Share |

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Meanwhile, over at the High Court…

bn-lawyers-l-r-firoz-hussein-lead-counsel-faizul-hilmi-cheng-mei-datuk-hafarizam-harun-umno-legal-adviser-badrul-hishah-copy

The beaming BN lawyers (from left): Firoz Hussein, Faizul Hilmi, Cheng Mei, Datuk Hafarizam Harun, and Badrul Hishah Photos by KK

rejected-pr-lawyers-l-r-chan-kok-keong-augustine-anthony-tommy-thomas-phillip-koh-tong-ngee-copy
And the rejected, dejected PR lawyers (from left): Chan Kok Keong, Augustine Anthony, Tommy Thomas, and Phillip Koh Tong Ngee

The Judge had ruled that the Speaker could only be represented by the state legal adviser and not the PR lawyers.

From The Edge website:

2.55pm: Perak speaker sent letter to JC Ridwan Ibrahim stating he has not authorised state legal advisor Ahmad Kamal to act on his behalf

2.15pm: Lawyers for Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir are already at the Ipoh High Court studying legal points ahead of a hearing for an application of injunction to stop further meetings of the Perak state assembly. The hearing in the chambers of JC Ridwan Ibrahim is scheduled to start at 2.30pm.

Lawyer Tommy Thomas reveals what transpired in the Judges chambers this morning. Check out the Aliran website here.

Kugan Died Due to Severe Beating

Kapar member of parliament S Manikavasagam today revealed the results of the independent post-mortem report .

According to the post-mortem report, the beating caused a breakdown in Kugan’s muscle cells, which then congested the blood flow which in turn caused a kidney failure.

The pictorial evidence also showed that Kugan suffered from massive internal bleeding due to severe beating.

The independent post-mortem report was commissioned by Kugan’s family after they were dissatisfied with the report tendered by the Serdang Hospital authorities that Kugan had died due to liquid in his lungs.

more to follow

Nizar will try to convince Sultan to dissolve assembly, again

By Lee Wei Lian - The Malaysian Insider

IPOH, March 03 – Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin will once again seek the Sultan’s consent to dissolve the state assembly as soon as the documents from today’s extraordinary emergency sitting held under a tree are ready.

The ousted Menteri Besar said this at a press conference after the assembly was convened on a residential road under a rain tree, a tantalising 200 metres or so away from the formal assembly in the state secretariat building.

Three votes were passed in the fourth meeting of the first session of the 12th assembly under the tree this morning. The motions were to express confidence in Nizar as mentri besar; calling on Nizar to seek a dissolution of the state assembly; and endorsing Sivakumar’s suspension of Zambry and the de facto BN executive council.

Nizar expressed his sadness at the assembly being forced to meet in a most unusual location but said that they had no choice.

“We were forced to meet under a tree due to the doctrine of necessity,” he told reporters. “State assemblymen were notified to attend but were blocked by police. It’s sad that state representatives are being blocked from doing their duties. The whole world can see how this country, which is supposed to be advanced, holds an assembly sitting under a tree.”

DAP chairman Ngeh Koo Ham said that they would lodge police reports against the state secretariat and home affairs ministry according to the section 124 of the penal code which prohibits anyone from restraining members of the legislative assembly from performing their duties.

“The police are now taking orders from the clerk of the house instead of the speaker,” said Ngeh. “It’s very sad.”

He also rebutted allegations that PR was disrespecting the Sultan. “We are respecting the Sultan because we are following the law,” he said. “The Sultan says that all sessions must be held in the Dewan but we were forced to have it under a tree. The Barisan Nasional are the ones who are disrespecting the Sultan.”

Asked by reporters if he will persist in asking for a dissolution of the assembly if the Sultan rejects his request, Nizar replied that PR will keep persisting until they achieve it. “We will plead with the Sultan to dissolve the state assembly,” he said.

He also urged the public to remain calm and not to do anything provocative.

Asked whether the quorum present in the sitting was sufficient to pass the vote to dissolve the state assembly, Nizar replied that a quorum of one quarter was required and with the speaker and 27 out of a total of 59 state representatives in attendance, they had sufficient numbers.

Nizar also denied that the absence of the BN state representatives was due to them deliberately being left out from being notified and that notifications had been sent by fax and regular mail.

He also said that the suspension of the house secretary Abdullah Antong Sabri was lawful as the speaker had the power to appoint and dismiss the secretary.

While the press conference was going on in the DAP Perak headquarters, a multi-racial crowd of about 300 was being fired up outside by various speakers including Dr Hatta Mohd Ramli, Pas’s member of parliament from Kuala Krai, Kelantan.

Sultan has to decide - Malaysiakini

“This is a historic and meaning sitting. History has been made for the people of Perak and all those who loves democracy.”

MCPX

That is the response of Pakatan Rakyat leader Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin after the emergency sitting of the Perak legislative assembly was held today.

The meeting was convened under a tree outside the state secretariat complex in Ipoh where the state assembly is located.

The 28 Pakatan state representatives were barred from entering the complex this morning.

perak state govt crisis suk building rain tree assembly 030309 01Pakatan has won a moral victory of sorts by passing a vote of confidence for Mohd Nizar as the legitimate menteri besar as well as to dissolve the assembly to pave the way for fresh elections, but the outcome of the sitting will not be immediately known.

It is for certain that Mohd Nizar will try to seek an audience with Perak Sultan Azlan Shah as soon as possible to convey the assembly’s resolutions.

All eyes are now on the sultan’s response to this latest development and whether Barisan Nasional, which took power in the state early last month under controversial circumstances, will try to invalidate the decisions made during the sitting.

slim majority in perak 040209At a press conference later, Mohd Nizar appeared in a jovial mood flanked by 27 state representatives and several Pakatan MPs from other states.

“We have gotten the consensus for us to recommend to the sultan that the state assembly be dissolved. It there is no dissolution, the constitutional crisis (in Perak) will go on and political stability would be affected,” said Mohd Nizar.

“So we are crying from the bottom of our hearts for the people of Perak to urge the sultan to listen to the voices of the people and dissolve the state assembly. If not, the crisis would go on and on. We do not want that.”

Assembly meeting ‘lawful’


Mohd Nizar stressed that the sitting was lawful because assembly speaker V Sivakumar had issued a notice to all state representatives, except those who are suspended, to attend the assembly.

However, because the police and an unknown group of men had prevented the state reps from entering the state assembly today, the sitting was held under a large raintree in a carpark just a stone’s throw from the state assembly.

The meeting chaired by Sivakumar, who donned his speaker's ceremonial robe. None of the BN state assemblypersons however turned up for the meeting.

perak state govt crisis suk building rain tree assembly 030309 03Mohd Nizar added that under the instruction of the sultan, any sitting of the state assembly must be held within the assembly, but since the building had been sealed off, alternative arrangements had to be made.

“We were prevented from entering the building, so out of the doctrine of necessity, we held the sitting as close as possible, so the location underneath the raintree was best,” he said.

However, he stressed that the sitting followed all procedures and was held in accordance to the assembly standing orders and state constitution.

perak state assembly building 030309Following the passing of the resolutions this morning, Mohd Nizar said that his government would still have to do some paper work before he can seek an audience with the sultan.

“After we finish preparing the documents, I will seek for an audience with the sultan to present him with the resolutions that were passed earlier as soon as possible,” he said.

Should the sultan not recognise the legitimacy of the sitting and not grant consent for the dissolution of the state assembly, Mohd Nizar said Pakatan would do whatever necessary within the confines of the law.

LIVE from Perak


Perak Speaker threatens use of Section 124 of the Penal Code

Speaker’s lawyers removed

By Shannon Teoh-The Malaysian insider

In what must surely be a first for Malaysia, the Perak state assembly comprising solely Pakatan Rakyat lawmakers vote with a show of hands on three resolutions while gathered under a shady rain tree in Ipoh. – Pic by Choo Choy May

IPOH, March 3 - Perak Speaker V Sivakumar’s legal team’s involvement in the trial over the suspension of the state executive council is over before it even began when they were removed by the Ipoh High Court.

