KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 24 — The Bar Council has clarified that Perak Speaker Datuk R Ganesan had only filed a notice of cessation of practice as a lawyer on August 17, ten days after a statutory deadline for him to do so expired.
A letter to the Bar Council which was received on August 17 was however dated August 6.
The actual “Notice of Cessation of Practice as an Advocate and Solicitor” was only field on August 17, as was an accompanying statutory declaration.
Last week, former mentri besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin revealed that the former Sungkai assemblyman had infringed Article 36A of the Perak Constitution by failing to relinquish his job as a lawyer within three months of his appointment.
Bar Council secretary George Varughese said in a statement today the Bar Council had acknowledged receipt of Ganesan’s letter dated August 6.
But he pointed out that the “Notice of Cessation” was dated August 17.
In the statement, Varughese said Ganesan had faxed a letter to the Bar Council on August 13, six days after the deadline expired, claiming that he had ceased being a lawyer on August 6.
But the notice of cessation remained dated August 17, ten days after the legal deadline.
The Bar Council statement appears to back Perak PR lawmakers in their argument that Ganesan had breached the state constitution and could no longer be Speaker.
In a joint media statement today, Perak PR lawmakers said that while they still maintain Ganesan had not been properly elected Speaker on May 7, he should be disqualified now even if his appointment was accepted.
“We all know that Dato’ R. Ganesan was never properly elected as the Speaker of the Perak State Legislative Assembly at the sitting on 7/5/2009 where the lawful and legitimate Speaker YB V. Sivakumar was illegally and forcibly removed from the State Assembly.
“The purported election of Dato’ R. Ganesan by the BN elected representatives holding a sub-assembly within the Assembly was carried out before the opening of the session of the Legislative Assembly i.e before the opening speech of his Royal Highness the Regent of Perak. How can a proceeding or a decision made prior to the commencement of a meeting be valid?” they said.
As such the PR lawmakers said Sivakumar should still be recognised as the legitimate Perak state Speaker.