alert.

12:20pm Pakatan reps engage in some good-natured ribbing with “new” Speaker Datuk R. Ganesan in the middle of the hall. A few Barisan reps move to “defend” him.

A Barisan rep has a brief scuffle with some Pakatan reps after DAP’s Thomas Su calls on Ganesan to leave. Scuffle ends with assemblymen from both sides who succeed in getting everybody to cool off.

12:15pm Sitting resumes. “Former” Speaker V. Sivakumar and some Pakatan reps ask “new” Speaker Datuk R. Ganesan to leave the hall. Ganesan is attired in the official Speaker’s garb. A heated argument ensues.

12.00pm “Former” Speaker V. Sivakumar says this mornings proceedings are not valid, noting that the Raja Muda of Perak, Raja Nazrin Shah, had yet to deliver his opening address. Sivakumar says that the sitting proper begins only after the opening address.

It is believed that Raja Nazrin is preparing to deliver his address as soon as the one-hour adjournment is over.

11.15am Barisan reps propose the sitting adjourns for one hour. However, all reps return to their seats and nobody budges. Shouting match begins anew.

10:55am Datuk R. Ganesan puts on the Speaker’s robes to the cheers of Barisan assemblymen and Barisan-friendly independent reps and takes his oath. Sivakumar stands up to protest.

10:42am Former mentri besar and Pengkalan Hulu assemblyman Tajol Rosli and several Barisan reps declare that all 28 Barisan reps and the three Barisan-friendly assemblymen have voted to remove V. Sivakumar as Speaker.

V. Sivakumar’s microphone is switched off. Deputy Speaker Hee Yit Foong, whose resignation from DAP led to the Barisan takeover of the state government, tries to take over the Speaker’s role.

Hee announces that Sivakumar has to leave the hall because the majority has voted him out and he has lost the confidence of the assembly.

Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir proposes Datuk R. Ganesan be appointed the new Speaker. Hamidah Osman seconds the motion and Hee announces at 10:50am that Ganesan is the new Speaker. Sivakumar still refuses to leave.

10:35am After 20mins of shouting, nothing has been really settled.

Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir twice tries to put forward a motion to sack Speaker V. Sivakumar, with all Barisan Nasional reps raising their hands in agreement. Sivakumar rejects the motion both times.

Pakatan reps are chanting “Keluar, keluar” (“out, get out”). Sivakumar is still calling for the suspended Zambry and his six excos to leave the hall before proceedings can begin.

Assembly gets heated, with intense shouting match. Speaker V. Sivakumar directs Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir and the six state executive councillors Zambry had appointed to leave the Assembly. Sivakumar had last month suspended them.

Dr Zambry and the Barisan reps sitting on the left of the Speaker ignore calls from Pakatan reps for those suspended to leave the Dewan. Sivakumar refuses to begin proceedings unless the suspended lawmakers leave.

10:05am All Perak state assemblymen, special guests with invitations and accredited media are allowed into the Dewan. Pakatan reps sit on the right side of the Speaker (the “government side”).

Police conduct strict checks of all ID passes. All people scanned with metal detectors. Men without songkok (Malay headgear) and a female reporter in traditional Punjabi outfit were denied entry.

Shouting can be heard from within the Dewan.

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