Judicial Commissioner Ridwan Ibrahim ruled in favour of a preliminary objection by the team representing Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Zambry Abd Kadir and his six executive councillors, that as a public officer who is a member of government, the speaker should be represented by the state legal advisor or someone appointed by him.

The case continues this afternoon at 2.30pm in the judge’s chambers, where, ostensibly, an officer from the legal advisor’s office will represent Sivakumar.

Zambry’s legal team, which includes Umno legal advisor Datuk Hafarizam Harun, wants a stay of assembly proceedings pending the decision of the judge on the legality of Sivakumar’s decision to suspend the entire executive council for accepting their “unconstitutional” appointments.

Lead counsel for Sivakumar Tommy Thomas spent half an hour in the judge’s chambers along with Hafarizam and an assistant state legal advisor to argue whether Thomas and four other lawyers had locus standi to represent the Speaker.

“The judge ruled that we had no locus standi but I argued that it was an adversarial case involving different branches of government, the executive and legislative,” said Thomas, adding that in his opinion, the legal advisor only represented the executive branch.

He said that a request for a watching brief with speaking rights was also denied and so there was no point staying, adding before his team left, that they would have to consult their client before deciding their next course of action.

“We objected based on the grounds that they have no fiat, or permission, from the state legal advisor to represent the Speaker. The Speaker is a public officer. You must follow the law,” said Hafarizam.

“We want to stop this illegal assembly. You cannot have a meeting under a pokok,” he continued, referring to the assembly meeting held earlier under a tree.

Guan Eng slams cops for taking sides in Perak

By Neville Spykerman

KUALA LUMPUR, March 3 – Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng has lashed out at the police for not allowing the Perak state assembly sitting to be convened in the legislature building today.

Speaking at the lobby of Parliament here, Lim said he was disappointed that the police were again “taking sides”.

On Thursday, he said police did not act and were reduced to being spectators when Gelugor MP Karpal Singh was barred from entering parliament by a group from Umno Youth.

“Police claimed they had no power or authority inside Parliament, even though the incident happened inside the grounds but I remember they had previously made arrests at the Parliament car park.”

He said today, by barring the Perak speaker and lawmakers from entering the state assembly the police have demonstrated “differing standards”.

“The police are taking a political stand by preventing a legally constituted assembly from sitting.”

He said he understands there has also been threats of violence, in Perak, and yet the police are just standing by, just like when Karpal was surrounded in Parliament, last week.

Lim said he has heard unconfirmed reports about a gun being brandished during the fracas, adding that the news was very disturbing.

“The Police have shown that they are not the guardians of public safety but of Barisan National (BN) and this is regrettable.”

He added that the police have forgotten that their salaries are not paid by the BN but the people of Malaysia.

Lim said that BN wanted to rule Perak when the only had 46 per cent of the popular vote compared to 54 per cent held by Pakatan Rakyat.

“Since when is 46 per cent bigger then 54 per cent? Maybe they fail to understand after maths and science started to be taught in English.”

Meanwhile Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad, during a debate, also sarcastically hit out at BN for the Perak fiasco.

“Today, I am speaking in this House but in Perak, they are meeting under a tree in front of the international media.”

Perak State Assembly under a rain-tree – history made today

by Lim Kit Siang

History has just been made in Perak with the Perak State Assembly convened and held under a rain-tree.

Twenty-one years ago, the doctrine of separation of powers among the Executive, Judiciary and the Legislature suffered a grievous blow in the “Mother of Judicial Crisis” on 1988, from which Malaysia has not yet fully recovered.

Today, the doctrine of separation of powers has suffered another grievous blow with the powers and privileges of the legislature in Perak, attacked by the executive, both federal and state, which is also seeking to invoke unprecedented judicial interference with the legislature.

The Perak Speaker, V. Sivakumar, the legitimate Perak Mentri Besar, Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin, the legitimate senior Exco Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham, and all the Pakatan Rakyat Assembly men and women have done Perak and Malaysia proud.

They have written a glorious chapter in the history of democracy in Perak and Malaysia.

Despite the show of excessive and unnecessary force by the Police and FRU, the Pakatan Rakyat Assembly representatives were undaunted and were able to conduct its short but historic proceeding under a rain-tree.

Shame to the Barisan Nasional and UMNO leaders. They are afraid of the Perak State Assembly meeting. They are also afraid of returning the mandate to the people with the holding of state general elections.

There is no stronger proof of the illegitimacy of Zambry as Perak Mentri Besar as a result of the illegal and unconstitutional power grab in Perak orchestrated by Najib Razak.

Under-tree Assembly
The Malaysian Insider

IPOH, March 3 – 10.35am The Perak State Assembly, convened under the shade of a rain tree, has been adjourned.

10.28am The state assembly has passed a vote of confidence in Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin as mentri besar of Perak. The assembly has also passed another vote calling on Nizar to seek a dissolution of the legislature and pave the way for fresh elections

Meanwhile, Judicial Commissioner Ridwan Ibrahim has ruled that five lwayers, including constitutional expert Tommy Thomas, have no locus standi to represent the Perak Speaker in court.
He says the Speaker must be represented by the state legal advisor because he is part of the state government

10.20am Perak V Sivakumar has put on his robes by the roadside near the state secretriat and appears to be preparing to convene assembly right there under the shade of a rain tree. They are now tabling the first motion.

Meanwhile, across town, lawyers fro BN are attempting to stay the proceedings of the state assembly until a suit on the suspension of BN exco members is heard later today.

9.58am Pakatan Rakyat assemblymen have decided to leave the scene to avert violence. They will hold a press conference shortly where they are likely to announce new venue for assembly sitting.

9.52am Pakatan Rakyat assemblymen are now standing toe-to-toe with riot police at the entrance, while supporters have linked hands behind the lawmakers.
At the side two trucks with water cannons are poised for action

9.44am Nizar and Pakatan Rakyat assemblymen are now being stopped by police from entering the building. Police apparently allow Speaker V. Sivakumar apparently to enter.

9.40am A scuffle has broken out between five men and Pakatan Rakyat assemblymen trying to enter the state secretariat compound.

The five men claim to be independent and are trying to push Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin and Pakatan Rakyat assemblymen away from the entrance.

9am More than 100 people now have gathered at the Perak state secretariat, which is cordoned off by a similar number of riot police with shields.

8.45am Lawyers representing Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat are gathering at the Ipoh High Court where a series of lawsuits have been filed against the Perak Speaker.

Emergency assembly convened in car park
Malaysiakini | Mar 3, 09

At an emergency assembly meeting held under a tree in a car park next to the state secretariat, the Pakatan representatives passed motions to support Nizar as the menteri besar as well as to dissolve the state assembly.

Meanwhile at the Ipoh High Court, a new twist developed when judge Ridwan Ibrahim told Speaker Sivakumar’s lawyers that they had no legal standing to represent the speaker, who should be represented by the state legal advisor.

See below as developments unfolded.

LIVE REPORTS

10.57am: Nizar also urged the people to stay calm and follow the law. He urged them not to emulate the troublemakers who had tried to stop him and the other representatives from entering the state secretariat earlier today.

10.53am: Ngeh also said that Speaker Sivakumar will initiate contempt proceedings against the police and the state secretary.

10.50am: State DAP chief and senior exco member under the Pakatan government Ngeh Koo Ham: “It is a very sad day. We have descended into a police state.”

10.49am: Nizar says that he will try to get an audience with the Sultan of Perak to inform him the decision of the House. He insisted that the sitting was held in accordance with the rules and regulations.

10.46am: Nizar at the press conference: “We held sitting under a tree based on the doctrine of necessity because we were prevented from entering the assembly but we had to fulfil our duties based on the notice issued by the speaker”.

10.35am: A new twist at the Ipoh High Court. Speaker Sivakumar’s lawyer Tommy Thomas held a press conference to say that the judge had ruled that private lawyers have no legal standing to represent the speaker.

Thomas said that according to judge Ridwan Ibrahim only the state legal advisor can act for the speaker since he (the speaker) is part of the state government.

With this ruling, Thomas and the other lawyers withdrew themselves from representing Sivakumar. Thomas said that they would be taking instructions from Sivakumar on the next course of action.

Thomas also said that their arguments that it would be a conflict for the state advisor to represent the speaker was dismissed by the judge.

He also said that the judge dismissed their application to conduct watching brief with the right to submit on behalf of the speaker.

The issue of legal standing was raised by Zambry’s lawyers.

10.31am: Sivakumar is now heading towards the DAP headquarters nearby where he will be holding a press conference to explain the next course of action. Nizar is also expected to hold a press conference there. The DAP HQ is located right opposite the state secretariat’s rear entrance.

10.30am: The speaker has adjourned the historic assembly meeting. Sivakumar will now have to present the motions to the Sultan of Perak for further action.

10.25am: The second motion to dissolve the state assembly was also mooted, debated and passed unanimously.

The emergency sitting under the tree also passed a third motion - to adopt the decision of the rights and privileges committee headed by Sivakumar to suspend Zambry and his six exco members.

10.23am: The first motion was passed unanimously. Every present Pakatan representative shouted ’setuju’ (agree) when a vote was taken on the motion.

10.20am: The first motion to express confidence on Nizar as the menteri besar is being tabled now.

10.18am: Sivakumar is in his full speaker’s robe to chair the meeting. It is held in a very formal manner. He told the viewing crowd not to clap or cheer and to respect the meeting.

10.15am: The meeting starts with a prayer session, It is held under a tree, without any chairs for the state representatives and the speaker to sit.

10.13am: Speaker Sivakumar has decided to hold the emergency meeting right at the car park. All Pakatan representatives are present. Some 300 people are watching this historic proceeding.

10.08am: Speaker Sivakumar and Nizar are also seen with the other state representatives at the car park. The impromptu meeting is still proceeding there.

10.05am: Meanwhile at the Ipoh High Court, lawyers from both sides are learnt to have been in the judge’s chambers for the past 30 minutes.

10.01am: The Nizar entourage has stopped at the car park located some 50 metres away from the state secretariat’s main entrance and are huddled in a meeting. Speaker Sivakumar is not in this group.

10am: Nizar and the state representatives are leaving the area. They are headed to the DAP headquarters and will be holding a press conference there.

Some 200 Pakatan supporters are still waiting at the state secretariat entrance.

9.55am: Ipoh police chief Azisman: “I have spoken to both Ngeh and the state secretary (Abdul Rahman Hashim) and the state secretary said no one is allowed to enter the state secretariat”.

9.53am: Senior state exco member under the Pakatan government Ngeh Koo Ham is still trying to negotiate with Ipoh police chief to allow them to enter the state secretariat.

9.50am: Eye-witnesses are saying that the police have asked Speaker Sivakumar alone to enter the state secretariat. This could not be confirmed.

9.49am: The police are ordering the crowd to disperse. The crowd is shouting ‘Hidup Rakyat!’.

9.45am: Ipoh OCPD Azisman Alias refuses to negotiate, says no one is allowed to enter. The police are pushing away the Pakatan state representatives away from the main entrance. The situation is very chaotic.

9.40am: Nizar’s people are negotiating with the police now as the FRU are not allowing anyone inside the state secretariat. The crowd now stands at about 200, most of whom are Pakatan supporters. The water cannon in pointed towards the crowd.

9.35am: A group of people numbering about 30 are blocking Nizar and gang from heading towards the main entrance. No police interference. Nizar and group just walked past them to the main entrance.

9.30am: Ousted Menteri Besar Nizar and his state representatives arrive at the state secretariat.

9.25am: A slanging match ensues between BN and Pakatan supporters at the main entrance of the secretariat. The BN supporters showered profanities at the Pakatan lot who had been shouting ‘reformasi!’.

9.21am: The police and FRU trucks are blocking the main entrance to the state secretariat. The Pakatan state representatives are expected to try to get into the building to go to the state assembly through this entrance.

9.20am: The crowd - a good multi-racial one - at the state secretariat has swelled to about 100 now.

9.15am: Pakatan state representatives who had earlier met at a nearby hotel are on their way to the state secretariat.

9.10am: Lawyers from both sides are in the court house.

9am: About 40 FRU personnel in full gear position themselves at the rear entrance of the state secretariat. Some of them are armed with rifles and tear-gas launchers.

8.55am: At the Ipoh High Court - no crowd, no police. Only lawyers for the speaker are present so far. This defence team is led by constitutional expert Tommy Thomas, Chan Kok Leong, Philip Koh Tong Ngee and Augustine Antony. Several other lawyers are expected to join them.

Perak MB Zambry Abd Kadir’s two applications will be heard today. The first is on the Speaker Sivakumar’s use of the undated resignation letters of three BN-friendly independents to vacate their state seats. The second is over the suspensions of Zambry and his six exco members.

The matters will be heard before Judicial Commissioner Ridwan Ibrahim at High Court 4.

Zambry and Co are not expected to be present in court today. Their defence team is led by Mohd Hafarizam Harun with Badrul Hishah Abd Wahab, Faizul Hilmy Ahmad Zamri.

8.50am: About 50 curious onlookers have gathered at the rear entrance of the state secretariat. “No signs of any trouble,” says Malaysiakini journalist Andrew Ong.

8.30am: Roadblocks have been set up since yesterday along the main road leading to the state secretariat. No vehicles are allowed near the building.

More than 100 police personnel are on standby at the state secretariat. Dozens of journalists are also ready for action.

8.15am: The main entrance to the state secretariat building in Ipoh is shut, denying access to anyone wanting to enter the secretariat. A huge police presence is also visible around the state secretariat.

The police have also cordoned off the road at the back of the state secretariat. Federal Reserve Unit trucks and water cannons are on standby as well.

Yesterday state police chief Zulkefli Abdullah had warned people not to gather at the state secretariat.

The Pakatan Rakyat state assemblypersons have planned to gather at the main entrance of the state secretariat at 10am before going into the state assembly located in the secretariat to conduct their emergency meeting.

Meanwhile Menteri Besar Zambry Abdul Kadir’s legal suits against Speaker V Sivakumar is expected to be heard at 9am at the Ipoh High Court.

Perak drama: Emergency sitting at vacant lot ends
The Star | 3rd March 2009

(10:40am) At the High Court, Sivakumar’s lawyers withdraw from the case after Judicial Commissioner Ridwan Ibrahim rules that private lawyers have no locus standi and cannot represent the Speaker.

Ridwan says that under the Government Proceedings Act, the Speaker can only be represented by the state legal advisor, or lawyers appointed by the latter, because he is part of the state government.

Sivakumar’s lead counsel, constitutional expert Tommy Thomas, says they will await further instructions from the Speaker. He said they were refused speaking rights under Ridwan’s ruling.

(10:35am) Nizar proposes that the emergency sitting of the assembly be adjourned. Sivakumar adjourns.

(10:25am) Titi Serong rep Dr Khalil Idham says Nizar is the rightful mentri besar and wants him to continue. Canning assemblyman Wong Kah Woh says that Pakatan has ruled the state well since taking over last March.

Teja rep Chang Lih Kang proposes a motion asking for the dissolution of the state assembly to call for a new election.

Both motions are agreed to by all Pakatan reps.

(10:20am) After “doa selamat” prayers, the meeting commences with the hearing of the first motion from Titi Serong assemblyman Dr Khalil Idham Lim Abdullah.

He says the trust and support have been given to Nizar as mentri besar. Sivakumar asks for the motion to be debated.

(10:15am) Although allowed entry into the state secretariat building, Sivakumar did not go in. Attired in the official garb of the Speaker, he declares a vacant lot about 200m from the building as the venue for the emergency sitting.

(10:05am) Nizar gets into his car. Discussions going on between PAS, PKR and DAP assemblymen and Members of Parliament (MPs) on their next course of action. One MP is in the car with Nizar.

They are expected to head towards the DAP state headquarters where they might hold a press conference.

(10:00am) Pakatan assemblymen and Nizar not allowed into building, but police allow Sivakumar to enter. A policeman says, “YB tidak boleh masuk (Yang Berhormat is not allowed in).”

Pakatan supporters make a protective ring around their assemblymen so that they will not be chased away. Assemblymen start moving away however.

(9:45am) At the High Court, lead counsels for both sides are briefing the judge in chambers. They emerge from chambers at 10:17am to brief their legal teams.

(9:40am) Pakatan Rakyat assemblymen, including former mentri besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin, arrive at state secretariat building for emergency sitting of Assembly called by Sivakumar to vote on two motions related to the constitutional crisis in Perak.

Barisan Nasional supporters have lined up to prevent them from entering. Some pushing and shoving going on.

(9:00am) Federal Reserve Unit personnel have been deployed in front of state secretariat building, at least seven trucks being used to block main entrance. Police had already set up roadblocks on roads leading to the building earlier this morning.

A small crowd has gathered, comprising party members, lawyers, supporters and many members of the media.

(8:45am) Lawyers from both sides start arriving at Ipoh High Court in preparation for hearing of lawsuit filed by Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir against State Assembly Speaker V. Sivakumar.

Dr Zambry is seeking a court declaration that Sivakumar’s suspension of Dr Zambry and his six excos from the state assembly is unconstitutional.

IPOH: All eyes are on Perak Tuesday as the former Pakatan Rakyat state government, which maintains it is still the legitimate administration, attempts to oust the newly-formed Barisan Nasional government through an emergency sitting of the state assembly.

The emergency sitting was called by State Assembly Speaker V. Sivakumar, saying he was invoking Standing Orders 8 and 11 so that the assembly could vote on two motions.

While he declined to reveal what the motions were, except to say that they involved the constitutional crisis in Perak, former senior executive council (exco) member Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham later said the two motions involved seeking the dissolution of the State Assembly and reaffirming support for Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin as mentri besar.

The current Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir of Barisan has described the emergency sitting as “invalid and unlawful” because it had not received the consent of the Sultan of Perak, Sultan Azlan Shah.

“He has used his powers unfairly to achieve his own political agenda and he had ridiculed the proceedings of the House,” he said.

Pakatan lawyers say the Ruler’s consent was only needed to summon a sitting by way of royal proclamation if the assembly had been dissolved or prorogued (adjourned by royal prerogative). But because the last sitting was adjourned, the assembly could carry on its usual business in an emergency session.

Sivakumar had earlier barred and suspended Dr Zambry and his six exco members from the assembly.

To prevent the sitting from taking place, the current administration issued orders for the entrance to the state secretariat be barred. Police and Federal Reserve Unit personnel were already deployed late Monday to prevent anybody from entering.

Snap polls
Pakatan, which took over the state after the 12th general election last March, has been trying to call for new state elections after it begin to see its rule slipping away earlier this year.

The crisis began on Jan 25 when Bota assemblyman Datuk Nasarudin Hashim resigned from Umno to join Pakatan component party PKR, which led to rumours of many more cross-overs to and from both sides of the political divide.

The crisis deepened after Behrang assemblyman Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi and Changkat Jering assemblyman Mohd Osman Mohd Jailu, both from PKR and both facing corruption charges, went “missing” for a few days, only to resurface after a few days to announce they were quitting their party.

At the same time, Jelapang assemblyman Hee Yit Foong announced she was quitting DAP, another Pakatan component party.

All three declared they would remain independent but pledged their support for Barisan.

At the time, Sivakumar said that he had received letters from the three reps saying they were also vacating their seats, but the Election Commission decided that the resignation letters were not valid as they were undated and that there was no need for by-elections in their constituencies.

To add salt to Pakatan’s wound, Nasarudin announced he was switching back to Umno after fewer than 10 days as a PKR man.

With that, both Barisan and Pakatan held 28 seats each in the state assembly, but the three independents’ pledge of support to Barisan tipped the balance enough for Sultan Azlan Shah to declare Barisan as having the support of the majority and he refused Nizar’s request for the state assembly to be dissolved and snap elections be called.

Court battles
The tussle will also play out in the courts, with Nizar having filed an application for a judicial review to challenge the legitimacy of Dr Zambry as Perak mentri besar.

The case will be heard on Tuesday before High Court (Special Powers and Appellate) Court judge Lau Bee Lan, six days after Judicial Commissioner Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof recused himself from hearing the suit.

In his application for a judicial review, Nizar is seeking an interpretation of the Perak state constitution on whether the mentri besar’s post can be vacated in a situation whereby:

* THE mentri besar had advised the ruler on the dissolution of the state legislative assembly;
* THERE is no dissolution of the assembly;
* THERE was no motion of confidence performed against him at the state legislative assembly;
* THERE was no resignation made by him.

He is also seeking a declaration that he is the legal mentri besar of Perak and asking for an injunction to stop Zambry from carrying out the duties and functions of the mentri besar; and also punitive, aggravated and exemplary damages and costs.

On Monday, Perak executive councillor Mohd Zahir Abdul Khalid served an originating summons on behalf of the three independent reps — Jamaluddin, Mohd Osman and Hee — seeking a court declaration that they were still elected representatives of their constituencies.

The three were challenging the Speaker’s decision that they had resigned and that their seats were vacant. This case will be heard on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Dr Zambry has sought a court declaration to make illegal Sivakumar’s suspension of him and his six exco members. This case will also be heard on Tuesday morning.

Dr Zambry said he was seeking a declaration that Sivakumar’s decision was unconstitutional and ultra vires the state constitution.

He sought declarations that he and his exco members had the right to attend sittings and that the House was not to be bound by any rules by, or instructions from, the Speaker.

Perak Speaker can appoint private lawyers

Image©loyarburok.com

The restriction in the Government Proceedings Act on “public officers” using private lawyers only with the permission of the Attorney General does not apply to the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Perak defending a suit brought against him in his capacity as Speaker. Thus, the Ipoh High Court decision to bar Tommy Thomas and others from acting for Speaker Sivakumar is, with respect, wrong.

It appears that Ipoh High Court Judicial Commissioner Yang Arif Tuan Ridwan bin Ibrahim has ruled that private lawyers cannot appear on behalf of Speaker of the Perak State Assembly Sivakumar in the litigation against him brought by UMNO Assemblypersons because of the Government Proceedings Act 1956.

This decision is of particular interest to those concerned with the right of litigants to have an advocate to champion his cause in Court without fear or favour. Regrettably, and with respect, it appears that this decision does not seem to be in line with the provisions of the Government Proceedings Act 1956 read together with the Federal Constitution.

Section 24(3) of the Government Proceedings Act 1956 seems to suggest that the State Legal Adviser must retain advocates and solicitors in order to act on behalf of the “State government” or “State officers” in “civil proceedings by or against the Government of a State or a State officer”. This follows on from sections 24(1) and (2) which provide that law officers (meaning lawyers from the Attorney General’s Chambers) “may” act on behalf of “public officers” who are sued by virtue of his office.

Thus, the law allows for the Attorney General’s Chambers to act or to appoint private lawyers to act for cases against public officers.

The term “public officer” is not defined in the Government Proceedings Act 1956. The Interpretation Act has the following definitions:-
“public office” means an office in any of the public services;

“public officer” means a person lawfully holding, acting in or exercising the functions of a public office;

“public services” means the public services mentioned in Article 132 (1) of the Federal Constitution;
Article 132(1) of the Federal Constitution lists out several public services such as the armed forces, the judicial and legal services, the police service and the general public service. In a nutshell, the public services are what is commonly called government service or civil service.

But Article 132(3)(b) is instructive. It categorically states that “the public service shall not be taken to comprise” the Speakers of Parliament and the Legislative Assemblies of the State.

Hence, it appears that the restriction in the Government Proceedings Act on public officers using private lawyers only with the permission of the Attorney General does not apply to the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Perak defending a suit brought against him in his capacity as Speaker.

Thus, the Ipoh High Court decision to bar Tommy Thomas and others from acting for Speaker Sivakumar is, with respect, wrong.

Rakaman Ucapan Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim di Seremban

Part 1


Part 2


Part 3


Part 4

Emergency meet held under a tree

At an emergency assembly meeting held under a tree in a car park next to the state secretariat, the Pakatan representatives passed motions to support Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin as the menteri besar as well as to dissolve the state assembly.

Meanwhile at the Ipoh High Court, a new twist developed when judge Ridwan Ibrahim told speaker V Sivakumar's lawyers that they had no legal standing to represent the speaker, who should be represented by the state legal advisor.

See below as developments unfolded.

LIVE REPORTS

3pm: Lawyers representing Zambry and his six exco members enter the judge's chambers.

2.50pm: The drama is back at the Ipoh High Court again - this time for judicial commissioner Ridwan Ibrahim to hear an application by Zambry to stop "all unlawful assembly sittings by Pakatan".

Speaker Sivakumar's lawyer Leong Cheok Keng and M Kula Segaran submit a letter to the judge stating that Sivakumar had no prior knowledge that the state legal advisor would be representing him.

The speaker told the judge that the decision to bar his lawyers from representing him this morning was wrong.

"I had no communication from the state legal advisor that he would be acting on my behalf," he said in the letter.

LIVE REPORTS

11.55am: Those who had lashed out at police personnel when Pakatan Rakyat state representatives were prevented from entering the state secretariat building this morning will be tracked down.

According to Bernama, Ipoh police chief Azisman Alias said more than 200 people had gathered outside the building but there were no untoward incidents.

However, he said several individuals had uttered harsh words against the police, and they would be tracked down from the photographs and videos taken of the incident.

Azisman said the police would also seek the help of the media to publish or broadcast the images of these individuals who attempted to prevent the police from exercising their duty.

11.45am: The crowd at the DAP headquarters start to disperse.

perak state govt crisis 030309 lawyers11.20am: Zambry's lawyers Mohd Hafarizam Harun and Firoz Hussein Ahmad Jamaluddin hold press conference at the Ipoh High Court. They reveal that they had filed an injunction application at 8.30am against all unlawful assembly sittings by Pakatan.

The matter will be heard before justice Ridwan at 2.30pm today. They said that the speaker must be represented by the state legal advisor for this application.

They also said that the judge will fix another date to hear Zambry's two applications.

11.15am: About 300 people have gathered at the DAP headquarters, listening to a ceramah by Pakatan leaders.

10.57am: Nizar also urged the people to stay calm and follow the law. He urged them not to emulate the troublemakers who had tried to stop him and the other representatives from entering the state secretariat earlier today.

10.53am: Ngeh also said that speaker Sivakumar will initiate contempt proceedings against the police and the state secretary.

10.50am: State DAP chief and senior exco member under the Pakatan government Ngeh Koo Ham: "It is a very sad day. We have descended into a police state."

10.49am: Nizar says that he will seek an audience with the Sultan of Perak to inform him the decision of the House. He insisted that the sitting was held in accordance with the rules and regulations.

perak state assembly building 03030910.46am: Nizar at the press conference: "We held sitting under a tree based on the doctrine of necessity because we were prevented from entering the assembly but we had to fulfil our duties based on the notice issued by the speaker".

10.35am: A new twist at the Ipoh High Court. Speaker Sivakumar's lawyer Tommy Thomas held a press conference to say that the judge had ruled that private lawyers have no legal standing to represent the speaker.

Thomas said that according to judge Ridwan Ibrahim only the state legal advisor can act for the speaker since he (the speaker) is part of the state government.

perak state govt crisis 030309 tommy thomasWith this ruling, Thomas said that they would be taking instructions from Sivakumar on the next course of action.

Thomas also said that their arguments that it would be a conflict for the state advisor to represent the speaker was dismissed by the judge.

He also said that the judge dismissed their application to conduct watching brief with the right to submit on behalf of the speaker.

The issue of legal standing was raised by Zambry's lawyers.

10.31am: Sivakumar is now heading towards the DAP headquarters nearby where he will be holding a press conference to explain the next course of action. Nizar is also expected to hold a press conference there. The DAP HQ is located right opposite the state secretariat's rear entrance.

10.30am: The speaker has adjourned the historic assembly meeting. Sivakumar will now have to present the motions to the Sultan of Perak for further action.

10.25am: The second motion to dissolve the state assembly was also mooted, debated and passed unanimously.

The emergency sitting under the tree also passed a third motion - to adopt the decision of the rights and privileges committee headed by Sivakumar to suspend Zambry and his six exco members.

10.23am: The first motion was passed unanimously. Every present Pakatan representative shouted 'setuju' (agree) when a vote was taken on the motion.

10.20am: The first motion to express confidence on Nizar as the menteri besar is being tabled now.

10.18am: Sivakumar is in his full speaker's robe to chair the meeting. It is held in a very formal manner. He told the viewing crowd not to clap or cheer and to respect the meeting.

10.15am: The meeting starts with a prayer session, It is held under a tree, without any chairs for the state representatives and the speaker to sit.

10.13am: Speaker Sivakumar has decided to hold the emergency meeting right at the car park. All Pakatan representatives are present. Some 300 people are watching this historic proceeding.

10.08am: Speaker Sivakumar and Nizar are also seen with the other state representatives at the car park. The impromptu meeting is still proceeding there.

perak state govt crisis 030309 pakatan lawyers10.05am: Meanwhile at the Ipoh High Court, lawyers from both sides are learnt to have been in the judge's chambers for the past 30 minutes.

10.01am: The Nizar entourage has stopped at the car park located some 50 metres away from the state secretariat's main entrance and are huddled in a meeting. Speaker Sivakumar is not in this group.

10am: Nizar and the state representatives are leaving the area. They are headed to the DAP headquarters and will be holding a press conference there.

Some 200 Pakatan supporters are still waiting at the state secretariat entrance.

9.55am: Ipoh police chief Azisman: "I have spoken to both Ngeh and the state secretary (Abdul Rahman Hashim) and the state secretary said no one is allowed to enter the state secretariat".

9.53am: Senior state exco member under the Pakatan government Ngeh Koo Ham is still trying to negotiate with Ipoh police chief to allow them to enter the state secretariat.

9.50am: Eye-witnesses are saying that the police have asked Speaker Sivakumar alone to enter the state secretariat. This could not be confirmed.

9.49am: The police are ordering the crowd to disperse. The crowd is shouting 'Hidup Rakyat!'.

9.45am: Ipoh OCPD Azisman Alias refuses to negotiate, says no one is allowed to enter. The police are pushing away the Pakatan state representatives away from the main entrance. The situation is very chaotic.

9.40am: Nizar's people are negotiating with the police now as the FRU are not allowing anyone inside the state secretariat. The crowd now stands at about 200, most of whom are Pakatan supporters. The water cannon in pointed towards the crowd.

9.35am: A group of people numbering about 30 are blocking Nizar and gang from heading towards the main entrance. No police interference. Nizar and group just walked past them to the main entrance.

9.30am: Ousted Menteri Besar Nizar and his state representatives arrive at the state secretariat.

9.25am: A slanging match ensues between BN and Pakatan supporters at the main entrance of the secretariat. The BN supporters showered profanities at the Pakatan lot who had been shouting ‘reformasi!'.

9.21am: The police and FRU trucks are blocking the main entrance to the state secretariat. The Pakatan state representatives are expected to try to get into the building to go to the state assembly through this entrance.

9.20am: The crowd - a good multi-racial one - at the state secretariat has swelled to about 100 now.

9.15am: Pakatan state representatives who had earlier met at a nearby hotel are on their way to the state secretariat.

9.10am: Lawyers from both sides are in the court house.

9am: About 40 FRU personnel in full gear position themselves at the rear entrance of the state secretariat. Some of them are armed with rifles and tear-gas launchers.

8.55am: At the Ipoh High Court - no crowd, no police. Only lawyers for the speaker are present so far. This defence team is led by constitutional expert Tommy Thomas, Chan Kok Leong, Philip Koh Tong Ngee and Augustine Antony. Several other lawyers are expected to join them.

Perak MB Zambry Abd Kadir's two applications will be heard today. The first is on the Speaker Sivakumar's use of the undated resignation letters of three BN-friendly independents to vacate their state seats. The second is over the suspensions of Zambry and his six exco members.

The matters will be heard before Judicial Commissioner Ridwan Ibrahim at High Court 4.

Zambry and Co are not expected to be present in court today. Their defence team is led by Mohd Hafarizam Harun with Badrul Hishah Abd Wahab, Faizul Hilmy Ahmad Zamri.

8.50am: About 50 curious onlookers have gathered at the rear entrance of the state secretariat. "No signs of any trouble," says Malaysiakini journalist Andrew Ong.

zambry file suit 020309 fru8.30am: Roadblocks have been set up since yesterday along the main road leading to the state secretariat. No vehicles are allowed near the building.

More than 100 police personnel are on standby at the state secretariat. Dozens of journalists are also ready for action.

8.15am: The main entrance to the state secretariat building in Ipoh is shut, denying access to anyone wanting to enter the secretariat. A huge police presence is also visible around the state secretariat.

The police have also cordoned off the road at the back of the state secretariat. Federal Reserve Unit trucks and water cannons are on standby as well.

Yesterday state police chief Zulkefli Abdullah had warned people not to gather at the state secretariat.

The Pakatan Rakyat state assemblypersons have planned to gather at the main entrance of the state secretariat at 10am before going into the state assembly located in the secretariat to conduct their emergency meeting.

Meanwhile Menteri Besar Zambry Abdul Kadir's legal suits against Speaker V Sivakumar is expected to be heard at 9am at the Ipoh High Court.

BN or PR

National Express Malaysia agree with Raja Petra Kamaruddin in his latest article below.
We tax payers of Malaysia do not want to waste our money with the tussle which was started by Barisan National and Dato Seri Najib. Sometimes if you think wisely, paying millions of money to someone who can't even help the rakyat when needed is a waste of time, energy and money.
Better to stick with what RPK said as:-

"I speak as a Royal but speak for the Rakyat. And rest assured there are many other Royals who share my view. Don’t allow a handful of those who sit on the throne intimidate you into thinking that you are alone, representing the Rakyat, against the Monarchy. No, we are with you, as are many other Royals."

Barisan National representatives are coward they are not dare to face the Perak Election. If in this case MB Nizar and YB Sivakumar can score well, The rest of Malaysia will change soon. All my beloved Malaysians please give your strong support for the true Perak government which will be lead by Dato Seri Nizar Jamaluddin.

May Pakatan Rakyat take over the government as the rakyat wants.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Kugan’s Second Autospy Report Press Conference (updated)

Kugan’s Second Autospy Report Press Conference

Location: Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Headquarters
Description: Second Port Mortem of A Kugan whom was brutally murdered while under Police Custody expected to be released by YB Manikavasagam and his lawyers on Tuesday 3/3/2009.

Pakatan Rakyat elected representative, Kugan’s Family Lawyer and Family member expected to present.

ALL PRESS ARE INVITED
Start Time: 14.30
Date: 2009-03-03
End Time: 17:00

WAYTHAMOORTHY UNDERGOING HEART SURGICAL PROCEDURE

Letter from Reader

As I write this, my dear friend Waythamoorthy is in a hospital bed in London, undergoing a surgical procedure for his heart. I understand the risks of this procedure are extremely high in his current condition.

I am not sure how many of us really understand what he is going through in his life so that he can improve our lives and that of those, around us. He has no permanent abode now, he lives in rented rooms, constantly on the move. His family is away from him, he has no regular routines by which he can take care of his health or for someone by him to help him take care of his health. He has no steady diet. He has no permanent bed.

My own heart is very heavy. He is going through so much in his life, yet he chooses not to talk about it or he just downplays it every time the topic comes up.. His is the supreme sacrifice. Think about how the comfort of our current lives prevent us from doing the many things around us that must be done. Think about how we worry every time we have to confront some ugly truth in public life. We complain in private, but when it comes down to really doing something about all of that we shy away. Why? Simply because we fear losing our comfortable lives. We fear losing our middle class lives. Waythamoorthy has cast aside all such considerations and has decided that his life be dedicated if things are to change. This is supreme sacrifice.

To care is not to go through the motions of doing something sitting at the edges hemming and hawing. Hindraf’s care has been and continues to be to roll up the sleeves and get into it, lock stock and barrel - how many of us have been really able to do it. Waythamoorthy has done it. He is showing the way to those of us who want to really bring about change.

What difference does it make if we say we care, go through the motions of caring but yet nothing really changes. To achieve change, true care must be shown. True care requires we make sacrifices, and Waythamoorthy is making those sacrifices now under our very noses, now. And I am sure there will be happy days ahead because of all the sacrifices that are being made.

Let us all stand up. Let us all be humbled by all this.

naragan n

Tighter security today at Parliament

Perak crisis: What will happen in the next 48 hours?

Institutions breaking down, says Bar Council

By Debra Chong- The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Mar 2 – The Bar Council is alarmed at the topsy-turvy turn of events taking place in Perak which is fast turning into the battleground for a no-holds-barred fight over who is the lawful head of the state government.

Its president, Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan told The Malaysian Insider late today she was “surprised” to learn the Perak police chief had acted so quickly in putting up road blocks around the state legislature building based on a statement put out by the state assembly secretary.

“The secretary does not have the authority to make a legal pronouncement,” she noted, referring to today’s unsigned notice from the state assembly secretary’s office declaring Speaker V. Sivakumar’s planned emergency meeting tomorrow as invalid.

“We are very surprised the police is ignoring the Speaker,” she added.

“Our institutions, that is the courts, the police, et cetera, are being tested and we can judge for ourselves whether they are acting independently or not,” said Ambiga.

"There are serious doubts as to whether the police is acting independently,” she added.

She observed that what is going on in the state “shows a total breakdown in relation to the structures and sanctity of the legislature”.

“It shows a violation of the role of the Speaker and an intrusion into the processes of the legislative assembly,” she elaborated, noting that the Sspeaker, much like the status of the Attorney General, should also be seen as an institution in its own right.

Law and disorder in Perak

By Leslie Lau- The Malaysian Insider
Consultant Editor

IPOH, March 2 – Perak stands on the verge of an administrative breakdown tonight as the state’s executive and legislature appeared locked in battle for control of the state.

Datuk Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir, the mentri besar of the de facto Barisan Nasional (BN) government, has declared an attempt to hold an emergency sitting of the state assembly a “threat to national security.”

“If anyone is involved in tomorrow’s assembly, the government will not compromise with anyone who threatens national security,” he said.

Perak Speaker V Sivakumar has called for an emergency sitting of the state assembly tomorrow where a vote is likely to declare support for the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) government of Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin and call for the state legislature to be dissolved.

Zambry claims that the emergency sitting is illegal without the consent of the Sultan. He cited Articles 8, 11 and 36 of the state constitution.

However, a check with the Perak constitution confirms that Articles 8 and 11 cited by Zambry were not related whatsoever with what he argued.

Articles 8 and 11 are in relation to the state seal, and the executive action of the authority being conducted in the Sultan’s name, respectively.

Article 36 says, among other things, that “His Royal Highness shall from time to time summon the legislative assembly and shall not allow six months to elapse between the last sitting in one session and the date appointed for its first sitting in the next session.”

However lawyers representing the Speaker are arguing that the last sitting of the assembly had only been adjourned sine die, or indefinitely. Therefore, the emergency sitting would only be a continuation of the last sitting.

Meanwhile, Speaker Sivakumar also said tonight that he will be suspending assembly secretary Abdullah Antong Sabri and has appointed Nizar’s political secretary, Misbahul Munir Masduki, as replacement.

The Speaker said Abdullah had failed to exercise his duties impartially when the latter claimed that the emergency sitting would be invalid without royal consent.

Sivakumar also called on the police to ensure that all state assemblymen would be allowed to attend tomorrow’s sitting without interference or obstruction.

He says he intends to invoke the powers of the assembly to commit those responsible for stopping the assembly to appropriate punishment.

Sivakumar cited Section 124 of the Penal Code, which is related to the crime of attempting to induce or compel or wrongfully restraint any member of the legislature.

The Perak state secretary’s office has issued a directive to lock the gates tomorrow to the building, where the state legislature is located, ahead of an emergency sitting of the state assembly called by Sivakumar.

The directive appears to suggest civil service and executive interference in the legislature in what some lawyers say is a clear violation of the constitution and the doctrine of separation of powers.

The Perak police chief also issued a statement this afternoon in which he said the emergency sitting is “invalid” and advised members of the public not to gather at the state assembly.

These various directives appear to suggest the state Barisan Nasional (BN) government is trying to stretch to the limits its advantage of incumbency to prevent a vote in the assembly tomorrow, which it may lose.

Open letter to Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin

Image

Don’t allow a handful of those who sit on the throne intimidate you into thinking that you are alone, representing the Rakyat, against the Monarchy. No, we are with you, as are many other Royals.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Dear Datuk Seri,

I am going to make this short and sweet. No more cheong hei article from me.

They can lock the Perak State Assembly building if they want. The building is not important. If the building is inaccessible -- say like there is a flood or an earthquake brings it down -- does this mean the State Assembly can’t meet?

Of course it can. It can meet anywhere, not necessarily in that particular meeting.

Go find another meeting place, tonight, now itself, and hold the meeting there tomorrow. Pass a vote of confidence to support you as the Menteri Besar. Then pass all the other motions, including the motion to dissolve the Perak State Assembly. Then drive up to Bukit Chandan as soon as possible and inform Tuanku of the State Assembly’s decision.

If Tuanku refuses to comply with what is clearly lawful, then challenge him and, if necessary, trigger a Constitutional Crisis like never before seen in the 52-year history of this nation.

The people are ready. The next ‘revolution’ is not going to be a race riot a la May 13. It is going to be a class struggle. And I am with the Rakyat on this, never mind my so-called Royal background.

I speak as a Royal but speak for the Rakyat. And rest assured there are many other Royals who share my view. Don’t allow a handful of those who sit on the throne intimidate you into thinking that you are alone, representing the Rakyat, against the Monarchy. No, we are with you, as are many other Royals.

Grab the bull by the horns and bring it to its knees. And if this bull wears a crown so be it. The Rakyat have spoken. Don’t back down now. Go all the way or forever lose that advantage. And if you fail to go all the way, the Rakyat will never forgive you and you will lose our support till the end of time.

Daulat Tuanku. Daulat Tuanku. Daulat Tuanku.

Patek yang hina sembah Tuanku dan memohon perkenan agar Tuanku jangan kecewakan Rakyat. Hasrat Rakyat ialah untuk mencari kebenaran dan keadilan. Biarlah ini juga menjadi hasrat Tuanku.

Daulat Tuanku. Daulat Tuanku. Daulat Tuanku.

MOHD ZAHIR SERVES NOTICE TO REFER SIVAKUMAR TO RIGHTS & PRIVILEGES COMMITTEE

Mohd Zahir Abdul Khalid, a 'dubious' Perak State Executive Councillor (since he is from the BN fraction) and currently suspended, has served a Notice of Misconduct to State Assembly Speaker V. Sivakumar while referring him to the Rights and Privileges Committee for abusing his power to commit contempt of the House by disloyalty to the Sultan of Perak. Mohd Zahir was accompanied by his two lawyers to serve the said Notice this morning which was accepted by Sivakumar's political secretary A. Wasu at the Speaker’s office at 11am today.

Mean while, Sivakumar confirms that the Emergency State Assembly sitting will carry out as schedule despite these matters.

It is also learned that the 'dubious' BN Perak leaders will be filing a Injunction to stop Sivakumar from convening the State Assembly tomorrow.

Perak seems to be faced by a 'tsunami' and the only way to resolve this crisis is to hold a SNAP STATE ELECTIONS but BN fears that it will be detrimental to them and are avoiding such a situation to occur.

picture courtesy of theSTAR

Live coverage tomorrow: All eyes on Perak - by Anil Netto

state-secretariat-building

2302: All’s quiet in ’sleepy’ Ipoh tonight. It’s been raining the whole evening, says my contact in Ipoh. At Ground Zero, FRU trucks are parked in front of the state secretariat/assembly building.

Even the MB’s residence is exceptionally quiet. Not even a ‘ghost’ in sight. Where’s everyone?

In just over eight hours, another drama will begin in Ipoh, the latest chapter in the constitutional crisis that has captured the attention of Malaysia.

With a couple of contacts in Ipoh providing me updates, I hope to provide some modest live coverage from about 8.00am tomorrow. If you are in Ipoh as well, do send in your comments and eye-witness reports if you see or hear anything on the ground.

The roads to the state secretariat building have been barricaded and all appointments for tomorrow at the state secretariat building have been cancelled.

Live coverage tomorrow: All eyes on Perak - by Anil Netto

Live coverage tomorrow: All eyes on Perak

state-secretariat-building

2302: All’s quiet in ’sleepy’ Ipoh tonight. It’s been raining the whole evening, says my contact in Ipoh. At Ground Zero, FRU trucks are parked in front of the state secretariat/assembly building.

Even the MB’s residence is exceptionally quiet. Not even a ‘ghost’ in sight. Where’s everyone?

In just over eight hours, another drama will begin in Ipoh, the latest chapter in the constitutional crisis that has captured the attention of Malaysia.

With a couple of contacts in Ipoh providing me updates, I hope to provide some modest live coverage from about 8.00am tomorrow. If you are in Ipoh as well, do send in your comments and eye-witness reports if you see or hear anything on the ground.

The roads to the state secretariat building have been barricaded and all appointments for tomorrow at the state secretariat building have been cancelled.

Power of Speaker to Convene Legislative Assembly

I have been asked to advise whether the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Perak was entitled in law to convene the Legislative Assembly on 3rd March 2009. Ultimately, the issue turns on whether the last meeting of the Assembly in November 2008 was prorogued (“di-berhentikan”) or adjourned (“di-tangguhkan”). If it was prorogued, only the Sultan of Perak (“HRH”) can summon the Assembly: if it was adjourned, then the Speaker can convene. According to my instructions, what was adjourned sine die in November 2008, was the Third Sitting of the First Session of the 12th Legislative Assembly of Perak. This opinion is written on that factual basis.

A. THE STATE CONSTITUTION OF PERAK

2. The starting point in the analysis is the Laws of the Constitution of Perak, and in particular Articles 36 and 44. Article 36 deals with the summoning, prorogation and dissolution of the Legislative Assembly. Article 36 (1) and (2) read as follows:-

“(i) His Royal Highness shall from time to time summon the Legislative Assembly and shall not allow six months to lapse between the last sitting in one session and the date appointed for its first sitting in the next session.




(ii) His Royal Highness may prorogue or dissolve the Legislative Assembly”.

It should be noted that Article 36 does not deal with adjournment of the Assembly. Article 44 (1) states that the Legislative Assembly shall regulate its own procedure and may make Standing Rules and Orders for “the regulation and orderly conduct of its own proceedings and the conduct of business”. Article 44 (1) recognises the well settled constitutional principle that the Assembly is the master of its procedure, and its sovereignty over its internal affairs cannot be questioned by any external body.

B. THE STANDING ORDERS

3. Pursuant to Article 44 (1) of the State Constitution, the First Meeting of the Second Session of the Seventh State Legislative Assembly of Perak passed Standing Orders on 23rd March 1988. Standing Order (“SO”) 88 is the definition order. The expressions “meeting”, “session” and “sitting” are defined in SO 88 as follows:-

“ ‘meeting’ means any sitting or sittings of the Assembly when the Assembly first meets after being summoned at any time and terminating when the Assembly is adjourned for more than fourteen days or sine die at the conclusion of a sessions”;
“ ‘session means the sittings of the Assembly commencing when the Assembly first meets after being constituted, or after its prorogation or dissolution at any time, and terminating when the Assembly is prorogued or dissolved without having been prorogued”;
“ ‘sitting’ means a period during which the Assembly is sitting continuously (apart from any suspension) without adjournment, and includes any period during which the Assembly is in Committee”.

A review of the definitions given to the 3 terms would indicate that a meeting is the shortest period, followed by a sitting, while a session is of the longest duration.

4. It is significant that the definitions of these expressions in SO 88 reflect their ordinary meaning as the Oxford English Reference Dictionary (2nd Ed. 1996) indicates:-

“adjourn : put off, postpone, break off with the intention of resuming later.
prorogue : discontinue the meetings (of Parliament) without dissolving it.
sitting : a time during which an assembly is engaged in business.
meeting : persons assembled.
session : a period during which meetings of assembly are regularly held.”

5. Adjournment is the subject matter of 3 Standing Orders. Pursuant to SO 15 and 16, upon a motion for adjournment after the completion of all business in a sitting, Mr Speaker is entitled to adjourn the Assembly. The first pre-condition for such adjournment is the completion of all business. What is thus being adjourned is a sitting, and not a session  a session can consist of numerous sittings. When an adjournment motion made under SO 15 and 16 is carried, Mr Speaker declares “That this Assembly do now adjourn”. The adjournment referred to in SO 17 is entirely different because it entitles Mr Speaker (with the support of the majority of members) to change the order of business of a meeting of the Assembly by permitting a “definite matter of urgent public importance” to be debated on an urgent basis. Thus SO 17 is not relevant for present purposes.

6. It appears as if no express SO gives Mr Speaker the power to recall the sitting of an Assembly that was adjourned by him, as occurred in November 2008. Because what was adjourned in November 2008 was only a sitting, and not a session, what is clear is that HRH’s power to summon does not at present arise because Article 36 (1) of the State Constitution refers to “one session” and the “next session”. If it is not a question of the discretion of HRH to summon a session, then by implication only, Mr Speaker has such power with regard to sittings and meetings of the Assembly. In the event of doubt regarding his power, Mr Speaker can rely on the residuary powers conferred on him under SO 90. Further, a decision or ruling by Mr Speaker on his power is final and not open to appeal pursuant to SO 43 and 89 : only a substantive motion passed in the House can review it.

C. THE BRITISH PRACTICE

7. SO 90 provides that when the Standing Orders are silent on any matter, Mr. Speaker may give directions, “and in giving such direction Mr. Speaker shall have regard to the usages of Commonwealth Parliamentary practice so far as such usages can be applied to the proceedings of the Assembly”. Accordingly, reliance can be made on the practice and procedure of the British Parliament, which is the mother of all Parliaments. Erskine May ’s Treatise on the Law, Privileges, Proceedings and Usage of Parliament is the leading text on the subject in the Commonwealth. I have reviewed the relevant commentary in Chapter 13 in its 23rd Edition (2004).

8. According to the learned authors of Erskine May (all of whom are clerks of the House of Commons):-

“ ‘A Parliament’, in the sense of a parliamentary period, is a period not exceeding 5 years which may be regarded as a cycle beginning and ending with a proclamation.
A session is the period of time between the meeting of a Parliament, whether after a prorogation or a dissolution, and its prorogation. During the course of a session either House (Commons or Lords) may adjourn itself on its own motion to such date as it pleases. Sessions are of indeterminate length but …….usually run from October or November of one year to October or November of the next.
The period between the prorogation of Parliament and its reassembly in a new session is termed a ‘recess’, while the period between the adjournment of either House and the resumption of its sitting is properly called an ‘adjournment’ (although in practice the word ‘recess’ is generally used in this sense also). A prorogation terminates a session; an adjournment is an interruption in the course of a single session.”

(my emphasis)

(See Page 272)

9. In a discussion under the caption “Prorogation and Adjournment”, Erskine May states:-

“The prorogation of Parliament is a prerogative act of the Crown. Just as Parliament can commence its deliberations only at the time appointed by the Queen, so it cannot continue them any longer than she pleases. But
each House exercises its right to adjourn itself independently of the Crown and of the other House…

(my emphasis)

(Page 274)

The difference between prorogation and adjournment becomes clearer from a practical perspective by considering their effect. The effect of a prorogation is to suspend all business, including committee proceedings, until Parliament is summoned again, and to end the sittings of Parliament. Further, all pending proceedings are quashed. An adjournment does not have the same effect on parliamentary proceedings as does a prorogation. Upon reassembling, each House proceeds to transact the business previously appointed, and all proceedings are resumed at the stage at which they were left before the adjournment. Erskine May also discusses the recall of Parliament during adjournment. “When Parliament is dispersed through the adjournment of both Houses its reassembly can be effected either by proclamation or under powers specifically conferred by each House on its Speaker”. (Page 277).

10. A similar distinction between prorogation and adjournment is made in Halsbury Laws of England (4th Ed, 1997 Reissue) in Vol. 34 : see Paragraphs 720 to 727. In Paragraph 720 under the heading “Power of each House to adjourn”, Halsbury states: “Each House of Parliament has the power to adjourn its sittings for any period of time to be determined by an Order of the House. Power is given by standing orders of the two Houses to the Lord Chancellor and the Speaker respectively, if they are satisfied that the public interest requires it, to summon the Houses to meet on an earlier date than that to which they have been adjourned”.

(my emphasis)

11. The practical advantages of an adjournment over a prorogation are discussed by Eric Taylor in “The House of Commons at Work” (9th Ed. 1979) as follows:-

“Since the beginning of the last war it has been thought better not to prorogue on 31st July, after all, but merely to adjourn the House for the summer, the reason being partly that it is more difficult to summon the House together again quickly after a prorogation, and during an adjournment the Speaker has power to summon it in case of emergency. This expedient was felt to be necessary during the uneasy war and post-war years. It is also useful to have a week or so after the Recess to clear up odd business. In any case the result was that the House was, and still is solemnly prorogue one day, and solemnly opened again by the Queen a day or two later, there being now no intervening Christmas holiday.
It may occur to the reader to ask why Parliament is prorogued at all, and why the House should not remain in Session from the time that it is elected until the time that it is dissolved, and a new Parliament is elected. The natural answer will be that Parliament likes to ‘clear its books’, just as a business firm clears its book at the end of a financial year. All Bills which have not reached the statute books by the end of the Session are killed automatically by prorogation. All notices of motions disappear from the Order Paper. It is a drastic but quite salutary process.”

(my emphasis)

(Page 52)

12. These practical aspects are also considered in a leading British constitutional law text. In “Constitutional and Administrative Law” by de Smith and Brazier (8th Ed, 1998), the following commentary appears:-

“Sessions: prorogation and adjournment. It is the invariable custom for the life of a Parliament to be divided up into a number of sessions. These are usually of about one year’s duration, though there is no fixed practice……..;
……Nowadays the Commons sit for about 180 days altogether during a calendar year. Each House determines, on the Government’s initiative, on which dates it will adjourn and reassemble…….;
…..A session of Parliament is terminated by prorogation, a prerogative act; a short formal speech is made on behalf of the Queen, summarizing the work done during the session, and the Parliament stands prorogued till a named dated, which (unless prorogation precedes a dissolution) will be only a few days later, when a new session will be opened by the reading of the Queen’s speech…….;
…..The reason why Parliament is adjourned, instead of standing prorogued, in midsummer is strictly practical. In the first place, if it becomes necessary to recall a prorogued Parliament to deal with a matter of unexpected urgency, a royal proclamation has to be issued. It is simpler and may be more expeditious to reassemble an adjourned Parliament; this can be done by the Speaker and the Lord Chancellor acting on the Prime Minister’s quest…...”

(my emphasis)

(Page 230)

13. It is thus plain and obvious that the Speaker in the elected House of the British Parliament, the House of Commons, has the discretion to recall the House during an adjournment, which is factually a different category from prorogation. Thus, the Speaker of the Perak Legislative Assembly is entitled under SO 90 to “have regard to the usages of Commonwealth Parliamentary practice”, in this case, the settled practice in the House of Commons, as to his own power to convene a sitting of the Assembly during adjournment.

D. CONCLUSION

For these reasons, in my opinion, Mr Speaker is lawfully empowered to convene the Fourth Sitting of the First Session of the 12th Legislative Assembly of Perak on 3rd March 2009.

Dated this 1st day of March, 2009.

Tommy Thomas